Interesting place around the capital of Kyrgyzstan
If you have to stay in Bishkek for more than a day (one day I think is enough to see the attractions of this city) and you have nothing planned, then here are a few tips on how to shorten the wait, for example, to process permits, waiting for the plane, etc. The best option is to get a taxi and get a ride because there are no marshals going to the given places (except for Al Arch, but it is also complicated there).
Ancient tower of Burana
In Bishkek, we got a taxi and were taken a short distance outside the town of Tokmok to the place where the Burana Tower lies. The entrance to the complex is fenced and you have to pay a low entrance fee. On Buran it is possible to ascend a narrow spiral staircase as made for claustrophobics. The tower was built in the 10th or 11th century. It was originally 45 meters high. Numerous earthquakes damaged the tower and its height is now only 25 meters. In the 1970s, the tower underwent reconstruction to prevent it from collapsing. The tower is located on the site of the defunct Carachan town of Balasagun.
Right next to the tower is an old burial ground with tombstones, so-called Bal-bal (Tombstones depicting the deceased, or his enemy, who must then serve him after death). There are also petroglyphs that come from the turn of the century.
After visiting Burana, we were recommended another interesting place called Issyk Ata. It is an old more or less abandoned sanatorium, from which you can go for a short walk to the waterfall. You walk through the whole sanatorium and at the end, in front of the statue of Lenin, you turn left and continue along the footpath around the corral with horses.
Continue through the valley along the river and after about twenty minutes you will reach a large stone, which will be on the left and probably serves as a memorial. Just behind it, turn left and after a while you will be right at the waterfall. Don't be fooled. The waterfall is visible only at the last minute. From the waterfall you can climb to the steep side from where the photo is taken.
On the way back to the sanatorium and reunion with our driver, we learned that not far from here is another interesting waterfall, which is nicer than the one in Issyk Ata and which can be reached directly by car. You can really get to the waterfall by car, it's really nicer and bigger, but you have to have a driver who knows here. We wandered a lot along the way and it took a really long time to find the waterfall.
Although it didn't seem like much all the way through the deserted valley, it was quite lively around the waterfall. The locals go here for picnics, so we can smell the roast shashlik around, see people relaxing on blankets and having lunch, and small children catching fish.
Cottage in Ala Archa
A trip to the Ala Archa valley will probably take you one whole day, but it's definitely worth it. The valley lies about 40 km south of Bishkek. You can get here by ferry or taxi. We chose a taxi that took us directly to the cottage in the photo. Here you just have to pay for the entrance to the park for yourself and the car.
Road over the river
From the cottage you can go through the valley around the river or you can turn left a little behind the cottage and set off on the „hiking trail“ to the hills. We planned to climb Pik Uchitel, so all we had to do was go uphill.
Walk to the waterfall
If you are less fit or have little time, head to the waterfall. The road is marked here and therefore the orientation is very simple.
From the waterfall you can continue to the hut Raceka, which serves as a base camp for climbers who plan to climb the surrounding hills. For the trip to the cottage and back and subsequent return to Bishkek, it is definitely necessary to set aside the whole day. However, the route is beautiful and definitely worth it.
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