Bishkek

With architecture harking back to the Soviet era, Bishkek is a city of wide avenues, vast squares and marble-clad government buildings. The bustling local bazaars and well-curated museums offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life here in Kyrgyzstan and this leafy capital city is the gateway to the mighty Tienshan Mountains, and the perfect starting point to your journey across the country.

Bishkek is bisected by Soviet-style boulevards, irrigation canals and tree-lined streets, punctuated by the lively Osh and Dordoi bazaars, selling local wares. The central Ala-Too Square houses a statue of Mighty Manas, hero of the Kyrgyz people and perfectly showcases the neobrutalist architecture of the Czarist era.  Bishkek is the perfect base to explore the stunning plateaus and mountains of the nearby Ala Archa National Park, and the Burana Tower, a Silk Road-era minaret and all that remains of the ancient city of Balasagun. Equally as spectacular are day trips to the gorges of Alamedid, Belagorka and Shamsi, with their majestic alpine scenery, waterfalls and lakes.

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