Kyrgyzstan or the Kyrgyz Republic – the country in Central Asia. It has borders with Uzbekistan to the west, with Kazakhstan to the north, with China to the east, and with Tajikistan to the south. Kyrgyzstan has no borders with the sea and more than three-quarters of the total area is in the mountains. Almost all the country is located in the limits of the Pamir-Alay and Tyan-Shan mountain ranges. High-mountain relief compensates for the dry climate of the Kyrgyz Republic. There is a massive amount of glaciers in the mountains and numerous rivers take their sources from these high ranges.
Kyrgyzstan is a young country; however, its land has a long history. From ancient times this land was inhabited by the nomad tribes. These tribes considered the hospitality to be a law and lodging, hearth and home were very important for the traveler far from his home. The Kyrgyz people keep their traditions and they are always friendly with tourists, so the number of travelers can sometimes exceed the amount of the local people. Kyrgyzstan is the best place for the traveler who is eager to ride a horse following the declining sun as if the nomad thousands of years ago. For the new tourist, it will be interesting to know that between big Kyrgyz cities there is nine integrated transport system. Besides, there is local air communication and railway connection. All the main directions lead to Bishkek – the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Bishkek – the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic and the biggest city in the country. In addition, this city has the status of the most populated in Kyrgyzstan – there live more than one million people and their number is increasing. The city architecture is close to the modern one; however, in the bedroom community of the city, there are mostly houses of the soviet epoch. It makes the city have its unique plan that is very cozy and with low buildings.
Bishkek is a young city, but it has several architectural monuments among which it is worth mentioning “Blacksmiths Fortress” – the citadel of the antique city, that was supposedly the Sogdian one. In the 20th century, the empty ruins of this fortress were inhabited by blacksmiths. From this time the fortress got its current name. Among the monuments two parks should be visited: the Botanic Garden and National park Ala-Archa, where there grow the trees that prefer the mountainous area.
Osh – “the south capital” of Kyrgyzstan and the second city by its population. The most important monument of the city is the mountain Sulayman-Too – the sacred mountain that is honored from the immemorial times. The proves of this fact are the petroglyphs that are preserved here. There is a mosque on the mountain. It was restored according to the historical sources dated back to the 14th century. Besides, Sulayman-Too is the only monument of UNESCO World Heritage located in Kyrgyzstan.
Karakol – the administrative center of the Issik-Kul region, where the famous lake Issik-Kul and the forth city by its area are located. The name “Karakol” is translated as “The Black Lake”. However, it was twice renamed in the 19th century and had the name Prdzevalsk in honor of the famous Nikolay Mykhaylovich Prdzevalsky, a Russian explorer and geographer who died in Karakol, traveling around Central Asia with a scientific expedition. Despite the fact that Karakol has a fewer population that the capital, it has its own zoopark. Karakol is very interesting for the amateurs of the winter sport as there is a ski mountaineering base near the city.
Issik-Kul or “The Hot Lake” is the most popular sight in Kyrgyzstan. It is the 26th biggest lake in the world and in the 7th deepest ones. There are a lot of legends connecting with this lake: drowned treasure, the relics of the apostle Matfey and lost cities. Maybe, all these legends have their grounding as the ruins of the antique cities in the water of the lake have already been found. The area around this lake is a very vivacious place, favorite among the tourists. On the beach of the lake, it is possible to relax with comfort and there are a lot of available active games and other entertainment.
Except for Issik-Kul, there is the lake Song-Kul in Kyrgyzstan. It is located higher than Issik-Kul, in the mountains of Tyan-Shan. It is not large and has a tectonic origin. Potentially, it can be used for active tourism. Few tourists visit this place. Therefore, the expedition to Song-Kul will be very interesting for those who love wild nature.