Bishkek, the largest city and capital of Kyrgyzstan is one of the greenest cities in Central Asia, nestled in the center of the Chu River Valley at the foot of the Ala-Too mountain range. Just because it’s a green city doesn’t mean it can’t be a shopper’s paradise, with different bazaars offering everything from exotic foods to wood carvings to clothing and porcelain, this city is sure to have something for everyone. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was once a caravan rest, but today it has transformed into a vibrant, culturally diverse city full of beautiful parks, modern architecture and galleries.

Some of the most popular places of interest in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan are the History Museum, the Fine Arts Museum and the Kyrgyz Economic Achievement Exhibition. All three display the Kyrgyz culture and life history from their nomadic days. Several monuments and statues can be found around the city such as the Victory Monument consisting of three curved spires of granite outlining a yurt.

The yurt, (moveable home of the Kyrgyz nomad), was formed by forty posts which meet together like spikes on a wheel at the top of the monument leaving an open tunduk or area for the sun to shine through. The posts coming together at the tunduk symbolize family unity. If a post is missing that symbolizes a loss in the family. This monument was built to remember those from the Union who were lost to Nazi Germany.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan may not be a destination we hear of often, but it has beautiful scenery, friendly faces and a fascinating history worth learning about.