Things to do in & around Cholpon Ata

 

  1. Historical Museum (across the road from Apple hostel)

Entrance ticket: 50 som per person ~ 2 hours. Open:

From 9 am to 5 pm.

  1. Cultural Center Ruh Ordo (directions on geocaching.com, Cholpon Ata)

Entrance ticket: 400 som per person ~2 hours

Within 10 min walking distance from the hostel towards Karakol.

Open: 9 am to 5 pm.

  1. Issyk Kul beach shore (directions on geocaching.com, Cholpon Ata)

Free entrance for unlimited time. Always open.

Within 10 min walking distance from Apple hostel

  1. Petroglyphs (saimaluu tash – directions on geocaching.com, Cholpon Ata) Entrance ticket: 50 som per person ~ 2 hours. Guided tour is extra 50 som (for a group) Always open.

Taxi round trip: 300 som (waiting period at the museum: up to 1 hour)

Within 1-hour walking distance from Apple hostel (30 min by the main road, 30 min up to the mountain) (walk towards Bishkek and turn right after the BP gas station towards the mountains)

  1. Cholpon Ata bazaar (by the Bishkek Petroleum gas station)

Free entrance. Marshrutka: 10 som. Open: 8 am to 6 pm.

Within 30 min walking towards Bishkek from Apple hostel, on your left.

  1. Weekly Yarmarka in Bosteri village. The fair takes place every Saturday & Sunday. Free entrance. Distance from the hostel: 10 km. Marshrutka: 10 som.
  2. Horseback-riding  at hippodrome. 300 som per hour

Taxi round trip: 200 som. Open: after 5 pm.

Within 45 min walking towards Karakol.

  1. Eagle Hunting. A professional demonstration can be organized, ask the receptionist.

6000 som for a group of 3. Duration: ~2 hours. Always open.

  1. Yacht Club (directions on geocaching.com, Cholpon Ata)

Boat ride ticket: 300 som per person for 2 hours

Taxi round trip: 300 som

Within 20 min walking towards Bishkek from the hostel, and 30 min walking towards the beach. Open: 9 am to 6 pm.

  1. Shyrdak making master class in Tamchy (ask reception) distance from the hostel: 36 km

1500 som per group (1-5). Duration: ~2 hours

  1. Visit a famous local artist Orozbai aba, who created 30 kyrgyz traditional instruments and can play on 15 of them – (directions on geocaching.com, Cholpon Ata) distance from the hostel: 40 km. Free entrance.

Marshrutka cost: 50-80 som per person

  1. Grigorevskoe gorge (Take a marshrutka towards Karakol for 30 min, ask the driver to be dropped off at Grigorevskoe ushele, follow the mountainous path up) Free entrance. Distance from the hostel: 33 km. Always open.

Marshrutka cost: 50-70 som

  1. Semenovskoe gorge (Take a marshrutka towards Karakol for 40 min, ask the driver to be dropped off at Semenovskoe ushele, follow the mountainous path up) Free entrance. Distance from the hostel: 40 km. Always open.

Marshrutka cost: 50-80 som

  1. Snow Leopard Rehabilitation Center. There are 5 snow leopards that are being cared at the centre. The centre is located right at the entrance to Ananevo village up in the mountains. Free entrance. Distance from the hostel: 50 km. Marshrutka cost: 50-80 som. Open: after 6 pm.
    * you need permission to get in
  2. Hot springs in Chon Oruktuu (10 min drive from Semenovskoe gorge towards Karakol) Distance from the hostel: 50 km

Entrance ticket: 200 som per person for 2 hours

Taxi for a round trip: 1500 som for a group (1-4)

Open: 8 am to 8 pm.

 

Things to do in/around Bishkek

 

  1. Osh bazaar (Ошский базар)

Info: Osh bazaar is one of the largest bazaars in Bishkek, conveniently located 10 to 15 minutes away from the hostel. Here you can find everything from food to electronics, at low prices. Before you go make sure you leave your valuables at the guesthouse as there are many pickpockets at the bazaar. Also make sure to make a photocopy of your passport (main page and visa page) for identification in case you are approached by the police. The passport copy is enough to show, nothing else is required.

Location: Beishenalieva/Chui; 1.5 km from the hostel

Time Spent: 2-5 hours

Take marshrutka #132 from the western bus station; or walk down Jibek Jolu (across from the bus station) eastward until you reach the rosneft gas station, then take a right and continue until you reach the bazaar.

