Not too many people come to Kyrgyzstan
to spend a large amount of time in its capital city Bishkek. Actually I'm not
too sure if "city" is how I'd describe Bishkek. Despite it's one-million-plus
population, it resembles more of a big sleepy town than a city. With that said,
if your coming to Kyrgyzstan, than a stop or two in Bishkek is practically
unavoidable. Bishkek is little more than a century old so there's not a lot in
terms of historical monuments, but it's not such a bad place to spend a couple
of days before heading off to the more popular mountain ranges and jailoos.
I wound up making about three separate stops in Bishkek. I spent my
first full day in Kyrgyzstan exploring the capital city, again on my way out of
the country, and had a third full day upon transiting from Moscow to Dubai.
Bishkek sits in a valley in the Kyrgyz Alata mountains, an extension of the
dominant Tien Shen mountain range. The surrounding snowcapped mountains offer
an excellent backdrop scenery while exploring the city. Other highlights
include Ala-Too Square and it's State Historical Museum, which contains some
excellent ceiling murals. The massive Osh Bazaar, to the west of the city, is a
great place to go and soak up the vibrant atmosphere while shopping for
everything from souvenirs like mini-yurt models to household items such as
refrigerators and stoves. Bishkek is also an excellent place to arrange your
future in other parts of Kyrgyzstan via its Community Based Tourism office, or
any other of its many travel agencies.
found this wall painting in the foyer of the entrance of Bishkek's Manas
International Airport interesting enough to take a photo of....
|Above: Burana Tower - all that's
left of the Sogdian citadel of Balasagun. The tower itself was built by the
Karakhanids in the 11th century.