Karakol Valley, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan feels quite socially moderate & thus the town of Karakol, the gateway to the Kyrgyz Tian Shan, has emerged as a harbor for travelers visiting the "Stan's". Alakol Lake is the emerald jewel of the valley. With as little as three days you can get from sipping a latte at the western style "Karakol Cafe" to a spot like this.
I was lucky on Alakol Pass to meet the Slovakians Sam & Michal - who proved excellent guys to have around when it came to trekking as well as sampling local beers - as Slovakians the guys are connoisseurs & know what they're talking about.