  1. Holy Resurrection Cathedral (Воскресенский собор)

Info: It was established in 1944 to replace one of the unfinished secretariat buildings. The building was designed by one of the prominent Soviet times architect Veryujskii. Today it is well taken care of and is often visited by catholic Russians.

Location: Jibek Jolu/Togolok Moldo; 2.5 km from the guesthouse.

Contact info:  0312325485; Entrance: Free

Office hours: from 7 am to 8 pm

Time spent: 1 -2 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213, #214 from across the road on Jibek Jolu.

 

  1. State history museum (Исторический музей)

Info: The museum was established on 9th of December 1925. Today it has about 90 thousand museum objects. The pride of the museum is its archeological and ethnographic collections, materials that provide the information on state construction, development and achievements in economy, science and culture of the Soviet and sovereign Kyrgyzstan. It also has the materials about the prominent people of Kyrgyzstan.

Location: Kievskaya/Razzakov; 3.9 km from the guesthouse

Contact info: 0312626097; Entrance: 30 som (adult); 10 som (kid)

Office hours: from 10 am to 5 pm (Mondays – closed)

Time spent: 1-2 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 on Jibek Jolu towards Fuchika and get off on Moskovskaya/Razzakova. Then walk down two blocks to get to Kievskaya.

 

  1. State museum of fine arts (Музей Михаила Фрунзе)

Info: Established in 1925 it is the first and only museum dedicated to life of Mikhail Frunze, one of the most famous Russian military. On the 1st of January 2001 there were about 6583 collections which include the personal clothes, dishes and library sent by the relatives of Mikhail Frunze. The whole atmosphere in the museum displays the life of Russians in Kyrgyzstan in 19th and 20th centuries.

Location: Logvinenko/Bokonbaevo; 4.5 km from the guesthouse

Contact info: 0312660607; Entrance: 25 som (adult); 15 som (kids)

Office hours: from 9:30 to 5:30 pm (Mondays – closed)

Time spent: 1- 2 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 on Jibek Jolu towards Fuchika and get off on Moskovskaya/Logvinenko. Walk up one block to get to Bokonbaevo.

 

*Cost of transportation:

By marshrutka: 10 som per person; by bus: 8 som per person

By taxi: 40 som initially + 12 som for every km per taxi (call 154/send sms to 1236)

 

  1. Kyrgyz national museum of fine arts named after Aitiev (Кыргызский национальный музей изобразительных искусств имени Айтиева)

Info: It was established on the 1st of January in 1935. Its first collections include 72 works from the Tretiakov gallery created by Russian artists which were personally picked by the founder of museum – Chuikov. Today there are about 18 thousand collections that showcase all stages of development of professional visual arts.

Location: Abdrahmanova/Abdymomunova; 4.2 km from the guesthouse

Contact info: 0312661544; Entrance: 30 som (adult); 10 som (kid)

Office hours: from 10 am to 6 pm (Modays –closed)

Time spent: 1-2 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 from across the road on Jibek Jolu and get off on Jibek Jolu/Abdrahmanova (also known as Sovetskaya) Walk up one block to Abdrahmanova.

 

  1. Ala Too Square (Площадь Ала Тоо)

Info: The square was built in 1984 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Kyrgyz SSR. In 2003 Erkindik statue (the statue of freedom) replaced the statue of Lenin that was here before. Here you can observe the guards changing; ride bikes; take pictures. It serves as a platform for celebrating national holidays/events.

Location: Kievskaya/Razzakova; 3,9 km from the guesthouse

Time spent: 2-3 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 on Jibek Jolu towards Fuchika and get off on Moskovskaya/Razzakova. Walk down two blocks to Kievskaya.

 

*Cost of transportation:

By marshrutka: 10 som per person; by bus: 8 som per person

By taxi: 40 som initially + 12 som for every km per taxi (call 154 or send sms to 1236)

 

  1. Central Mosque (Центральная Мечеть)

Info: This mosque has been built in 1995 with the financial support of a Kyrgyz entrepreneur, Arabic sheikh and an Islamic fund. The mosque has 3 halls, the main of which can fit up to 600 people. On Fridays the territory of the mosque can fit up to 5-6 thousand people.

