Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan - Around Bishkek

By Cubie - November 02, 2015

Bishkek's main square, Ala-Too Square is right in the center of the city. In Kyrgyz language, it is said to mean "Snow Mountain". If you are in Bishkek, it would be hard pressed to miss this square.

Lenin monument that was moved...
Many years ago in 1984, a bronze statue of Lenin was placed on this square, in front of the Historical Museum. However in 2003, Lenin's statue was moved another square behind the Historical Museum. A freedom monument (Erkindik monument) took the place at Ala-Too Square but was only there till 2011.

Manas monument that is in Ala-Too now...
On 31st August 2011, in conjuction with Kyrgyzstan's 20th Independence Day, a monument of Manas was placed there, taking the place of Erkindik monument. Manas is the hero in the Epic of Manas. This trilogy epic is the most treasured national heritage of Kyrgyz people. This statue is meant to become a symbol that will unite the nation. (Yes - both Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia celebrate independence on 31st August, such a coincidence eh). 

Since we are talking about Lenin and Manas, the next one up would be Frunze. After all, the city was once named Frunze. Frunze has his own museum named Frunze House-Museum. The highlight was a thatched cottage inside the museum that allegedly the birthplace of Frunze. We were a little cheapskate and didn't enter the museum but simply peep through the windows as we walked past.

Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze was born in the 1885 in Bishkek.  Frunze sided Lenin over an ideological split with another main party leaders. In 1907 Frunze was arrested following the 1905 Revolution. He was sentenced to death but was reprieved and his sentence was commuted to hard labour in Siberian prisons. Frunze managed to escape and rose to military importance. He had been considered as a potential succesor to Lenin.

However Frunze was hospitalised in 1925 following a severe episode of chronic ulceration. At this time, Stalin visited him and was instrumental in influencing Frunze to undergo an operation. There were speculations in regards to Frunze's demise as he was found to have been administered a chloroform dose that many times exceeded the normal dose.

In 1926, Bishkek was renamed Frunze in his honour. It reverted to its former name in 1991.

We actually walked across Panfilov Park prior to reaching Frunze House-Museum. It seem to have some carnival going on.

We decided to finish up early that day, sis did not get any sleep for at least 24 hours and we both had walked a fair bit with our fatty backpack the morning to get to the hostel. We checked out the Ak-Emmir market, across from the hostel before dinner.

Dinner was a simple affair, we had a takeaway burger and wrap. While we tried to decipher the Cyrillic menu, a student who was working there poke his head out and spoke to us. Naturally, we tried to ask him. He gave us a blank look and said, "You can't read?" Er..hahaha.. well, if we could, we won't be stump! Well, he did help us to place our order in the end.

This place is popular though, we wanted chicken wrap but it was sold out. We went back another time and it was sold out too. Of course, we had to have a little dessert too.

Side note: Yay, it's finally public holidays in Victoria! ^^

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  1. Never knew Kyrgyzstan is such a young country. Too bad you unable to try the chicken wrap.

    1. yea - but just young in terms of independence though.