Just at the northern edge of the Ala Too mountain range lies Kyrgyzstan's lively northern capital, Bishkek. With numerous green spaces, parks and gardens alongside Soviet-era buildings and monuments, the city retains its former Soviet Asian flavor. The city is home to many monuments and cultural institutions, including the National Historical Museum and Ala Too Square, where the changing of the guard takes place daily. The Dordoy Bazaar provides ample shopping, especially for Chinese exports.
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It took about 45 minutes to reach the national park from Bishkek and the drive was just glorious, passing through open fields and small villages with a backdrop of high snow covered mountains. Many herds of horses scattered the hillsides grazing and frolicking and some cattle and sheep. Once inside the park there are many paths to follow for hiking or walking and the scenery is just breathtaking. There was a local Kyrgyz man with a huge black eagle which I found fascinating and had a picture taken with it on my hand (inside a glove). Hunting with eagles is commonly practised today in Kyrgyzstan and there is an annual competition for this sport. I can highly recommend a visit to this magnificent national park.
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