Time to Fully Enjoy: 7 minutes

The game plan was to go from Kazakhstan, to Kyrgyzstan, and then into Uzbekistan.

The flight from Almaty was less than $100 USD and took only 1 hour.

But upon trying to land the plane in Kyrgyzstan… we didn't land, so the pilot made a big circle around the airport, and tried to land again… but couldn't… for a total of 3 failed landing attempts.

After the 3rd failed attempt, tensions in the body were rising… would the plane have enough fuel to land in another airport? Were we going to crash and burn in the Kyrgyz mountains?

Luckily, our plane made it back to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the entire flight received free hotel accommodations, dinner, and breakfast.

The next morning, a taxi picked me up, I got on the plane again, and long story short, we landed in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, safely for another adventure.

Where is Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan?

A Little About Kyrgyzstan

I asked my taxi driver, what did most people know and why do they come to Kyrgyzstan, which is an almost unknown country in the middle of Asia.

He said primarily for the mountains. I guess he is right, because the mountains are beautiful, but let's start with the city.

A man walks down a ruinous street in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A rental property for birds in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Most money in poorer countries is derived from corrupt activities. A man washes his car (or his bosses car) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Famous Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatov. He wrote books in the post-war days of the USSR.

A smoke stack tells me that Kyrgyzstan generates most of its energy from coal/fossil fuels.

The main square (Ala-Too) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A local Kyrgyz man wears a traditional Kalpak hat next to a Coca Cola-branded fastfood restaurant.

Aykol Manas overlooks the flag of Kyrgyzstan. A fictitious hero from the ‘Epic of Manas', describing events in the history of Kyrgyzstan, over 1000 years ago.

Aykol Manas, has his sword sheathed, and his right arm in a gesture of welcome (contemporary attempt at neutrality and acceptance, even though he was a warlord).

The flag of Kyrgyzstan

Local men in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A local man in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan wearing a Kalpak, walks in front of a Russian-era building

The Republic of Kyrgyzstan, something something πŸ™‚

Imanaliev Aidarbekov 1884 – 1938 – Kyrgyz public and statesman

A red-furred central asian squirrel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – the brainchild and money of the Communist Manifesto

A soviet-style emblem etched into a building in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz Republic Government building, with a Range Rover? In front. 99% of the population in Kyrgyzstan will never be able to afford such a vehicle.

Vladimir Lenin (real name: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) – the man leader who overthrew the Russian Empire.

An amusement park in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A carving (not sure if it's real or contemporary) of Kyrgyz history in Kyrgyzstan

The mountains of Kyrgyzstan

Like almost every city in the world, Bishkek is experiencing rapid developments, most likely from Chinese investments.

The mountainous backdrop of Kyrgyzstan

The city of Bishkek is modeled under Soviet-style construction. In front is the Government building.

Overlooking the Ala-Too Square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

“Eternal glory to those who died for the power of the Soviets” – A memorial to the Soviet soldiers who died bringing Communism to Kyrgyzstan

Cholponbek Bazarbaev (1949-2002) – A Kyrgyz ballet dancer

The Bishkek Ballet Theatre

Toktogul Satylganov (1864 – 1933) – A poet, singer and musician who was anti-communist revolution. But his content was re-interpreted as a ‘class-struggle', thus promoting communist ideology. His songs are still popular in Kyrgyzstan.

KyrgyzTelecom shopping complex in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Horse statue next to the Beren Gold Jewelry complex in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

New style of architecture in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

New developments funded by external countries in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Monument to Victory for the 40th anniversary to the end of WW2 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

The soldiers and civilians that were involved in WW2. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

The soldiers that dredged through the war. Kyrgyzstan was not close to the front at all, yet most men were automatically conscripted, and and sent to die for their communist government. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A group of Kyrgyz get a photo in front of the War memorial in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Local Kyrgyz women. The country has a secularized version of Islam, which was present before Imperial Russian occupation, and after the fall of the soviet union.

A local Kyrgyz bride and groom, married under a pseudo-communist/Islamic style.

