Bishkek Walking Tour

New SRAS students at the London School in Bishkek are introduced to the city and some of its major landmarks on a walking tour shortly after arrival. I took this tour on the afternoon of my first day here at the end of August. It was hot, the streets were busy, and little stands along […]

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Happy New Year from Bishkek!

Жаңы жылыңыздар менен! С Новым годом! Happy New Year! Жаңы жылыңыздар менен! С Новым годом! In Bishkek, Новый год (New Year’s) is not just a holiday but a season, culminating in a celebration that begins on the morning of December 31st and lasts a whole сутки (24 hours). It’s the perfect holiday, as far as […]

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 […]

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 […]

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