- Silk Road 14: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
- Silk Road 15: Osh, Kyrgyzstan
- Silk Road 16: More Osh, Kyrgyzstan
- Silk Road 17: Lenin Peak & Turpal kul, Kyrgyzstan
Silk Road 15: Osh, Kyrgyzstan; Sept 2019
We took the Air Manas flight from Bishkek to Osh; on a packed 737 (not the Max fortunately). The flight went over flat farmed lands, followed by the Ala Too mountains, and then back over flat farmlands. Some images from the flight
A little about Osh. Osh is the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, located in the Fergana Valley in the south of the country. It is the oldest city in the country (estimated to be more than 3000 years old), and has an ethnically mixed population of over half a million people in greater Osh, comprising of majority Uzbeks, followed by Kyrgyz, Russians, Tajiks, and other smaller ethnic groups. It is about 5 km from the Uzbekistan border, which accounts for the Uzbek majority. Osh was a major trading and silk producing center at a crossroad of two Silk Roads; one of which was the Major Silk Road from Kashgar in Xinjiang, China to Istanbul in Turkey.
Another claim to fame for Osh was that Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, and descendant of Tamerlane (Emperor Amir Timur of Uzbekistan), was born in nearby Andijan, in the Fergana Valley. Babur grew up in this area, and conquered and lost areas of central Asia, before turning his sights on the Indian subcontinent.
After picking up our bags, we headed outside, where the Rayan hotel had sent a car to pick us up; included in the hotel rate of just over $60 per night, including a nice breakfast spread. Some scenes on the way below
We asked the driver to stop at the City Hall as we saw a wedding party taking photo’s here. The driver kindly obliged. There were several wedding parties here taking photos.
It was getting late afternoon, so after checking in, freshening up, we strolled around a little and had dinner near the hotel, at the Aetna outdoor restaurant.
Next day, we went to check of the Jayma Bazaar. This is a 2000 year old 1km long bazaar, that was the original Bazaar from the Silk Road times, and still in use today. Amazing. You can buy everything here, from clothing, milk products, vegetables, nuts, spices, household goods, shoes etc. Some scenes below from Jayma bazaar
After looking at all these breads, we were hungry, so went across the road to a local roadside “food court”
The locals were very friendly, with several who shared their food with us when we inquired as to what they were eating; no English of course 🙂 . We decided to try a local chickpea dish, called kumus, It had chickpeas, tomatoes, onions and some green vegetable.
We then left the Jayma market and went back to the hotel. We had contacted Shurat’s father who lived in Osh, to meet up with him, and were waiting to hear back from him. So, to pass the time, we walked over to the nearby park (near the hotel); which we learned was the “wedding park”. Some scenes below
We then entered the “Marriage” park, for 25 Som; or $0.35. This was where there were multiple couples getting pictures taken amid nice backdrops, and partying going on. See scenes below
Lively Wedding partying
We walked back to the hotel from here, as Shuhrat’s father, Alifbek, his wife and niece, Adisa, had arrived at our hotel to meet us. We met Alifbek Azizmamadov and the family, and since English was difficult, they Whats App’d their daughter, Muayo, who is doing her medical residency in Moscow, to translate in both directions. We chatted for a little while and got to know each other, and Alifbek and his family graciously invited us over to dinner at their place the next day. Very nice of them.
By now, it was close to dark, so we showered, and then went out for dinner at Islambek, a local restaurant nearby; recommended by the hotel staff. We walked to Islambek as it was close by but had to stop and ask passersby where it was as all the signs were in Russian. We finally found it but were informed there were no tables available. Actually, this restaurant consisted of almost all private cabin dining areas, which were all full. However, there were a couple of picnic tables in the center; one of which was available. So we asked if we could sit here, and we got served here. Since English was difficult, this nice lady below, who spoke good English, helped us out
The meal was drinks, salad, lamb chops and kebab; cost was $10; very reasonable; I love this place
After this delicious meal, we walked back to the hotel for a good night’s rest
More Osh next
This entry was posted in Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Silk Road Kyrgyzstan Sept 2019
35 thoughts on “Silk Road 15: Osh, Kyrgyzstan”
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I don’t know if i have already responded via my other email address.
But i really liked your blog. Thank you for sharing.
I have forwarded it to a friend who arranges international tours :-)!
good luck and best wishes.
Hi Vineeta, So glad you are enjoying my blogs. Hope your friend who arranges international tours finds my ramblings useful 🙂
Appreciate the feedback.
And no, I did not get any email from you from your other email address.
Ali & Dilshad
Hello Ali, beautiful pictures. I loved the art bread and the wedding pictures and the cute kids in uniform. Thanks for sharing.
Love them all.
Lots of love.
Thanks Naz, glad you enjoyed the blogpost
Amazing pics. Thanks for sharing. Excellent blog. OMG FOOD LOOKS VERY TEMPTING. LOVELY WEDDING PICTURES.
THanks Shamim, glad you enjoyed the blog post
Nicely done thanks keep on traveling Ali ,Dilshad
Thanks Shiraz, appreciate the feedback
Really a wonderful experience.. Thanks for sharing,take care and enjoy..Ali
THanks Lin, for the kind feedback. So happy you enjoyed it.
Yet again you bring us beautiful photos and details of your exotic journeys. Thanks to you two
Thanks very much for the nice feedback
Hi Ali – again a very informative and good write up – good insight into Osh and its cultures. Still waiting to read about your AKDN project visits – were there any AKDN schools in Osh?? Thanks again
THanks Zahir, for the feedback; glad you found this blog informative.
Please stay tuned for the next and subsequent blogs
I was able to zip thru it and still captured gist of it in couple of minutes.
Yes. Cant travel myself. Living through your experience.
I Like the fact that you are capturing multiple facets of the culture.
What an amazing place. I love all the weddings.
Is it not amazing that strangers are kind and share food. Very refreshing.
I cannot believe the prices of food.we could retire there.
Thanks Mahamud; for your feedback. I know you would love it there 🙂
Very interesting information thanks for sharing.
This information will help to attract more tourist to central Asian Countries, mostly to Tajik and Afghan Badakhshan through Osh – Khorog road.
Yes, I hope that my blog will help to encourage more people to travel to these central asian countries.
Such travel will bring much needed tourism money to the local population and businesses in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.
Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures and your post. After reading your post and looking at these pictures I got the feeling that I was there as well. 😊
Thanks Murad, so glad you enjoyed it.
Very interesting thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Do you arrange group tours?
Hi Amir, so glad you found the blog on Osh interesting.
We only travel for ourselves; so we dont do any group tours.
If we did larger group tours, it would not be possible to have the experiences we share in our blogs
Thanks again for the feedback
Dear Ali Karim,
Thanks for sharing your amazing blog along with photos and video. You are awesome and captured your visit perfectly.
Wow, thanks so much for the very nice words to feedback.
Such feedback which shows that people appreciate the blogs keeps encouraging me to travel and write more blogs to share our journeys and experiences.
Thanks again, for making my day 🙂
Fabulous photos as usual. Bravo.
What’s the brand of your camera?
Thanks Benita, for the kind words.
I use the Sony RX10 IV camera; it is a largish camera, that has a zoom from 24mm to 600mm, so a good all round point and shoot camera.
Hi Ali, Thanks for sharing 🙂
Most welcome Lin
Lovely post. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Naila; so glad you enjoyed it
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