Overall, I liked Karakol town a lot. I have lived here an entire month and got to know the town pretty well
It is easy to get here and spend your time in a useful way.
There are narrow streets and pre-revolutionary buildings in the historical part of the town. This all looks like some of the old Russian cities like Orenburg or Omsk for example.
There are also more modern 4-5 floor Hrushev-style Soviet era apartments and new private houses of rich households.
The town is pretty poor, after the collapse of USSR all the metropolitan areas of the “Empire” were left to itself with its empty budgets and high criminal rates.
Nevertheless, it is apparent that the local municipal government has used its very limited resources to bring development and prosperity into the town. This can be seen from how the tourist infrastructure is well developed here for example. There are good roads in town, much better than they are in the provincial Russian towns. There are many hotels and hostels for all budgets from very cheap to quite expensive and luxury. There are road signs in both Kyrgyz and English languages, which provide directions to all the local attractions, such as historical museums, a very good and popular ski resort , local canyon and mountain peaks and other
There is a historical museum in the downtown Karakol and there is a Karasaev-Przevalskiy Memorial Complex 5 miles outside of the town limits to visit if one wants to know more about the history of this place.
There are plenty of schools and other educational institutions of all levels all around the town. There is even sort of a local campus area with the Issyk-Kul State University, the Issyk-Kul State Law School, a Turkish Lyceum and other educational institutions all located in one area
Karakol is believed to be the most Russian town of Kyrgyzstan with the highest percentage of Russians living here compared to all other places in the country. There are indeed many Russian faces seen on the streets. For those of them who traditionally confesses the Russian Orthodox Christianity, there is a beautiful Holly Trinity Orthodox Cathedral – a very famous tourist attraction of the town
For the Sunni Muslim majority though, there are many mosques, big and small, all around the town, which are no less beautiful, including yet another very popular town tourist attraction – the famous Dungan Mosque.
There is also a theater in the town , but unfortunately, for my time in Karakol all the plays were offered in Kyrgyz language only, so I did not get a chance to check it out
For the sport lovers there are lots of synthetic soccer fields all around the town, some basketball playgrounds and many running routes.
There are also numerous gyms, wrestling mats, and lifting rooms in the town
There are lots of cafes and restaurants around the town.
As a vegan I barely visited any of them, Karakol hardly could be named a vegan-friendly town.
But I did enjoy the low prices of fruit and vegetables at the local bazaar
At the end, I want to notice how nice and friendly the people here indeed are. I felt it both as a guest in my hotel and as a tourist while walking around the town. Anybody would notice it too and would agree with me, I am sure. The Kyrgyz people are very nice, friendly, and hospitable. I want to take a moment and thank them all and the town itself for such a warm acceptance of mine this fall
I would recommend anybody who has a chance to visit this colorful town, and I promise you all will find something for your soul here