Alamedin Gorge, Kyrgyzstan

Alamedin Gorge is one of the most striking features of the Kyrgyz Range, just south of Bishkek. About 30 km (19 miles) from Bishkek is Koi Tash, a small village at the intersection of four roads. One of the roads leads up the Alamedin Gorge, alongside the gorge’s river, one of the main rivers flowing through Bishkek.

Ten kilometers (6 miles) into Alamedin Gorge is the Tyoplie Klyuchi Sanatorium, where one can bathe in naturally-heated radon water (though take the advice of doctors and don’t swim for longer than ten minutes). Further along is a complex of cottages, built in 1984 by the Ministry of Power.

Beyond the cottages, the vista opens out into a beautiful alpine valley, ideal for a day trip from the city or trekking over the mountains. There are waterfalls, glades with berries, mushrooms, juniper and birch forests, and views of the glaciers and Usechenko Peak (4650 m or 15,255 feet), as well as a number of other canyons to the east.