Bishkek is the most popular tourist destination in Central Asia. Crime is low, the air and streets are clean, and most importantly, the chances of a violent revolution erupting while you visit are absolutely zero. Thousands arrive each year to see the unique mix of Soviet-Asian culture and architecture. Many are profoundly changed by the experience of living here and never go back home.
The Highest Peaks on Earth
For others, Bishkek serves as a pit stop before embarking on a trek to the Top of the World, the Tian Shan mountain range, which is only a hair shorter than the Himalayas, but far less touristy. Novice climbers stop at the base of the mountains and gaze at them in awe. Seasoned professionals continue upwards, to the top of glorious mountains that rank within the top 20 highest on Earth. These include, Peak Pobeda (Victory), Peak Lenin, Peak Talgar, Peak Uchitel (Teacher), and the ever so uniquely named “19th Soviet Party Conference Peak”. The tallest mountain in Kyrgyzstan, Peak Pobeda, stands at 24,406 feet!
More affordable than Aspen
You need not be wealthy to visit the fairytale mountain utopia that is Bishek. Fully furnished apartments rent for only $20 per day. Try to find a bare bones motel in Colorado’s larger cities for under $100 – you won’t. Food is at least a third cheaper than in the States, and wholly organic. Chances are the shashlik (shish kebob) you buy in the afternoon was made from a goat slaughtered that morning. A full course cafe meal including appetizer and desert ranges from $3-$5. Bishkek Kyrgyzstan is by far the most affordable mountain getaway in the world.
Pick up a shovel !
Many tourists choose not only to indulge themselves in gorgeous natural surroundings of Bishkek, but also to give back, by helping those less fortunate. Hundreds of NGOs operate in Bishkek and readily accept volunteers. No appointments are necessary and you will not be charged money to volunteer, like many scam outfits try to do. Simply go to an NGO office and say you want to help. There is no greater spiritual fulfillment than relaxing one day in the mountains as a vacationer, and the next hammering away as a home builder for Habitat for Humanity. A volunteer-vacation in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan gives you heaps of frequent flier miles and good karma too!