SRAS Guide to Living in Bishkek

The following is a quick overview to some of those services and products that students often need in the course of a semester or summer abroad. This covers everything from haircuts to pharmacies and gyms to computer repair. Students should generally expect to need to speak at least some Russian when seeking out these experiences […]

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Ecoland: Health and Specialty Food in Bishkek

In the past I have found health food stores hard to find while traveling off the beaten track…not so in Bishkek. Ecoland is a shop located directly across the road from London School and if you don’t see it, you’ll hear it. Speakers blast feel good music onto the streets from a “cabin in the […]

Souvenir Hunting in Bishkek: A Guide

Wherever you travel, finding souvenirs is likely going to be a part of the journey. Bishkek has many felt and yurt-themed souvenirs that allow you to remember your time in Bishkek fondly. However, Kyrgyzstan, and subsequently Bishkek, aren’t exactly hot tourist spots, so troves where you can find gifts for the whole family are limited. […]

7 Second-Hand Stores in Bishkek

The following guide was created by Enot, an Russian-language online publication about local culture, business, food, shops, events, and people in Bishkek that has been popular with SRAS students studying there. It has been translated to English by SRAS Home and Abroad Scholar Sophia Rehm for the benefit of our students who do not yet […]

OIMO Festival in Bishkek

International ОIМО Festival/Международный фестивал ОЙМО Ala-Too Square, Bishkek/Ала-тоо пл., Бишкек July 25-27 The 9th Annual International OIMO Festival was held this past weekend in Bishkek. The festival is a celebration of regional cultures with national foods, music concerts, film screenings, fashion shows, and most notably a large handicraft fair. Artists, vendors, and presenters hail from […]

Central Asian Bazaars: A Comparative Study

When I stand in bazaars in these foreign lands, I feel myself to be standing inside their beating hearts as well. To me, the bazaar is the face of the country, and nothing like how a bazaar is run, what is sold, what kind of social customs and behavior to provide a better understanding of […]

Magic Carpet Ride of Bureaucracy in Turkmenistan

I like carpets, ones from the near east above all else. A nice little footnote to go with the narrative of my journey studying and traveling in Central Asia, for me at least is the carpets in this part of the world. Central Asia is unrivaled when it comes to the production of carpets and […]

Osh Bazaar in Bishkek

Ош Базары/Ошский Базар/Osh Bazaar No street address; 3 km west of city center on пр. Чуй Most stalls open from sun up to sun down No entrance fee Today I decided that I needed to experience something that I have long wanted to. Today I decided to go to my first real bazaar in Central […]

Buying Eyeglasses in Bishkek

Ossé Optical Shop Address: Toktogula 86 (corner of Toktogula and Sovietskaya) Phone: +996-312-662-763 Today I have become four-eyed. I bought eyeglasses in Bishkek. It was on my list of things to do before heading home to Washington in 48 hours, along with buying a kazan (a cast-iron pot) to make plov, and kalpaks (Kyrgyz felt […]

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