Photos Kyrgyzstan
Photos Kyrgyzstan

Photos - Kyrgyzstan

The second country of our 2009 Central Asia tour was Kyrgyzstan the poorest country in the region. Our visit was a year before the riots and protests but we found out that people were not happy with the government. We stayed in the capital Bishkek, in a beach resort at lake Issyk Kul and high in the Tien Shan Mountains at Ala Archa. Much in Kyrgyzstan has not changed since the Soviet Union so we could shoot many interesting photos.

The border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is only a few kilometres away from Almaty behind the Tien Shan Mountains; there are no border guards however. The best solution is to take a taxi to the border at Korday, cross the border, and then take a Kyrgyz taxi to the capital Bishkek. During the taxi ride it became clear that Kyrgyzstan is a poor country, especially compared to booming Kazakhstan with its gas and oil money. Bishkek, formerly named Frunze is clearly a former Soviet with all the usual treads. Absolute highlight of Bishkek is the Lenin Museum with many soviet sculptures and a painted ceiling depicting he history of the Soviet Union. Bishkek features many Soviet era monuments architecture and museums, so is well worth a visit. We also stayed for three days in the Ala Archa National park, 40 km south of Bishkek, high in the Tien Shan Mountains. There are some trails with beautiful nature, gorges, streams and steep climbs. Halfway the trail to the Adygene valley is a Soviet mountaineer’s cemetery, were also the victims of an airplane crash are buried. From Ala Archa we moved to a beach resort near Cholpon-Ata on Issyk Kul to chill out for a couple of days. We flew to Tashkent from Manas Airport, used by the US military as an airbase supporting the ground war in Afghanistan. We saw many transport and tanker aircraft coming and going while we were waiting for our flight out.

Bishkek - Kyrgyzstan map

Our route trough Kyrgyzstan, visiting Bishkek, Ala Archa and Lake Issyk Kul

Bishkek - Kyrgyzstan visa

Always get an entry stamp on your visa when entering Kyrgyzstan from Kazakhstan

Bishkek - Kyrgyzstan flag

A giant Kyrgyz flags flies over Ala Too Square

Korday - Kyrgyzstan country sign

Welcome sign at the Kyrgyz Kazakh border crossing in Korday

Bishkek - Bishkek city sign

Bishkek city sign seen while entering the Kyrgyz capital coming from the Kazakh border

Bishkek - Ala Too Square

Ala-Too Square is the central square in Bishkek, built in 1984 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Kyrgyz SSR

Bishkek - Ala Too Square

Ala-Too Square with a giant Kyrgyz flag in the middle seen from the former Lenin Museum

Bishkek - Former Lenin Museum

The national Museum of Kyrgyzstan, once the Lenin museum is a popular place for locals to hang out in the early evening

Bishkek - Former Lenin Museum

The former Lenin Museum is a beautiful example of Soviet architecture that is meant to strike an impression to those who see it

Bishkek - Former Lenin Museum

The former Lenin Museum in Bishkek is surrounded by fountains giving the locals a nice place to cool down during the hot summer time

Bishkek - Former Lenin Museum

Rear of the former Lenin museum, seen from the location of the Lenin statue

Bishkek - Frunze Museum building

The building that houses the Frunze Museum is a fine example of Soviet architecture combined with revolutionary art work

Bishkek - Kyrgyz parliament

Kyrgyz parliament building, built in 1985 in Stalinist modern style, with the Moscow Duma building as a model

Bishkek - Kyrgyz parliament

The Kyrgyz parliament building was built on the former location of the Communist Party's Central Committee headquarter

Bishkek - The Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts was built in 1974 as part of a large project to modernize Bishkek according Soviet architectural principles