Top things to do

Lake in Kegeti Valley

Köl-Tör Lake

This turquoise-hued glacial lake is one of the most beautiful in Chuy oblast, and the surrounding peaks and verdant pastures certainly don't do anything to dispel that notion. It's two to three hours of often-steep …
Historic Building in Tokmok

Burana Tower

Burana is a popular side-trip when driving between Issyk-Köl and Bishkek. In the fields south of Tokmok, the Burana Tower is the 24m-high stump of a huge brick minaret, supposedly 11th-century though what you see da…
National Park in Ala-Archa Canyon

Ala-Archa National Park

A visit to Ala-Archa is easily the most popular day trip for visitors to Bishkek, for equal parts ease of accessibility and spectacular mountain landscapes. It's just a 45-minute drive from the centre of town. Pick …
Canyon in Chuy Oblast

Suluu-Terek Canyon

A small red bridge towards the end of Boom Canyon (en route to Issyk-Köl) leads to the impressive desert landscapes and red-rock cliffs of Suluu-Terek. Pack lots of water in summer, as it gets quite hot and there's …
Market in Tokmok

Tokmok Animal Bazaar

Herders from the Chuy Valley and beyond gather early on Sunday to sell livestock at this weekly market. Come early, as it's mostly wrapped up by 10am. From the bus station, turn left onto Sultan Ibraimova (Gorky) an…
Cafe in Suusamyr Valley

Lepota Cafe

Beside the highway in the northernmost settlement before the climb towards Bishkek, this 2nd-floor cafe prepares surprisingly good local dishes and has a couple of tapchan (bedlike platform for sitting) to stretch y…
Central Asian in Alamedin Valley

Twelve Fireplaces Tavern

Open-air seating over the Alamedin river and gorgeous mountain views make this a favoured escape from Bishkek, about half an hour south of town. The small cabins across the river are available for overnight accommod…
Waterfall in Chuy Oblast

Belogorka Waterfall

The 60m Belogorka Waterfall is one of the most impressive in the Bishkek area. The surrounding valley is dominated by a sharply pointed spike of mountain nicknamed 'Black Finger', towering ahead of what was once the…
Memorial in Chuy Oblast

Ata-Beyit Memorial Complex

This memorial complex, the name of which means 'Grave of Our Fathers' in Kyrgyz, commemorates a mass grave in which the bodies of 137 local intelligentsia were dumped on a single night of murders in 1938 during Stal…
Mausoleum in Kojomkul

Yurt-Shaped Мausoleum

Built in 1924, this stylised clay yurt and the wooden pavilion that protect it commemorate one of Kojomkul's friends, and the large inscribed stone (said to weigh 690kg) outside the gumbaz (tomb) was reputedly place…