Located in the north of Kyrgyzstan, just 15km from the border to Kazakhstan, Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan which with over 900000 inhabitants is home to one sixth of the population of Kyrgyzstan. The city is relatively unimpressive, but is interesting because it contains a large number of Soviet era buildings and one of the last still existing Lenin statues. Due to the abundance of water, Bishkek is one of the greener cities in Central Asia and in the summers relatively pleasant. There is not too much to see in Bishkek, but Bishkek is a good place where to organise trips across Kyrgyzstan. Near Bishkek lies the Ala Archa national park, which can be easily visited as a day trip from Bishkek. Bishkek has an international airport with direct flights to Istanbul, Astana and Ulan Bator. Bishkek is a relatively young city, having been founded in 1878 on the site of a Russian garrison.
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