From low-key to loud and subtle to extreme
The director of Travel Land LLC, Artem Kozdrovich is a guide that makes it his job to possess a vast amount of knowledge about the landscapes he takes travelers to.
Being a local and having a first-hand experience of the terrains he guides tourists to, he explores the treasures of Silk Road, opens your eyes to the spellbinding beauty of Tien Shan and Pamir Mountains, and helps you make golden memories throughout tours at Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
In the interview, Artem dives deep into what goes on these trips, with details about things as low-key as the life of nomads, and as extreme as playing polo with a goat’s body. Read on to know about a place filled with the unknown!
What would you consider the top attraction that is driving tourists to AREA?
The untouched nature of Kyrgyzstan, a sense of familiarity with the life of nomads, and visiting part of the Silk Road are the main attractions here.
Where would you personally recommend visiting?
I recommend visiting the high mountain lakes of Kyrgyzstan: Issykul, Son Kul, and KelSuu. And relish the pristine, unadulterated nature on the way to these places.
What is your favorite area to spend your weekends?
I like to spend weekends not far from the capital, Bishkek in the mountains, the place is called Chunkurchak.
Which adventure will you call the most popular—is it hiking, kayaking, camping, or something else?
The most popular activities are hiking, off-road self-driving in the mountains and valleys, bicycle tours, horseback riding, and the cultural combined tours of the Silk Road countries.
Which type of sports activities are the most popular? Are any extreme sports worth noting?
In the winter season, the most popular activity is alpine skiing. In the warm season, a traditional sport, KokBoru, which is a more ancient, analog version of the Polo horse game, is the most popular. In KokBoru, instead of a ball, players use the goat’s body. Traditional sports like running, swimming, boxing, etc are also common here throughout the year.
What are the specialties of the local cuisines there? Which dishes would you recommend traveling for? Any restaurants you consider worth a recommendation?
Of course, the traditional Kyrgyz and Uzbek cuisines are great. National dishes-Pilaf, manty, shorpo, and Kumis, the popular local drink, will not leave anyone indifferent. I can recommend travelers to visit the restaurant Supara.
When would you recommend is the best time to travel? What are the seasonal activities of the region?
The most convenient season is from May to October, at this time the passes are cleared of snow and the roads become free. But for lovers of skiing, the best season is winter.
Could you tell us more about your favorite adventure here?
Most of all, I love the combined journey through Kyrgyzstan or through several countries on off-road vehicles. This trip allows you to cover the most pristine and scenic spots, get acquainted with the local culture and plunge into the life of the nomads. It’s recommended for all travel lovers.
What is your the most notable experience that you’ve ever planned and delivered?
If we talk about tourist programs, it was a tour in a military helicopter to numerous difficult to access and sacred sites with ancient petroglyphs.
How long have you been a travel agent for? Why are you different from other travel agencies out there?
Our company has been operating for 6 years. We are not old conservatives, and are no longer newcomers. We have the necessary experience and preserved enthusiasm to do our work really well.
What areas of travel does your agency specialize in? Why?
Mostly, we organize jeep tours in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. I love to go on an SUV in uncharted places myself, feeling like a nomad riding on his horse through the mountains.
What areas of the business are performing well at the moment and why?
The tourist market in Kyrgyzstan is developing well at the moment because it is a new place for many travelers. A destination with amazingly beautiful nature, good people. The destination you want to visit.
What do you think is the aspect of your business that contributed to your success?
My way to success is a clear understanding of goals and objectives. And of course, I have a well-coordinated team.
What travel trends did you notice recently?
I see a growing interest among Europeans to check out the countries of Central Asia.
What are the biggest challenges of working in an adventure travel field?
I believe that controlling a lot of important little things is a difficult part of my work.
What future do you think AREA travel agents will have, bearing in mind the growing popularity of online travel?
Definitely very promising.
How are you going to keep growing business?
I have a lot of ideas, such as creating my own yurt camps, training guides, etc.
Which popular blogs on adventure travel do you follow?
I usually read reviews of tourists who used the services of my company, in order to make the service and quality even better.
Do you have any favorite quote on adventures we could share with our readers?
Better a bad day in nature than a good one at work.