Location: Moskovskaya/Gogolya; 5.9 km from the guesthouse

Contact: 0312486536

Office hours: Open 24 hours

Time spent: 1-2 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 on Jibek Jolu towards Fuchika

 

  1. Aaly Tokombaev house museum (Доммузей Аалы Токомбаева)

Info: The Aaly Tokombaev museum has a collection of well presented displays on the life and times of this Kyrgyz literary icon. Relatives of the author maintain the building and are often on hand to answer any questions. All displays are in Russian/Kyrgyz – no English.

Location: Chuikova 109; 3.4 km from the guesthouse

Contact info: 0312300357

Office hours: from 10 am to 5 pm (Mondays – closed)

Time spent: 1-2 hours

Take marshrutka #114, and get off on Moskovskaya/Umetalieva. Walk up to Bokonbaevo/Umetalieva and turn left to Chuikova.

*Cost of transportation:

By marshrutka: 10 som per person; by bus: 8 som per person

By taxi: 40 som initially + 12 som for every km per taxi (call 154 or send sms to 1236)

 

  1. Toktogul literary museum (Литературный музей имени Токтогула)

Info: The museum was established on the 5th of October 1989 for the 125th anniversary of Toktogul Satylganov,  a famous Kyrgyz akyn, composer and komuz player. There are about 5000 collections of his at this museum. All over Kyrgyzstan there are 10 branches of this museum.

Location: Toktogula/Orozbekova; 4,6 km from the guesthouse

Contact info: 0312623830; Entrance: 15 som (adult)

Office hours: from 9 am to 5 pm (Sat, Sun – off)

Time spent: 1- 2 hours

Take marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 on Jibek Jolu towards Fuchika and get off on Moskovskaya/Orozbekova. Walk down one block to Toktogula.

 

  1. Zoological Museum (Зоологический музей)

Info: Zoological museum was established on 30th of May 1926. It has expositions of animals, plants, coins, minerals etc. About 3000 people visit the museum annually. Since 2014 there are many art exhibitions as well master classes held for children.

Location: Chui 265 (Chui/Umetalieva); 2 km from the guesthouse

Contact info: 0312641980   www.zm.kg; Entrance: 30 som (adult); 10 som (kids)

Office hours: from 9 am to 5 pm; from 9 am to 3 pm (Saturday); (Mondays – closed)

Time spent: 1-2 hours

Take marshrutka #132 at the west bus station and get off on Chui/Umetalieva. Walk back a little bit it should be on the left side if you are standing with your back to Osh bazaar.

 

  1. Dordoi Bazaar (Дордой базаар)

Info: It is a large wholesale and retail market in BishkekKyrgyzstan. It is one of Asia’s greatest public market places, comparable to Bangkok‘s Chatuchak weekend market orTehran’s Grand Bazaar. It’s been described by a Western journalist as “a modern monument to the power of raw commerce”

Location: Out of town ; 10 km from the guesthouse

Time spent: 3-4 hours

Take marshrutka # …   from the west bus station to get there. On the way take the marshrutka #252 to get to GOIN (Jibek Jolu/Sovetskaya), and catch another marshrutka #113,#114,#213,#214 to get to the west bus station.

 

  1. Ala Archa National Park (Национальный Парк Ала Арча)

Info: It  is an alpine national park in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan, established in 1976, located approximately 40 km south of the capital city of Bishkek. The park, which includes the gorge of the Ala-Archa River and the mountains surrounding it, is a popular destination point for weekend picnicershikers, horse trekkers, skiers as well asmountain climbers looking for challenging ice, rock and mixed routes. The park is open year round, although the most popular season is late summer and early fall. Every May 1, the Alpinada festival sees hundreds of people camp out in the valley and climb Mount Komsomolets.

Location: Out of town; 40 km from the guesthouse

Entrance: 450 som per car

Time spent: 5-6 hours (by taxi) 7-8 hours (by marshrutka)

Take marshrutka #265 from Toktogul/Beishenalieva to Kashka Suu. From there walk for about an hour or hitchhike to the gates of the park. Then walk 12 km to the alplager.

*You can get a taxi at the reception.

One way is 1000 som + 450 som park entrance fee

Round trip is 2000 som + 450 som park entrance fee (taxi waiting period is 4-5 hours)

 

  1. Raritet Bookstore + Museum (Книжный магазин Раритет + Музей)

Info: At Raritet you can find English literature for sale/postcards/maps. In addition to the bookstore, there is a museum inside which has expositions of all the people that live in Kyrgyzstan. It is unique for its diversity.

