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Kyrgyz handicrafts should not be bought at the bazaar. Prices are low, but so is the quality. Soviet souvenirs can be found on Orto Sai bazaar , on Sunday from 7 to 11 am. Useful bike shops are Gergert Sport Gorkogo str. All other spare parts found in Kyrgyzstan are Chinese-made. Dordoi market has a couple of containers with bicycle parts as well, in the building tools section. We have a forum topic on the availability of outdoor supplies in Bishkek. Know that tour operators in Karakol also have some supplies for sale or rent.
Try the following shops for skiing and trekking gear rent and sales: Almost all are in Cyrillic script. The quality of Kyrgyz hospitals is questionable. Hygiene standards are low, and all the good doctors have left to earn more money elsewhere. Medical equipment as well as the knowledge of doctors is likely to be out of date. Most foreigners tend to leave if they need non-urgent medical attention. If you are a broke backpacker who falls in love with Bishkek: Mainly English, but I have known people teaching maths, tourism, marketing, German, photography,… no degrees are required.
Remember though that renting an apartment can be a considerable cost in Bishkek. While peaceful and safe during daytime exceptions are police and pickpockets , after sunset Bishkek becomes a poorly-lit, dark place awash with drunk men.
We advise against walking the streets in the dark by yourself, and to definitely avoid parks at night. Go in groups, or take a bus or taxi. Violence or robbery is a distinct possibility for foreigners. Besides this, broken pavements and missing manhole covers can be a serious source of injury. Locals walk on the street after dark. Pickpockets are a major problem in and around markets, especially at Osh Bazaar. Look out for young men with large plastic bags bumping into you.
Keep your valuables in front of you or leave them at your accommodation. Nightclubs and their surrounding areas are a hotbed for criminal activity in the form of theft, prostitution, or even assault by people waiting to take advantage of an unsuspecting traveler or expat. Ask locals or hotel staff which areas are safer than other and take precautions if you plan on club hopping.