- Encounters with locals
- Place or Historical Monument
After the journey across the center of Kyrgyzstan, where the occupants are mainly yurt-dwellers and horses, I particularly noticed the change of atmosphere in the crowded streets of Osh.
You're near to Uzbekistan, and you can feel the difference: the oppressive heat, the number of sun-kissed fruit stands, and the sluggish street vendors who populate the marketplace.
And, talking of the marketplace, for me it's the Osh's number 1 attraction : massive, with an extremely eastern atmosphere, and high quality products. I spent half a day there, enjoying the super atmosphere and wandering among the rows of traditional knives, instrument makers' workshops, and little restaurants.
The day after the market, I went to the Throne of Solomon at 1 p.m., and going out at that time of day was a huge mistake. It wasn't far off 40 degrees Celsius in the sun, and unfortunately there wasn't much shade on offer during the climb. The place itself is lovely, the view is stunning: just make sure you go there in the morning or the evening!
Och is also the country's oldest city, having been founded over 3000 years ago. It has always been a city of some significance, both along the Silk Road and due to it's age-old past and history. Don't get too excited though: despite its existence spanning millennia , Osh doesn't really have any specific places of interest. The city's central zone is fairly typical of a Central Asian city, with its concrete boulevards, and a few ancient mosques that co-exist alongside colourful, highly animated bazaars.
Despite the lack of obvious destinations for tourists, it was a pleasant place to be in my experience, with hospitable locals, a more multicultural atmosphere than anywhere else, and an ideal location in terms of your ability to enter or leave neighbouring countries such as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan or even China. Overall, it's an ideal destination for those looking to learn the history and charm of Kyrgyzstan.