On my second full day in Bishek, Kyrgyzstan, a group of us headed off to Dordoy Bazaar, which is one of the largest bazaars in Central Asia. According to Wikipedia, it's one of the main places where consumer goods from China are re-exported to Kazakhstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan, making it one of Kyrgyzstan's largest economic enterprises.
One of Dordoy Bazaar's claims to fame is that the center is made entirely of shipping containers stacked on top of each other, with the lower container used as the actual store and the container on top used for storage. According to a news article from 2005 cited on Wikipedia, there are 6,000 - 7,000 containers in the market, and some 20,000 people work there.
Having been to a couple busy bazaars/marketplaces before (namely in Istanbul and Mumbai), I was struck by the fact that Dordoy Bazaar felt both fairly calm and safe (I'm sure there's an enterprising pickpocket or two milling about but it didn't have the same overwhelming vibe of tourist-targeted criminal activity like you might find in other crowded markets in the world).
Since I don't have a ton else to say about this fascinating place, I'll let the rest of my photos from my visit do the talking.
If you're visiting Bishkek, I highly recommend a visit to Dordoy Bazaar. To get there, there are buses, but an easy way to go is simply to pay a taxi cab to take you and wait while you walk around. I think ours waited for at least an hour and including the roundtrip travel from our hotel in the center of Bishkek, it cost a total of $20, which was convenient and worth it.
Oh, and if you're in the market for an awesome new pair of tiger-emblazoned underpants, Dordoy Bazaar is just the place you've been looking for.
This post is the second in a series. Check out Photo Essay: Kyrgyzstan, Part 1