Often referred to as the Switzerland of Asia, Kyrgyzstan is very different from the other countries. It comes with its own share of customs, and surprises, filling the mountainous landscape. Compared with the dry and hot plains of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, this place is quite refreshing. Even though it does not have a long running history, the natural beauty of this place makes up for all the drawbacks. People here are very friendly and helpful, so travelling here is that much easier.
When making a trip out into this wilderness, remember to carry a local guide and the list of five places that you must see, which will make it that much more fun.
The capital city of Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek, a friendly city, which is most welcoming for the tourists. It is the place where most people begin their journey from. With a population of nearly 1million people, the central region has heavy influences of the Soviet. One can see the beautiful Soviet styled architecture on all the buildings around the central region. The city is renowned for being one of the greenest in the world, which is due to all the parks and alleys in it.
The second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, Osh is nearly 3000 years old. There are artefacts discovered by archaeologists which go back to the 5th century BC. In one of the greatest epics around this region, belonging to the Kyrgyz people, called Manas, there is a mention of this vast land. Right in the centre of this region is the Solomon Too, which is the other name for Solomon Mountain. There is a path around the mountain, which makes for an interesting exploration.
A little town in the valley called Talas; it is cut off from the rest of Kyrgyzstan thanks to the large looming mountain ranges. If one wants to get here, they need to take the route through the Tuu Ashuu pass. This land is also called the Land of the Manas, since it is said to be the birth place of the legend. There are various mausoleums in this valley, and all of them are ancient sites filled with historical significance.
A lake that lies in the bottom of drainage has no way of getting out, and so is a one of a kind closed lake. Mountains surround the huge Issyk Kul Lake. This is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, nearly 180 kilometers long and 668 meters deep, making it the fifth deepest lake in the world. It is also referred to as the pearl of the Tien Shan, and there was a time when swimming was banned in this lake, but no more.
The Ala Archa Canyon is a gorge in the middle of nowhere is a state nature reserve park, which offers plenty of opportunities for people to walk around in. There are hikes to the glaciers nearby and for those serious about hiking, the highest peak is around the corner.
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