Friday, May 10, 2024

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Next stop after Kazakhstan was Kyrgyzstan, I flew into Bishkek the capital city which appeared to have a slower pace than Almaty. Over 90% of the country is mountainous and with that, you get such beautiful views of the mountains surrounding the city. I had a short walking tour in the center of the city and got to see some of the sites see below:

Lenin Statue - This was erected in 1984 and after the fall of communism all statues of Lenin were taken down but this one still stands. 

Ala Too Square - This is in the center of the city and the largest square where people gather for events or hang out. If you are interested in soviet era architecture, you can see several buildings around the square depicting this. I personally don't find that type of architecture aesthetically appealing.

Love how colorful these slippers are, this was at the local market.

Central Mosque at night, so pretty!

I spent a day in Bishkek which I think was enough, the following day I headed to check out The Burana Tower located 80km (about 50 miles) from Bishkek. This historical tower is a minaret that was built between the 10th & 11th centuries and is one of the key historical sites in the country, protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is actually one of the most famous minarets in Central Asia, the architecture is pretty impressive and it actually used to be taller than what is seen now. The cool part is you can actually get inside and climb to the top.

Close to the tower is an ancient burial site marked with interesting stone carvings

How beautiful is the scenery below? this was during the drive out of Bishkek, views like these were a dime a dozen, I couldn't get enough though.

Had the pleasure of observing traditional Kyrgyz national horse games. Traditionally, the Kyrgyz people were nomadic and had to be very well experienced in riding horses, fighting on horses and picking stuff up from the ground while riding a horse. These games although entertaining, are also a form of training for the riders and watching them you can't help but be impressed by how skilled they are on horses. They start teaching kids as early as 4 years old how to ride horses so you can imagine how skilled they are by the time they reach adulthood.

I got the opportunity to see how a yurt is constructed and was able to get in one to get a feel of it, they are so cozy and cute with carpet laid on the ground and decorative items hang inside. I certainly wouldn't mind camping in one!

That's it folks! if you love hiking and natural landscapes, Kyrgyzstan is definitely the place to check out. 

Quick Facts:

Islam is the Dominant religion in the country

Main languages spoken are: Kyrgyz, Russian and Uzbek

Their currency is called Som and $1 is equivalent to 88 Some

No Visa needed for American Passport Holders.

The country is landlocked lying in the Tian Shan and Pamir mountain ranges.







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