victory park

we chanced on victory park
because it was just across our
air bnb in aaly tokombaev street.
since we reached while it was still light
we decided to walk around and what a find

victory park had lots of flowers and memorials
but since it was written in kyrgyz or russian language
its was difficult for us to understand but we didn’t need to
know the script to know we had arrived at a beautiful place.

the centerpiece is apparently dedicated to the blockade of Leningrad
but i loved how young people were playing cards at the bottom of it.

there are a few interesting statues
and well manicured garden with roses

i especially liked how the place transforms
to a local hangout as the sun sets and dusk settles

we too ate some horse meat wrap
and became part of evening encounters


osh bazar

last afternoon in bishkek we headed to osh bazar
because we needed to buy souvenirs before leaving
and as soon as we saw this kyrgyz bread
i knew we had arrived because whenever
i would google ‘osh bazar’ images of this bread
flood my screen but as we moved around we found
horse sausages and some really good cheap dried fruits too

the souvenir stalls were interesting
they seem to use a lot of coarse wool
which feels itchy just by looking at it..

the dresses had lots of ruffles and frills
apparently to be worn during special occasions

for the men, you have the kalpak
which is a traditional kyrgyz hat and
men wear as a sign of their masculinity

of course there are other random things one can buy
from old Russian military uniforms to floppy beach hats

i wish i had more time to explore osh bazar
but what i saw and experienced was far from
what people had been saying about tourists being
randomly asked for IDs and cops demanding money etc.
(so if you are in bishkek, do not leave without visiting osh bazar:)


ala too square

located in the heart of bishkek city
ala too square is the one place you need to know
if you need to meet up with friends and have no phone nor wifi
just agree to meet in front of manas statue at ala-too…alatoo5apparently, there used to be a lenin statute
which has since been removed and replaced
by the mighty manas – hero of the Kyrgyz people

nearby is the Kyrgyz flagpole where
soldiers change guard during evenings

there are a few fancy atractions
like the kids double decker bus,
a horse chariot and a toy train


it seems to be a popular hangout for city kids
riding their bikes, roller skating and having a blast

opposite the manas statute were these
colourful dancing fountains that
visitors from out of capital city
seemed to enjoy and relish

as a visitor in the city i liked this square a lot
there was a sense of freedom and openness
for new beginnings under the kyrgyz sky.

ala archa national park

if you want to hike the central asian mountains and
you only have one day -ala archa hike is your destination.

the landscape is beautiful and the mountain range is breathtaking…

the park’s altitude ranges from 1500 to 4895 metres.

one can opt for higher altitude glacier walk
or the river trail (which the locals usually take)
and our group opted for the ak-sai waterfall trail.

the waterfall was located at an altitude of 2860 metres
while it was rather steep at some points, it was very refreshing

though we had a huge team and not everyone could make it to the waterfall
we all got to experience the sunny, beautiful walk in tian shan mountain range

when we got to our base
we chanced on this natural pool
the water was obviously from the glacier
crystal clear, cold and quite inviting actually…
as we made way back to our bus
i saw this abandoned house and thought
what stories it would have gathered in its lifetime