Bishkek Street Food: Corn on the Cob

Горячая кукуруза / Hot Corn Address: Throughout Bishkek Price: 50 som (about $0.75) for one large cob, but varies with seller and market. During the summer months one can find plenty of things to buy on street corners: drinks, snacks, newspapers and the list can go on and on.  One of the more unexpected buys that […]

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Global Village Festival in Bishkek

AIESEC “Global Village” Cultural Festival Bishkek Park Shopping Center Free Globalvillage.aiesec.kg and on Facebook The Global Village festival is put on every year by the exchange program AIESEC based at the American University of Central Asia. Local students on this program are very welcoming and interested in sharing their stories and learning from international students. […]

Eco-Cup Environmental Movie Festival

ЭкоЧашка / Eco-Cup Дом Кино, ул. Логвиненко 13 FRMI.kg and on Facebook Finding out about events in general in Bishkek has been a bit of a challenge and then finding them physically has always been the second one for me. Make sure to check out the SRAS Bishkek guide for suggestions on sources of events […]

National Library of Kyrgyzstan

The National Library of Kyrgyzstan/Национальная библиотека Кыргызской Республики Address: 208 Советская near the National Art Museum Hours: 9-5 every day, closed on the last Friday of the month Price: Day Pass is 5 som, Year-long pass with proper documentation is 30 som. NationalLibraryofKyrgyzstan.org NLKR.gov.kg On the walking tour of Bishkek, the group is taken towards […]

Kyrgyz Horse Games – a Day Trip from Bishkek

National Kyrgyz Horse Games / Националные конно-спортивные игры Address: Ипподром near Cholpon-Ata on Issyk-Kul Free This year elections for the Issyk-Kul region were coming. This does not affect life much as a temporary student in Kyrgyzstan except that it means that the Бир Бол political party set up the Horse Games with free entrance for anyone! […]

Making Lagman in Bishkek

One of the cultural classes we have done with SRAS is a cooking class. In the cooking class we were taught how to make Lagman, one of the main dishes of the shepherding cultures of Central Asia. It is a good, filling, and simple dish perfect for life in the mountains or for a lunch […]

The Vegetarian’s Guide to Bishkek

Being a vegetarian in Bishkek was not nearly as challenging as I had expected it to be. This incomplete guide covers some of the places and dishes I discovered during my nine months in Kyrgyzstan’s capital that made vegetarianism there even easier, and more delicious. I’m not a vegan (I eat diary and eggs), but […]

Supara Ethno-Complex, Bishkek

Supara Ethno-Complex/Супара Этно-Комплекс Supara.kg 1a Karagul Akmata Str., Kok-Jar village Meals from 340 som Супара Этно-Комплекс (Supara Ethno-Complex) on the scenic outskirts of Bishkek, was developed over the past several years by Tabyldy Egemberdiev, president of the enormously popular Шоро (Shoro) Company, which produces traditional Kyrgyz drinks, among other things. Egemberdiev’s wife, Janyl, was a […]

Chong-Kemin Valley, Kyrgyzstan

Mist, Mud, and Mountains in Beautiful Chong-Kemin Weekend Trip ~1000 som Chong-Kemin Valley is home to villages, a national park, and a state reserve just two and a half hours from Bishkek by marshrutka. I visited a village in the valley with two friends in March, travelling through CBT (Community Based Tourism). With more time […]

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 […]

Eight Places to Find Bishkek’s Best Shashlik, According to Locals

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 […]

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 […]

Adriano Coffee in Bishkek

Adriano Coffee AdrianoCoffee.kg 87 Isanova Street/Исанова 87 Open 24 Hours Tea and Coffee for $1.50-$2.50 Meals for $2-$6 Bishkek is full of comfortable, wifi-equipped coffee shops, where you can spend hours with your work and a pot of tea without getting any dirty looks. Cafés are particularly pleasant this time of year, when most are decorated […]

Meros Silk Paper Factory in Samarkand

Meros Silk Paper Factory/Бумажная Фабрика «Мерос» Koni Ghil/Кони Гил Tour cost: 3000 sum/$1.25 The Meros Silk Paper Factory was one of the last stops on this November’s trip from Bishkek to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, organized by SRAS and The London School of Bishkek as part of the Central Asian Studies study abroad program. Just outside Samarkand, […]

