Blogs from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Asia


Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek August 23rd 2017

Our driver was 10 minutes early, which was a pleasant surprise as usually our drivers are 10 minutes late. He was a young guy, as well groomed as his car, which we figured by the tortuously slow speed we headed off down the gravel roads, was his pride and joy. We tried to relax and enjoy the scenery but with quite a bit of travelling to do to get to Bishkek we kinda wanted him to put his foot down a bit. Also his windows didn't work so we had to stop and delay the journey further if we wanted to take photos. We passed through beautiful mountains and valleys but only stopped to photograph a huge herd of yak in a valley. When we came off the mountains we hit the perfect seal of the ... read more

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek September 24th 2016

Kyrgyzstan is not dissimilar in many ways to Kazakhstan, but it is clear to see which country has the oil revenues. In turn, Bishkek, its capital was quite similar in many ways to Almaty, with its wide, tree-lined streets, but it has not been quite as successful at disposing of much of the old Soviet architecture. But that in many ways made it a slightly more relaxing stop, and certainly it would appear that Kyrgyzstan will be by far the easiest of the Stans for western tourists in terms of entry requirements. The drive from Almaty to Bishkek took around 4 hours and took us through a range of landscapes, from rugged barren mountainscapes to quite productive farmland, with cotton the predominant crop. All the cotton is picked by hand, as apparently hand-picked cotton generates double ... read more
Falcon and Falconer - can you tell which is which
Burana Tower
Summer resort villas on Lake Issyk-kul

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek September 8th 2016

7-8-16This morning we left our hotel in Almaty to travel towards the peaks of the Tian Shan Mountains, a vast mountain range, nearly 2,500 km long that creates a natural border between China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. We crossed the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border at Black River into Kyrgyzstan following the Chu River before oddly traveling back into Kazakhstan for about a hundred metres before the turnoff that led us into the valley of Chon Kemin where we stayed at the traditional Ashu Guesthouse. The mountain range lies astride the Silk Road and although the least visited mountain ranges in the world they have played host to travellers including Marco Polo. We all went on a pre dinner walk around the small town, lots of children were out playing while women were milking the cows and men returning on ... read more
Buzkashi - nomadic polo, played at the international nomadic games
Rafting on the Chuy river
Our travel companions

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek August 17th 2016

21.08.16 Bishkek Nachtflug mit Aerofllot über Moskau nach Bishkek. Wir landen am Nachmittag und werden von unserer Reiseleiterin, Fr. Kenzhe zum Hotel begleitet. Das Hotel ist neu im russisch - pompösen Stil errichtet. Keine Wünsche bleiben offen. Zum Entspannen nach dem langen Flug können wir Schwimmen im hoteleigenen Hallenbad und die finnische Sauna besuchen. Unsere kirgisische Reiseleiterin bereitet uns einen herzlichen Empfang und führt uns in ein nettes Lokal zu Abendessen. Wir werden verwöhnt. A 22.08.16 Bishkek Köstliches Frühstück auf der Hotelterrasse. Wir beginnen unser Programm mit einem Spaziergang durch eine moderne, lebhafte Stadt mit vielen Cafés, Restaurants und dichtem Straßenverkehr. Besuch des Ala Too Platzes und des Eichenparks. Auf dem großen Platz vor dem Präsidentenpalast probt das Militär für die Parade zum 25. Una... read more

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek August 9th 2016

One new capital on my list, one new country to discover....and one more river has I'm finally lucky enough to go back rafting. Welcome to Kyrgyzstan. The country has the biggest temperature span in the world....warm summer where it can rise to above 40 and cold cold winter hitting the minus 35 degrees! I'm staying in a pretty amazing hotel on the outskirts of the capital, the Futuro. Normally, we would say location is the key to a great hotel. Well, here, they don't have the right location, it's in the middle of they throw in so much more to make up for it. For 40usd per night, I had a modern room, something looking like and Ibis or Novotel room. They throw in a super nice breakfast and obviously wifi. But it doesn't stop ... read more
You see this everywhere around...where are they's a question of balance between religion, culture...and put it simply, freedom and women rights...
Chu River
Main Square Bishkek

