Land of Horses and Eagles | Selin UZDİL

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Manas airport is 25 minutes from the city center and taxi is the only way to get into town. Since you are a tourist, they will tell you high prices, but it is free to negotiate until you reduce the price to 600-800 Kyrgyz loaves. Don’t even think about renting a car in Kyrgyzstan as some cars are right handed while others are left handed. Of course, this situation causes chaos and many traffic accidents in the city, although the purchase of a right-hand drive vehicle has been banned by the state for two years, many vehicles are still driving in the city. .

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Although the places to visit in Bishkek are within walking distance, it would be better for you to hire a guide with driver, because the must-see Burara Archeology and History Complex is 1 hour away. the city, and the Issyk Kul lake and the Roh Ordo complex are 3 hours away. With this tour, you can ride horses by Lake Issyk Kul and even witness the ancestral eagle hunt along the way. We made our trip under the guidance of Mr. Ulukman, whom I know from the “Discover Kyrgyzstan” page and who guided the Turks who came to Kyrgyzstan.

We start our tour from Balasagun. Here you can see the Burana Minaret, which is an observation tower, the ruins of the city discovered as a result of excavations, and the tombstones of the culture of the Turkish ancestors. The symbol of Kyrgyzstan is the traditional Kyrgyz houses made of felt or called the yurt. In the summer, people gathered and settled in the dormitories, and in the winter, they migrated back to the city center again. As the season I went to was not very suitable, I couldn’t stay in the dormitory.

horse and eagle country

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Although eagle hunting, which was a profession in ancient times, has lost its importance over time, it has become popular again in the past 10 years and even the Salbuurun festival is held in summer. The Kyrgyz would take the eagle, which is a predatory bird, from its nest when it was 3-4 months old and start training it, and after the long training was over, the eagle hunt was over. Along the way, we visited the home of a family that breeds eagles and got information about eagle hunting.

The Ruh Ordo Cultural Center, opened in 2002, is another must-see. Here you can take a close look at the history and culture of Kyrgyzstan. This complex, which also has a statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, is equipped with statues of important people in the world, places of worship of all religions, and statues of heroes mentioned in the books of the most important Kyrgyz writer of World Literature, Cengiz Aytmatov.

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horse and eagle country

We end the day with the sunset riding a horse to the edge of Kyrgyzstan’s famous Issyk Kul Lake, which is the second largest crater lake in the world. It is not possible to go to Kyrgyzstan without riding a horse because Kyrgyz horses are very famous. Besides horse riding, they also benefit from horse meat and milk. Horse sausage is served as a starter in meals, it is delicious, and horse meat is present in many dishes. The milk of mares that give birth in the spring is used all year round, mare’s milk is the famous drink of Kyrgyzstan.

I didn’t like the taste, it tastes and smells like spoiled milk. When someone died, a horse was permanently cut to celebrate someone’s marriage, to show their sadness. Don’t think horse prices are cheap because there are too many horses in the country, it starts from $1000 and goes up to $3000. Back in the city center, we start with Ala-Too Square, which includes the Parliament building built in 1984. This is the heart of the city, where all the celebrations take place in this large square.

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horse and eagle country

There are two major markets in the country, the first of which is the Osh Market in the city center. You can find anything you can imagine, from food to drinks, kitchen utensils to clothes, in this market, which spreads over a large space that is half-open, half-closed. Dordoy Market, located a little outside the city center, is an electronics paradise. Museums in the city center are the Museum of Fine Arts, which tells about the history and culture of the Kyrgyz people, and the open museum in memory of the Russian revolutionary Mikhail Frunze.

horse and eagle country

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As far as parks go, Oak Park is the oldest park here and there are countless statues. Another park is the Panfilov amusement park, located right next to the square. It is one of the must-see structures in the Russian Orthodox Church in its immediate vicinity.

horse and eagle country

As for Kyrgyz dishes, you will gain 2 kilos guaranteed, let me tell you. Don’t leave without tasting beshbarmak, the most famous Kyrgyz dish made with horse or mutton, noodles and onions. It bears this name because it is eaten with five fingers without using cutlery. The borsok, which is a snack that comes to the table before meals, is the smallest of our pizzas. Lagman, on the other hand, is made by mixing juicy meat, vegetables or chicken into a bigger and longer noodle than ours.

horse and eagle country

You will love the Kyrgyz manti, the sizes of dumplings are much bigger than ours. If desired, it can be boiled in water or fried, both are very delicious. Kuurdak, on the other hand, is the famous dish of this place, consisting of a mixture of meat, onions and potatoes. There are dumplings in the çörçuva soup, which is unique to this place. The name of egg bread that comes to the table before the meal is lebyoşka. You should also taste their unique chak chak dessert.

horse and eagle country

In Kyrgyzstan, which is one of the countries with the highest tea consumption, tea is served before or with the meal, and not after the meal, unlike our country. Well, if you ask where should we eat these meals, where is your favorite restaurant, it’s a bit far from town, but it will be worth your visit. Wouldn’t you like to have your meal around the burning stove in the middle of the yurt tent, here is Supara for you. If you want to eat and dance at the same time, Ir Kese in the city center is my favorite. Although Taksim Cafe, which is completely made of wood, tells us about the Kyrgyz culture with its interior design, it tells us about Istanbul with the pictures on the wall, you can have a good breakfast there.

Pictures: Selin UZDİL

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