Bishkek is probably one of the best places to start while planning your journey through Krygyzstan. It is the capital of the country and a cosmopolitan city. However, it has also preserved the essence of Soviet architecture and Kyrgyz culture. Although it is the capital, it seems like a provincial town, with easy access to things and easy to get from one side of the city to another.
Full of exotic food and historic post-Soviet architecture, Bishkek is an amazing city with emerging cultural nuances. The city has to offer a lot in terms of a peaceful and vibrant atmosphere, due to which the city sees a huge influx of tourists every year. In this blog, we have compiled several things for you to do while visiting Bishkek.
Explore the Architectural Landmarks
Bishkek has a lot to offer through its cool architecture which offers a glimpse of the Soviet influence. There are many places you can see for this purpose including; the Ala-Too movie theatre, State History Arts Museum, Manas Statue, and National Museum of Fine Arts. In the museums, you can see structures representing the strong and reliable governments of the Soviets in the area. In Ala-Too Park, the tourists and locals usually gather to enjoy the sunset and relax their minds. This is a must-visit place if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Visit the Magical Issyk-Ata Hot Springs
You can visit the Issyk-Ata hot springs, one of the oldest Soviet landmarks in Central Asia. These geothermal springs are believed to contain magical healing powers to cure any illness. People come here to take swim in the springs and to take walks around the surrounding valley. It also has a resort that seems abandoned but is worth a visit, It is a sneak peek through the Soviet past and is the perfect place to relax, swim, and take a walk in the fresh mountain air. In the winter, you can take a swim in the outdoor pools while taking in a breathtaking view of the surrounding snowcapped mountains.
Take a Hike through the Ala-Archa National Park
If you are a nature lover, Ala-Archa is one of the most recommended places for you. It is just a 30-minute drive away from the city and is one of the most peaceful places there. At this place, you can find snowy peaks, the gushing river of the valleys, lush green vegetation, and colorful floras. Here, you can find two hiking trails leading up to the top. One trail is the waterfall trail which goes along the Ak-Sai River and ends at the Ratsak base camp. The other one is known as the Ala-Archa valley trail and is comparatively easier to climb. It goes along the Ala-Archa River and goes to the valley full of stunning landscapes.
Hike through the Konorchek Canyon
Another recommended thing to do in Bishkek is to take a hike at the Konorchek Canyon trail. It will give you a completely different experience than Ala-Archa hiking trails. It is a lesser-known visited place, so you will likely get the whole place to yourself. However, getting to this place could be tricky. So, you might need to book a taxi or rent a car as public transport won’t be able to take you there.
Visit the Burana Tower:
If you are interested in learning about the history of the Silk Road route in this part of the world, this is the perfect spot for you. This is one of the remaining remnants of the ancient city of Balasagun, which was established towards the end of the 9th Century. The place consists of a museum, a few gravestones with markings, and a tower. You can also climb up the tower to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
Try Kyrgyz Food
In my opinion, if you haven’t tried the local foods of any country, you haven’t experienced them to the fullest. You can find a selection of great local food at affordable prices. The Kyrgyz cuisine revolves around beef, mutton and horse meat, and various dairy products. Some famous local cuisines include Kuurdak, Shashlik, Shorpo, Dimlama, Beshbarmak, and Paloo. You can also find noodles and dumpling cuisines such as Lagman, Samsa, and Manty.
Enjoy with the Locals
If you like music and are looking for some action, you can go to Chicken Star. It is a famous place among travelers and locals alike, where they gather to enjoy live music by several bands. You can also try some local food and socialize with the locals while listening to some really good music. Also, you can visit Osh Bazaar where you can buy anything at a very cheap price. It is a huge market with a huge variety of items from vegetables to jackets. It is a good place to go and take a peek into the common lifestyle of the Kyrgyz people.