Central Asian Plov Center in Tashkent

Central Asian Plov Center/Среднеазиатский Центр Плова 1 Iftihor St./ул. Ифтихор, д. 1 Hours: 10:00-14:00 Entrées from 5000 sum ($2) Though I have tried плов (plov, or pilaf) in only one restaurant in Uzbekistan’s capital, I feel confident recommending Central Asian Plov Center as a worthwhile destination in Tashkent for both the food quality and the […]

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 […]

Lake Song-Kol in Naryn Province

Lake Song-Kol/Сонкёль Weekend Trip from Bishkek Horse Treking Budget: 11,300 soms Lake Song-Kol (Russian Сонкёль, Kyrgyz Соңкөл), the largest fresh water lake in Kyrgyzstan, lies at 9,895 ft in the peaks of mountains in Naryn Province. It’s one of the most magical places I have ever visited. I loved it more than the larger, more […]

Buddha Bar in Bishkek

Buddha Bar Ahunbaeva Street 97A/ул. Ахунбаева 97А Entrées from 150 som ($3) In Bishkek, there are many bars and restaurants close to Ala-Too Square and along Chui Prospect. Their signs, menus and patios all beckon, promising a variety of different scenes and cuisines: national food, burger joints, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, even barbeque. If you venture […]

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 […]

Manty Bar in Bishkek

Manty Bar/Манты Бар 108B Sholokova St./ул. Шолокова 108В Entrées from 140 som ($2.75) Potatoes are my favorite food; wrap them up in a dumpling, and I’m in heaven. Throughout my travels, I’m always keen to sample local dumpling varieties and especially happy when they include potatoes in the filling. Perhaps you can guess the first […]

Chaikhana Jalal Abad in Bishkek

Chaikhana Jalal Abad/Чайхана Жалал-абад 30 Togolok Moldo/Тоголок Молдо 30 (corner of Kievskaya/Киевская) Entrées from 130 som ($2.50) Ramadan began on June 28, but the only change in Bishkek that I can discern is that some of my favorite restaurants are closed or have restricted hours for the month. This includes Faiza, not only one of […]

Blonder Pub in Bishkek

Blonder Pub Ул. Ибраимова 24/24 Ibraimova St. Appetizers from 100 som ($2), Entrees from 300 som ($6) www.blonderpub.kg I’ve learned the Russian word for sweet tooth (сладкоежка), and it seems appropriate here in Kyrgyzstan. Streets are lined with food stalls selling ice cream out in front, local honey varietals abound, and there are numerous supermarket […]

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 […]

Bistro Coffee and Pizza in Bishkek

Bistro Coffee and Pizza 115 Ibraimov St./ул.Ибраимова 115 Pizzas from 245 som ($4.70), other entrées from 200 som ($3.84) Bistro Coffee and Pizza recreates a European-style café in the heart of Bishkek with charming décor, sidewalk seating, and fresh Italian favorites. While it might not be the traditional experience you came to Kyrgyzstan looking for, […]

16 Ways Studying Abroad is Just Like Harry Potter

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that, technically, Harry Potter was also studying abroad? Here are 16 ways that Harry’s adventures are likely to be just like yours.   1. When you first decide you’re going abroad, you’re in a state of shock- you can hardly believe it’s real! 2. Getting on […]

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 […]

7 Ways Study Abroad is a Second Childhood

After settling in with a host family in Ukraine, I’ve looked back on my notes from my first couple of weeks abroad and come to a realization – in a lot of ways, Abroad-Olivia is a child, just a little bit bigger. I’ve compiled these notes to make a list of seven reasons why living […]

Bar Hollywood in Bishkek

Bar Hollywood Советская пр. (Just south of the London school, next door) opening and closing ours are fluid like most places in Bishkek Beers are usually between 60-100 som Everyone has their “joint,” and I make it my business to find myself a local watering hole in whatever part of the world I end up […]

My Own Silk Road

Well, my time has expired in this part of the world, and with a bittersweet goodbye I part ways with Kyrgyzstan, her land and her people. Such things have happened in the time that I have been here since January with the Central Asian Studies program, and I can’t in good conscience say that I […]

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