Hotel Dostyk in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Dog in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A mosque under construction in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Residences in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A giant mosque under construction in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Islam is the main religion in Kyrgyzstan.

Makeshift storage in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

In Islamic cultures, weddings are still very prevalent among a much larger population, than in Westernized nations. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

An apartment block in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A monument dedicated to F. A. Dzerzhinsky (1877 – 1926), the founder of the soviet secret police.

Maybe an artist of some sort in Kyrgyzstan

Mukhtar Auezov (1897-1961) – a Kazakh writer, poet, playwright, and scholar

Kojomkul, Baatyr Kaba uluu (1888-1955) – the most well known athlete from Kyrgyzstan – towering at 197cm in real life. Unmatched strength.

The epic story of ‘Manas', from 1000 years ago. Commemorated as a hero in contemporary, post-soviet Kyrgyz culture.

Philharmonic Square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Philharmonic square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

A statue of Manas in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Apartment complexes in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Soviet-era constructions

Kyrgyzstan is in a ruinous state, after the collapse of the soviet union. Funds are not being spent on renovations, but rather new properties. Ultimately, once the country has money again, it will renovate everything, most likely.

Osmonkul Bolebalayev (1888-1967) – soviet-era writer of music and poems.

Post soviet-era Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan apartment complexes

The country is no longer socialist, so not everyone has an opportunity for work in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Entering the outback of Kyrgyzstan

The outback of Kyrgyzstan

The outback of Kyrgyzstan

Wild horses (or maybe free-range) in Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz people grow horses to eat them. Horse meat is a delicacy in Kyrgyzstan.

A power line runs through the outback of Kyrgyzstan

The mountains almost look alien in a way in Kyrgyzstan

The bluish-tinted snow in Kyrgyzstan

The outback of Kyrgyzstan. Probably houses for cattle/horse/sheep breeders.

Free-range horses wander the wilderness in Kazakhstan. They are not wild, as they do follow a breeder.

Free-range horses wander the wilderness in Kazakhstan. They are not wild, as they do follow a breeder.

Free-range horses wander the wilderness in Kazakhstan. They are not wild, as they do follow a breeder.

A horse wrangler and breeder in Kyrgyzstan.

A little photo spot in the middle of Kyrgyzstan

An alien landscape in the hills of Kyrgyzstan

A park for relaxation in Kyrgyzstan

Good ol' Vladamir Lenin still stands in a park somewhere far away. Kyrgyzstan was more distraught about the collapse of the Soviet union, relishing on older times… despite the insane number of deaths brought about by communism.

Standing next to a classical soviet-era car, LADA, while a Kyrgyz woman engages me about having family in Toronto

A Kyrgyz woman in front of a LADA in Kyrgyzstan

Using an HDR filter to highlight myself, and the mountainous backdrop in Kyrgyzstan

The alien mountains of Kyrgyzstan

An Islamic minaret in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan

The lands of Kyrgyzstan are scarcely populated outside of the main city.

An older lady gives us directions on the Burana Minaret deep in Kyrgyzstan.

A rural mosque in Kyrgyzstan

A popular game of Buzkashi in Central Asia. You try to capture the dead sheep or goat, and place it into a goal.

Sheep being herded in Kyrgyzstan

A man gives us directions in Kyrgyzstan

Another man with his horse providing directions in Kyrgyzstan

Cattle walking the roads in the outback of Kyrgyzstan

A cattle/sheep/horse wrangler in Kyrgyzstan.

A large Minaret in the Chuy Valley in Kyrgyzstan. In the 9th century, this was the location of a city on the silk road.

The ancient city of the Burana tower

Farmland in Kyrgyzstan, used to grow livestock and horses.

Conclusion

Congratulations for making it all the way down here πŸ™‚

Kyrgyzstan is nice to visit for a few days. The barrier to entry is low, and you get a taste of a soviet-era country, within central Asia.

3 days maximum is all you need, before heading to your next destination, whether it's to Kazakhstan, or to Uzbekistan or Tajikistan.

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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your travels with us Leonidas! It’s interesting to see the less traveled parts of the world where there isn’t all the flash and glamour but rather a rich history and real struggle.

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