Balykchy - Fishermen's Town

Balykchy city (former Rybachie) is located on the eastern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake, at the intersection of Bishkek-Naryn and Bishkek-Karakol. It was founded as a post between Pishpek and Karakol. In 1871, there were only two clay-wall huts for travelers and an inspector's yurt. As time goes by, the village grew. In the mid 1980s, a retired soldier, M. Bachyn settled there and started fishing business. In 1907, there were already 100 families there and the village was renamed Bachino, and later – Rybachie ("fishing" in Russian). Rybachie has developed into a town in 1954 and in 1991 it was renamed Balykchy ("balyk" means "fish" in Kyrgyz). An ancient settlement has been found 3 km. from Balykchy along the southern shore. Now the population of the city is 42,000.

On a clear day one can see the mountains on both sides of the lake from here. The northern ones, separating Kyrgyzstan from Kazakhstan, are the Kungey ("Sunny") Ala-Too. The southern ones are the Terskey ("Shady") Ala-Too. Beyond them, sometimes visible from hundreds of kilometers away, are the glaciers of the Tien-Shan's central knot. Balykchy is a transit town between Karakol and Naryn. To reach Karakol from Balykchy you can use railway or bus road services.