3 Places to Visit in Cholpon-Ata Apart from the Lake
By Anushervon Shoimardonov, Aidai Chekirova and Dinara Bakitzhanova. The authors of this piece are participants of the Media and Debate Camp 2017 organized in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyz Republic, by the International Debate Education Association in Central Asia (IDEA CA).
Cholpon-Ata is the most popular resort town on the northern coast of Issyk-Kul. But what if you get tired of swimming, or you come out of season? We will tell you about three places that you will remember for a long time that cost less than KGS 100 (USD 1.4).
Contacts details: +996 (554) 136 904
Work hours: 9 am to 6 pm
Open-air Museum ('The Garden of Stones')
You can see tens of thousands of stones that have cave drawing of hunters and ancient animals in the museum. The territory of the museum occupies 42 hectares — 28 football fields.
The museum is unique with its animal style of stone carving. You can notice prototypes of horns, paws, wings of animals that were hunted by ancient tribes among those. Those images can be found on the patterns of Kyrgyz felt carpets. The ticket price to the museum is KGS 40 (USD 0.6).
Contacts details: +996 (3943) 421 48
Work hours: 9 am to 5 pm
Exhibits of the historical museum cover the period from ancient times to the present. They show not only the life of nomads, but also archaeological finds of ancient settlements. Separate exhibition stands devoted to the main Kyrgyz epic, 'Manas'. You can see native plants and animals in the museum. One of the most popular exhibits is a model prototype of the Issyk-Kul lake, which duplicates the mountains and lakes.
A ticket to the museum is KGS 40 (USD 0.6) for local citizens and KGS 80 (USD 1.2) for foreign. You can get a tour in the museum in Kyrgyz, Russian and English for KGS 100 (USD 1.4).
Cholpon-Ata's Abandoned Airport
One of the best views of the lake opens from the runway of the old Cholpon-Ata airport. It is worth going to the western outskirts of the city where it is located. The airport was used until the beginning of the nineties. Then it was closed due to non-compliance with safety standards.