Earth : Asia : Central Asia : Kyrgyzstan : Issyk Kul and the Tian Shan : Issyk Kul : Cholpon-Ata
Cholpon Ata is a summer resort on the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul. In summer it is quite crowded, full of wealthy Kazakhs, Russian and a few locals.
Shared taxi from Bishkek (3-4 hours, 500 som per person), private taxi - 3000 som per car. Marshrutka from Bishkek (3-3.5 hours, 250 soms per person), Iron Horse Nomads private bus system (ihn.kg 3.5-4 hours, 700 som per person, May 2013)
In Tamchi, 15 km to the east is small airport serving for tourists in summer. You can fly in there from Osh. The flights take off twice a week.
Old petroglyphs, highest peaks of this part of Tian-Shan. The petroglyphs are located up from the old airport in Cholpon-Ata. A taxi from the center to the petroglyphs should cost 200 som, including one hour waiting time.
Cultural center Ruh Ordo, a nice tranquility park with the gallery of prominent Kyrgyz people as well as a famous Kyrgyz writer's museum - Chingiz Aitmatov. The park is nice for shooting pictures.
Historical musem which displays shyrdaks, traditional clothing and Kyrgyz instruments. The guides inside the museum are available in English.
Lenin Statue - it's hidden somewhere on a hill!
Northern shore beach and sometimes a wandering camel.
Hot spings in Chon Oruktuu which are 40 min away by the city center by marshrutka.
Try local apples and apricots - they are the best in the country.
Swim in the lake, the beach is the best here.
There are several ATMs in Cholpon Ata but most only take VISA. For MasterCard head to the bank located opposite UniCredit bank, by the eastern bus stop (going to Karakol).
Also there is a 24-hour supermarket Narodnyi which is the only supermarket in Issyk Kul region.
Sambucca Cafe Nice restaurant with live music in the summer (note there may be a 50 som charge for the music) located on the left side of the main road heading to Karakol, almost opposite Zodiac. Try the great "Jarovnya" - meat on a hot iron plate. Mains 200-300 som.
Asian place At the end of Gorky, on the left side. The Chinese chef serves up great lakhman and shashlyk as well as other local specialties. Very popular. Mains 150-200 som.
There are two bus stations in Cholpon Ata. One is for taxi and marshrutka to leave to Bishkek. The second one is to leave to Karakol. Both of them are within 10 min walk from the historical museum which is located next to the supermarket Narodnyi.