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BISHKEK

  Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek is a city of around 800,000 inhabitants an attractive and green city with wide avenues, cosmopolitan and pleasant place to stay, set in the foot hills of Ala-Too mountains. In 1825 the Khan of Kokand established a clay fort here called Pishpek. Then following the Russian Revolution, the town was renamed Frunze in 1926, after the Great Russian outstanding statesman and military leader Mikhail Frunze, who helped to keep Tsarist Central Asia in the hands of Bolsheviks. In 1991, obtained independence from Soviet Union the city reverted to its original Kyrgyz form of its old Kazakh name Bishkek. Pishpek or Bishkek is the butter churn for mixing Kymys (national beverage made of fermented mares milk.)

  Most attractions in the city are exSoviet monuments, places to see include the city's main square called Ala Too with monument of Freedom (formerly Lenin Square), the State History Museum and statue of Lenin behind it, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Frunze House Museum - the famous general's place of birth. Open-air sculpture museum, Russian Orthodox Church. A must visit location is Osh Bazaar - an amazing large market offering everything from fresh meat through cigarettes to local crafts and fake western clothes. Remember that there is a usual risk in large busy place of pickpockets, beggars and bag slashers.

Orientation
  Bishkek is a wide, gridded former Soviet city. The great Alatau range is always to the south; Kazakhstan is to the north. The city is easy to navigate, but keep in mind that tourist maps and people tend to regard the beacon of the mountains as "up." Also, when asking directions, confirm "right" and "left" with a motion of your hand because - strangely - they are widely confused.

  Orient yourself with the main boulevards of Chui, Manas, Sovietskaya and Jybek Jolu. They are the most important roads in Bishkek. Not that most street names have been changed following departure of the Soviet Union, and some people still refer to Manas as Belinskaya and Erkindik as Derjinskaya.

  Major landmarks include the central square (Alatau Square), TsUM, Osh bazaar, Philharmonia and "Mossovet" (the intersection of Moscovskaya and Sovietskaya).

Aliases: Pishpek, Frunze, Bischkek, city, capital.

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