Bishkek city (~ 700,000 residents) is the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Geographically, it is located in Chui Valley and is surrounded by picturesque rocky mountains, which serve both, the entertainment and the spiritual connection with nature. Ala-Archa Gorge, Alamedin Gorge and Issyk-Ata Gorge are among the top popular sites for visitors interested in mountaineering. The history of the city is one of the shortest in Central Asia. Despite the fact that people have been living in the area for centuries, large-scale development did not set in until 1825, when the Kokand Khanate choused the area for a fortress. Shortly thereafter, the Russian Empire began moving into Central Asia and by 1864 captured Bishkek fortress. Despite the fact that Bishkek is a relatively small city, it will keep you busy at least for a day or so. It has several quality museums, theater, bustling and colorful bazaars with its dazzling mix of ethnic groups that reflect Central Asia’s racial diversity. Just like during the days of the Silk Route, Bishkek is a perfect base to plan your next trip. From here you can visit following sites: the ruins of Novaket, Suyab, Balasaghun and Ak-Beshim cities; the Dungan’s wooden Mosque; Burana Tower, the Ferghana Valley, Osh Region; remains of Tash-Rabat fortress; Mausoleums of Uzgen city; Ala-Archa Canyon; Cholpon-Ata Mountain Gorge; Issyk-Kul and Karakol Lakes.