Discovery Kyrgyzstan
 
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008
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From Editor
I recently had the tremendous pleasure to participate in a blitz Press Trip around the Kyrgyz Republic by invitation of DMO, the Destination Marketing Organization.
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A naturalist's notes
The flora of Kyrgyzstan is rich and varied due to the geographical location of the country. The habitats of many different plant species overlap here, and it is quite possible to find Mediterranean wild vines growing alongside the Adonis from the Himalayas and other plants of Turanian and Indo - Himalayan groups. There are about 500,000 species of plants in the world and about 3,500 of them grow in Kyrgyzstan. Endemic wild plants are found in Kyrgyzstan. Central Asian flora evolved mainly from the tertiary (palaearctic) flora and includes walnut, barberry, rose, maple, currant, apple tree, pear tree, juniper, fir and others.
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The southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake: realities and outlooks
The shape of Issyk Kul lake resembles a blue lens that has been stretched wide. The top of the lens or northern shore of the lake is for some reason more populated than the southern one. Many villages, rest homes, pensions, tourist centers and modern recreation and entertainment centers are to be found here and in the neighboring mountains, most dating from the second half of the last century. The tourism services provided here today are many and varied.
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The dog which is not for sale: Taigan, Kyrgyz Borzoi, Tajgan
Dog specialists rightly value the Anatolian Karabash, Shar-Pei and other "blue blood" species most highly because of their rarity and the high demand for them at auctions. Few people know that in the heart of Central Asia, in Kyrgyzstan, there is a breed of Taigan which has been largely forgotten. The breed numbers barely 300 and is unfortunately decreasing.
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The sunken cities of Issyk-Kul
Recent underwater exactions have revealed a number of exciting finds. Historians have known for some time about "sunken cities" lying beneath the waters of the lake. A little offshore is the sunken village of Chengu (red valley), the capital of the ancient Usun State in the 2nd century B.C. As the waters of the lake recede it is thought that the village will soon emerge from the depths.
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Bishkek the capital city

Bishkek cannot claim to be one of the major cities of the world, like London, Paris or New York. It is, however, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan and does have a number of important and interesting buildings, monuments, parks, museums, galleries, theaters and other places worth seeing or visiting.
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Fauna
The wildlife found in Kyrgyzstan is also rich and diverse. Over the territory of Kyrgyzstan one can find animal life typical of deserts and forests, valleys and mountains, steppes and meadows.
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Kumys
To some people it is just fermented mare's milk, but to the Kyrgyz it is a symbol of their nationhood a gift from god from which they derive energy and inner strength. Today, variations are also made from camel's milk and cow's milk but to the Kyrgyz, true Kumys is always made from mare's milk.
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Caves

Many of the caves provide evidence of early habitation by man in the region such as cave paintings and archaeological finds of domestic implements.
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Irkeshtam
Irkeshtam is approached from Osh, the second city of Kyrgyzstan, in the south of the country. The road travels south along the valley of the Taldyk and Gulcho river gorges to the village of Sary Tash ("Yellow Stone" in Kyrgyz), which sits on a crossroads. To the west lies the road to Dushanbe in Tajikistan through the Kyzyl-Suu valley; to the South lies the road over the Kyzyl Art pass into the Gorno Badakshan region of Tajikistan and Murgab; to the east heading into the mountains lies the road to Irkeshtam and the Chinese border.
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Women's costume

The main features of women's costumes in Kyrgyzstan were long dresses and wide trousers. Different costumes or styles would indicate if a young woman was married or single, and elderly women had their own style of dress and headdress. The colour was usually white, blue or red. The colour red was the main characteristic of a young woman's dress. Recently, however, bright fabrics of other colors like orange and yellow have become fashionable.
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The song of Khan-Tengri
Who asked for Khan-Tengri there; rise!

Half-awake, half asleep, I can not understand where I am, though I hear the inviting call and it seems like I am kind of awake already... or still asleep? In a tent, there could not be such darkness, even at night; and whence does this wooden floor come - so rough and uncomfortably slanting, which makes all the body ache?
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Crafts

Embroidery
Tush Kiyiz are a special case in the use of embroidery.
Embroidery was a very popular and widespread craft practiced by women of all ages from the very young to the very old and was more individualistic than some of the other traditional crafts, because it didn't require a collective effort.
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Discovery Kyrgyzstan #5

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