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Visit Card of Tuva is Aldyn-Bulak

Visit Card of Tuva is Aldyn-BulakTraditional culture is what helps a nation to stay unique. The newly built Aldyn-Bulak ethnic cultural centre in Russia’s Tyva Republic in southern Siberia aims to study and promote folklore, traditions and customs. The name ‘Aldyn-Bulak’ means ‘golden spring’. Located 45 km from the capital Kyzyl, the centre is expected to boost ethno tourism in the area. The centre welcomed its first visitors earlier this month.
The construction of the Aldyn-Bulak started last June. While working on the project architects relied on two major principles: environmental awareness and ethnic flavor. The complex is made up of a yurt-style restaurant, four presidential VIP yurts, seven economy-class yurts, five chums (tents) with a fireplace, a sports ground, pergolas, saunas, souvenir shops, administration building and parking lots. Apart from this, there is a school where one can learn the art of Khoomei,a Tuvan variant of throat singing. Khoomei is when a singer produces two or even three distinct pitches simultaneously.
The centre has recently launched a symbol of throat singing – Ovaa Khoomei, depicted in the form of a golden arrow targeted upwards. Visitors willing to learn throat singing should come there to ask Spirit Ovaa for permission through a special ceremony. Tuvan authorities now plan to turn khoomei into the region`s tourism brand and promote it worldwide.
The Aldyn-Burak centre offers a special event program for tourists, allowing them to make an interesting journey into the past while watching a theatrical show, attend a master-class in playing national musical instruments and take part in interactive activities, such as Khuresh, which is a traditional form of wrestling in Tuva. Each guest can learn some moves and fight with a winner, as well as learn arrow shooting, horse riding and also taste dishes of the national cuisine.
A 100-seat yurt-style restaurant divided in 16 zones is one of landmark sites of the Aldyn-Bulak centre. The design of the restaurant is notable for its Tuvan motives and elements of the Scythian culture. The walls are decorated with archeological finds discovered at the Arzhaan 1 burial mound and with ethnic drawings. The restaurant serves exceptionally local dishes, usually made with mutton, and tea with milk and salt.

Guests are also welcome to visit interactive museums. At the Ethnography yurt-museum with traditional interior one can rent a folk costume and get photographed. At the Tyva aal educational center visitors can learn traditional crafts, take part in cooking dairy products of the Tuvan cuisine, learn more about everyday life of shepherds, and supper and have a night`s rest in a local house.

The Tyva Republic hopes that the Aldyn-Bulak ethnography centre will soon become a real brand of the district which previously had not been a popular tourist destination due to the lack of necessary infrastructure. Meanwhile, considering its ancient sites and unique nature Tuva has great potential for ethno tourism.
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