Location: Pushkina 78 (Chui/Razzakova); 1 km from the guesthouse

Office hours: from 9 am to 6pm (Mon to Fri);from 10 am 6 pm(Sat);from 10am to 5 pm (Sun)

Contact info: 0312663302; 0312664524 Entrance: Free

Time spent: 1-2 hours

Take marshrutka #132 and get off on Chui/Razzakova.

 

  1. Panfilov park (Панфилов парк)

Info: It is a small recreation park where it is nice to walk around, ride some roller coasters, eat ice cream and just enjoy the atmosphere. You can ride a devil’s eye here to get an eagle view of the town.

Location: Frunze/Panfilova; 3,3 km from the guesthouse

Time spent: 2-3 hours; Entrance: Free

Take marshrutka # 113, #114, ,#213,#214 from across the road on Jibek Jolu and get off on Jibek Jolu/Panfilova and then walk up the block to Frunze.

 

Check out ApplehostelKG on twitter for the update on the latest events/concerts in town!

Cholpon Ata

Cholpon Ata, which stands for “Father Star”, was named after the famous astrologist who happened to live here many years ago. You will also see a memorial right after you enter the city across from the old airport; the memorial was funded by one of the mafia guys who died 5-6 years ago and was dedicated to that same atrologist. It is named as “Cholpon Ata Oluya” and was built on the 21st of August in 2000. The site is free to enter.

Cholpon Ata is a resort town on the northern shore of Issyk Kul lake. It is not only a good place to go to a beach and get some tan but also to visit Petroglyphs, an open-air site that hosts 2-3000 stones dating from 800 BC to 1200AD. Thre is an entrance fee of 50 som per person. There is also a historical museum in the center of town (with the entrance ticket of 50 som per person) and a tranquility park – Ruh Ordo (with the entrance ticket of 350 som per person), built by one of the local self-made millionaires, who grew up in an orphanage and as a result, named himself as “needless”

Here, you can also find a hippodrome that features one of the best racing horses across the country most of whom were brought in from Europe. There is a stable of local horses, some of which you can ride for 200-300 som per hour.

The city gets crowded in summer, nevertheless, it is definitely worth a visit. A good stopover for a night or two.

There are two bus stations in this city; one is for Bishkek-Cholpon Ata taxi and minibuses; and the other one is for Cholpon Ata – Karakol taxi and minibuses.

 

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Bishkek

Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan, the center of fashion, politics and a»better» life for locals. There is a steady internal migration from rural areas to Bishkek during the past decade. However, since May 2015, Kyrgyzstan has become a part of the Customs Union. The good side of it is that it stimulates domestic production. As a result, some people are moving back to villages to work on agricultural projects. You can read about it more @https://www.opendemocracy.net/anna-yalovkina/as-kyrgyzstan-joins-customs-union-business-finds-itself-in-standby-mode

For tourists, Bishkek is a small town quite developed and influenced by the international public that we have here (French, German, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Turkish among others). Yet it still has some remnants of the Soviet Union (a statue of Lenin in the city center close to Panfilov park and several other statues dedicated to the Soviet army soldiers)  It is quite small considering that it takes only 40 minutes by a mini-bus to move from one side of town to another. Transportation is well developed and could take you anywhere in town for just a little over 10 cents. The main attractions include Osh bazaar, White House, Ala Too square, Cum (the first shopping mall), a Russian orthodox church and a Central mosque, Panfilov and Victory Parks all of which are located within a walking distance to each other.

As for a traveller, Bishkek is a great place to stop in Central Asia. There are plenty of coffee shops and cafes with free wifi and a good speed. The atmosphere is quite relaxing, people are friendly, it is easy to move around and everything is pretty cheap ($3 for a meal on average; a bottle of beer is less than $1) In Bishkek you can sort out most of your visas (to India, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, with the hardest ones to get to China and Russia); get some work done (not crowded with tourists yet) and just enjoy life including its night clubs and entertainment centers.

Here is an article from Jonny, a travel blogger from Don’t Stop Living, about why he has spent more than a month in Bishkek @http://dontstopliving.net/why-im-spending-at-least-a-month-in-bishkek-magnetic-kyrgyzstan/