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek July 30th 2016

“Je kunt nog zulke wilde plannen hebben, het kan altijd extremer…..” In Bishkek kom je een compleet ander slag reizigers tegen dan ik in andere plekken ben tegengekomen. Vakanties van een maand of (veel) langer zijn hier min of meer de norm en een aantal reisverhalen zijn dan ook tamelijk krankzinnig. De reizigers die je hier tegenkomt komen voornamelijk Europa, Asië of Israël en ik heb aan een aantal uren zittend en pratend doorgebracht. De meesten verblijven meer dan een maand in Centraal Azië en ik heb de verhalen rustig aangehoord om zelf wegwijs te worden in de regio. In het vliegtuig kwam ik al een drietal Israëlieten tegen die hun dienstplicht in het leger er op hadden zitten en nu een kleine wereldreis aan het maken zijn door centraal Azië. Er is een Frans stel ... read more
Het Parade Paardje
Het Witte Huis
Lenin Staatsmuseum

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek July 23rd 2016

Geo: 42.87, 74.5879PERISCOPE UP!Time check: 1634 Local: GMT +5 Saturday 23rd July.Location: Bishkek: Kyrgyzstan First internet of any description since Wednesday and my suitcase looks like a tramps carrier bag in the Hyde Park Underpass..........Combinaton blog here I am afraid but notes were made as we went along.........Wednesday 20th July Time Check: 1759 Location: Chikkan - We have just arrived at an excellent guest house located in dense forest adjacent to a fast flowing river and nestled between two high mountains. We could easily be in Slovenia or some other Eastern European destination such as The Czech Republic. I am writing to you from a spartan but well appointed little room which is lit by 110v electricity. In the background there is there is the constant roar of the rapids only 50 feet from out front ... read more
Getting warm on the "dung" heater in our Yurt
Ready for cold night...
Wash facilities!

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek April 1st 2016

Day 68 Saturday 26th March 2016 – Bishkek to Naryn Off today for another side trip so back to the bus terminal, the first bus was just about full so this driver rang the next one in line who took us over to his van. Maybe my reputation has preceded me and I hardly have to ask for the front seat. One small problem the bus was due to leave in 2 hours so it was a bit of a wait but the bus quickly filled up obviously the locals like to get there early for the better seats. I made friends with a little dog who I shared my biscuits with and gave cuddles. I also had a long time to look at the interactions around the terminal, all the drivers seemed to ... read more
Tash Rabat
Tash Rabat
Tash Rabat

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek March 25th 2016

Day 62 Sunday 20th March 2016 – Bishkek to Karakol Yes we are finally seeing more of Kyrgyzstan so off to the Western Bus Terminal which Lonely Planet describes as “hold your breath – this is thoroughly confusing even for locals”, so we were really looking forward to this adventure. As we arrived at the terminal shared taxi drivers were opening the door of our taxi trying to get us to go with them, our taxi driver actually told them to go away and locked the doors till we paid him and got our bags ready to jump out. Soon as we got out we took off into the bus compound so we left them all behind and then a new set of issues started. Locating the correct mini bus was easy enough and ... read more

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Bishkek March 19th 2016

Day 55 Sunday 13th March 2016 – Tehran to Bishkek Airport day so you know the drill – breakfast, packing and then taxi. Today is The Martyrdom of Fatimaa National holiday in Iran so although the streets were quiet this morning by the time we were driving to the airport the people were everywhere sitting on chairs in the middle of the road outside Mosques and large noisy processions. All this made a slow trip to the airport, when we arrived we exchanged the last of our Rials to US dollars for the next leg of our journey and then checked our bags in. The lines to get through security were quite long and were not even moving at a snail’s pace, we were standing there being totally bored when the woman behind us ... read more

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