Kyrgyzstan - Do they know its christmas time?


I came here in December for only visiting the capital, as this country doesn't have too many sights for having the ability to compete with a surrounding country like Uzbekistan, especially not in winter. It might be not most stunning place on earth, but it's always a surprising experience to see a Soviet (or former Soviet) country. However, two days were absolutely enough.


December 25 - In Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan

I thought when I arrive at a former Soviet country where people do not celebrate Christmas in December (especially where 75% are Muslims), there will be not much hassle and chaos as in European countries during Christmas time. So yes they don't celebrate Christmas, but they celebrate new year instead much more intensively as compared to western countries. Due to that, they also have holidays even the days before the new year and so the traffic and chaos are also increased.

Most international flight to Bishkek arrive in the early morning, in my case it was 5am. The airport in Bishkek is of a good standard, no visa required, exchanging money at a fair rate and finding a taxi for the 30 minutes ride for 5 USD was no problem. The taxi dropped me off at a Bishkek coffee shop at 6 in the morning. Had to wait until 7am until I can go to the apartment to take a nap. So at 6am it was still pitch black dark outside :)

What most surprised me when arriving in this Muslim central Asian country was, that they also had Christmas trees everywhere, they had christmas lights and gifts decorating the shops, streets and buildings and everything, like in western countries. The point in this is that it is not meant for christmas, but for New Years celebration.

Christmas tree = New Years tree, looks the same as a christmas tree
Santa Clause = Frost man, which looks exactly the same as Santa
Christmas songs = Ne year songs, same melody as our christmas songs, but with different text
Gifts = The same, gifts
Celebration on 25.12. = Celebration on 31.12.

After seeing this, I somehow wonder what was first, christmas trees&santa clause or new year tree&frost man??



This is where Bishkek is located

Map of cental Bishkek with the most important things to see.
Map of Bishkek Capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Ala-Too Square with the state history museum in the background. This is the most central place in Bishkek, with many restaurants and caffees surrounding it.
New years tree in Bishkek



Bishkek Cinemas and Enterntainment

Ala-Too Square

Kyrgyzstan people


Baatyr Kaba Uulu Statue - Very unusual statue compared to other statues on the planet

At every other statue with a man and a horse, normally the horse is carrying the man. In Bishkek it seems things go a little different :)This guy on the statue is supposed to be a wrestler and it should show the Kyrgyzs strenght, while carrying a horse.
This statue shows the strength of the wrestler ( Kozhomkul) lifting the horse which is well known by the Kazakhs & Kyrgyzs for his physical & strength.




The Parliament Building
So called White house of Kyrgyzstan. The parliament building.



Bishkek City Center




Big building right next to the big Bishkek flag and next to Ala-Toh Square

State History Museum at Ala-Toh



They celebrate new years eve the same as western people do celebrate christmas.




December 26 - Two days in Bishkek is enough

Two days in Bishkek is enough. As in all the country side is full of snow and for all outdoor activities like hiking it is too cold, Tourism is on low season mode. There is basically not too much to see and do in winter in Kyrgyzstan, except visiting the capital Bishkek. Even tough a few people spoke broken english, I was happy having downloaded offline translation to ask my questions russian with typing on the smartphone :)

Wandering around all the things to see in Bishkek was not suuuuch a big effort. Pinning all of them on google maps in offline mode and followed them each by each. The bad thing was only that i forgot to pin one of the most important and interesting site, which was of course the one most far away and so I had to walk one part of the route twice. But it was worth it :) Thankfully with 6 degrees it wasnt that cold yet as it is used to be in Bishkek at this time of the year.

Spent also much time itself in the Alatoo square for drinking coffee and watching the pre-newyears-celebrations going on. This is the city center and probably the nicest place, with the nicest building all over Bishkek.


Possible to buy kyrgyzstan food products, almost any common household good, clothes, souvenirs.

Osh Basar in Bischkek, Kirgistan

Bread is valued as sacred in Kyrgyz culture, and a good host always offers a guest bread at the very least (often with tea).

Delicious Kyrgyzstan bread, the so called Central Asian Flat bread





Cinema in Bishkek. They even show in 3D.




Victory Square Bishkek, one of the best sights to see.


Tomorrow I will already depart from Bishkek to Kazakhstan and visit Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan.

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