Discovery Kyrgyzstan
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008

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48h... in Bishkek

Last year Bishkek celebrated its 125th anniversary. A young capital in an ancient land. Bishkek is the soul and the heart of the Kyrgyz Republic, its political, economic scientific and cultural center, the main transport hub.
Weather wise, expect warm summers with 40% humidity and continental winters Modern urban development is the city's distinguished feature, streets criss cross at a 90% angle. Shady boulevards, tree lined streets, the city is very green and in Bishkek alone you'll, find over 150 different kinds of trees and shrubbery.

Make sure you have a window seat because as you descend towards Bishkek Airport, your can take in the entire essence of Kyrgyz natural beautify in one sweep. White mountain tops, green valleys and the capital just below you. As you taxi to the dock, you
are most likely to catch a glimps of modern US army planes. No, this is not a US airbase, should the questionarise, but the US is a good friendandalley.


The airport is about a 40 min. Drive from the center of Bishkek and it's best to catch a taxi. The fair is US$10. Better still, organize airport pick up with your Travel Agent or hotel. That's the smooth way to your destination. There are regular minibus shuttles to bus stops in town as well.


The choice of hotels covers every need. You have an option to stay in luxury at the «HAYATTREGENCY» (****) or at Hotel «AK KEME-BISHKEK» (****) the SILK ROAD LODGE"(****), orata B&B such as the «Asia Mountains» Hotel.


With the rich tradition of arts and crafts, beautiful give aways and souvenirs can be bought and there's a good choice. Throughout the year, crafts fairs offer an ideal opportunity to shop for handmade items from Kyrgyzstan. Designers create stunning accessories and pret a porter with a very modern edge and are staring to make a name for themselves also abroad.


Bishkek is where tourists leave from to see the sites and sights all over the country, and trust us, there are plenty, but the city itself also has something to offer in terms of sight seeing. Museums, galleries, shops, parks, squares, restaurants and cafes are concentrated around the city center.
Sitting in the cool and shady oak park is ideal for people watching. It's an open air sculpture museum too, made from stone, metal, wood, there are sculptures displayed all over the park. Right by, the Erkindik gallery holds regula exhibitions of local artists. Drop by to see who's the upcoming raising star of the arts scene. Ala-Too, the main square lays right behind the gallery. The seat of the government is here, with its white marble facade, quite impressive on the backdrop of white mountain peaks. Ala Too also holds fountains and a stage, where concerts, disco evenings and cultural events are hosted. This is where the population congregates for State celebrations and on public holidays.
Still up to the present day a Lenin statue towers over the square. Note that Bishkek is the only capital in Central Asia where the street names of the Soviet epoch are retained till nowadays.


There is no shortage of cafes, snack food places for something on the go. Or you may opt for Fine Dining at the Hyatt or Italian Cuisine. For those interested to taste some of the many national dishes, Kyrgyz, Uyghur, Dzungan cuisine, we recommend a tasty Laghman or Ashlyafa served with koumiss and shoro beverages.


Discovery Kyrgyzstan #8

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