Aalam Ordo, a mysterious place
Not far away from the Fairy Tale Valley (Skazka Valley) you will find a special, but mysterious place. Driving past the various and decaying yurts made of concrete, you will come across a golden gate by the side of the road. The golden gate encloses a large complex of abandoned yurts and peeling murals next to Lake Issyk Kul: Aalam Ordo. A forgotten project of a already long gone president.
The history of Aalam Ordo
Aalam Ordo was built in 2009 in order of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. The plan was big: the place was to become a center of knowledge, culture and spirituality, where young and old could learn from each other and exchange ideas. With 365 yurts, of which 36 yurts were for the elderly, the government of Kyrgyzstan thought they could develop a new generation and thus win a Nobel prize. The project however, never came off the ground. In 2010, protests sparked the second Kyrgyz revolution. As a result, the current president got overthrowed and Aalam Ordoo was unfortunately forgotten.
Seek for a way in or take at the murals and statuesa look through the bars of the golden gate. Once inside there are several things to see. For example, a large incomplete theater has been built with a view over the Issyk Kul lake and there are paintings with dragons which symbolize the corruption in national politics. In addition, there are also wild sheep and other animals that have found a place between the caved in walls. In short, a mysterious but interesting place to visit.
Helpful Tip: If you’re planning to go inside, think about your surroundings. It is possible that the abandoned yurts are still inhabited by the local population.
Exactly on the opposite of the Issyk Kul lake, in Cholpon Ata, they managed to do make a cultural center: Rukh Ordo. Rukh Ordo can actually be seen as the not caved in and abandoned Alam Ordo. Although Rukh Ordo was not intended to be inhabited, this place gives off a similar vibe. The complex consists out of 10 mini museums where you can see art and culture. You can ask for a guide if your interested. During an interactive one and a half hour tour, you will not only learn the Kyrgyz history, culture and way of life, but also get the chance to sing, dance the national dance, traditions and much more. A unique experience!