Ata-Beyit Memorial Complex in Chong-Tash

Ata-Beyit/Ата-бейит Day Trip from Bishkek Ата-бейит (Ata-Beyit, Kyrgyz for “Grave of Our Fathers”) is a memorial complex located in Chong-Tash, a village and skiing destination in the Chui Province about 15 miles south of Bishkek. The site honors two dark episodes in Kyrgyzstan’s history: mass murders that occurred in 1938 at the hands of the […]

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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 […]

Ala Archa National Park in Kyrgyzstan

Ala Archa National Park/Ала Арча мамлекеттик жаратылыш паркы Entrance fee 80 som/person (about $1.75) As you walk around Bishkek, it’s hard not to notice the snow-capped Tien Shan mountains that dominate the southern skyline. They’re especially well framed by the buildings that line Ala-Too square, and the sight of snow in 100-degree heat can be […]

Sun City in Bishkek

Sun City 2 Chuy Ave/просп. Чуй 2 Day Pass 650 som ($13) www.sun-city.kg Don’t get me wrong: I love summer. But the mercury’s been hovering around 95 degrees in Bishkek the past two weeks, and everyone’s desperate for a way to beat the heat. Luckily, Bishkek has its fair share of pools. Some can best […]

Gulzada Performance at Ala-Too Amphitheater in Bishkek

Гулзада: «Арт-шоу Толгонуу»/Gulzada “Art Show Tolgonuu” Ала-Тоо Борбору/Ala-Too Center ул. Абсамата Масалиева/Absamat Masaliyev St tickets 500-1800 som ($10-36) http://www.gulzada.kg https://www.facebook.com/gulzada.song Walking around Bishkek in the summertime, you get the sense that it’s a youthful city. School children run down the streets laughing while young families push strollers through parks and promenades. Don’t get me wrong, […]

Swan Lake in Bishkek

Международный фестиваль Балета/The International Festival Ballet Академический Театр Оперы и Балета/Opera and Ballet Theater Абдрахманов (Совиетская) ул/Abdrahmanov (Sovietskaya) St. Tickets: 500-1000 som/$10-20 When a friend suggested spending an evening at the ballet, I leapt at the opportunity. While ballet may not necessarily spring to mind when thinking about Kyrgyz culture, I thought it would be […]

Kok-Tobe, Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kok-Tobe (Көк-Төбе) Almaty, Kazakhstan My time spent in Kazakhstan was brief, only two or three days, but in those brief moments I spent in Almaty, I lived true. In that time I had dinner and went shot for shot with politically eccentric dissidents, whose views were united only in their hatred for President Nazarbayev, saw […]

Kyrgyz National Museum of Visual Art

Kyrgyz National Museum of Visual Art/Кыргызский Национальний Музей Изобразительных Искусств 196 Советская ул. Hours: 10-17:00, Fridays 10-16, Closed on Mondays Tickets: Regular 130 som, Student 20 som The Kyrgyz Art Museum on Sovietskaya, just across from the opera house, is a two-story building full of traditional Kyrgyz arts, contemporary art styles, and traveling exhibits. Today […]

The Do’s and Please Dont’s of Turkmenistan

Let’s face it everyone, Turkmenistan has a reputation that precedes it. The country has often been associated with the trope of the eccentric “hermit kingdom.” Characteristics such as extreme cults of personality surrounding their leaders, isolationism, strict control of all information within the country by the government, downright bizarre laws and a high functioning propaganda […]

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