Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: My Stay at Apple Hostel – The Best Hostel in Bishkek

My Amazing Month at Apple Hostel, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: My Stay at Apple Hostel – The Best Hostel in Bishkek

At the end of 2015 I was sitting in the Almaty Backpackers in Kazakhstan trying to plan my trip across the border into Kyrgyzstan. I had no idea where to stay in Bishkek, no idea where to even go next, but then I saw a flier in that hostel for the Apple Hostel in Bishkek. One e-mail later and the manager, Aigul, a local Kyrgyz lady e-mailed me back saying I had a dorm bed confirmed for three nights! I was pretty excited.

My Amazing Month at Apple Hostel, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: My Stay at Apple Hostel – The Best Hostel in Bishkek

When I arrived in Bishkek, I had no idea I’d stay here for three days, for three weeks, in fact I stayed until April 2016, 5 calendar months! I’m normally just a few days and then I move on. But it just seemed like a perfect spot to me and it was my central Asian home from December 2015 to April 2016. Apart from 2 nights in the Evropa Hotel near the embassies for fast visa sourcement, I spent all my time in Bishkek here in the Apple Hostel and loved it. If you are heading to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, please please stay here, its the best hostel Bishkek has! Trust me, this is one of the coolest and most relaxed hostels from my journey so far. I mean, I stayed for 5 months and it could have been more if my visas weren’t on strict usage dates and I hope to return here again. It was a perfect base. Here are just five reasons why you should stay here.

Apple Hostel Bishkek party

Apple Hostel Bishkek party

1.Host Aigul and the Best Staff
Fronted by the most welcoming host of all time, Aigul Kubatbekova, the staff here become your friends. I spoke to Marat and Aim the other two main workers at length. My host Aigul made me feel like part of the family and she also helped me organise tours, Marshrutkas, taxis to embassies at ridiculous times and nights out. She even phoned the Pinta Pub for me one night to check if they were showing the Arsenal v. AFC Bournemouth match!

With Aigul - a larger than life host

With Aigul – a larger than life host

My larger than life host - Aigul and my dorm buddy Michel

My larger than life host – Aigul and my dorm buddy Michel

I cannot thank the staff enough, notably Aigul. A larger than life host. She literally gave up her time to take me on tours to the Central Mosque, Art Museum, Osh Bazaar and Nightclubs.

Having fun at New Year in Apple Hostel

Having fun at New Year in Apple Hostel

In Osh Bazaar playing Kyrgyz Komuz instrument in Bishkek

In Osh Bazaar playing Kyrgyz Komuz instrument in Bishkek

Aigul and I touring Bishkek

Aigul and I touring Bishkek

2.Family Atmosphere/Like a Homestay
The Stan regions of Central Asia feel very family orientated. This place feels more and more like a homestay than a backpacker’s hostel. I sit with the family at night watching TV, watching the youngest girl play chess, trying to talk to the rest of the family (wishing I could speak Russian!), it feels like home.

Chess time with the family

Chess time with the family

Happy times at Apple Hostel in Bishkek

Happy times at Apple Hostel in Bishkek

The Kyrgzs family and a few of my dorm buddies

The Kyrgzs family and a few of my dorm buddies

3.Cheap Food at Daamduu Restaurant
I’ll cover the food separately when I remember how to write and pronounce all the crazy and delicious food I have eaten here in Bishkek. Long story short – Apple Hostel is next door to Daamduu Restaurant, also a family run business by Aigul’s mother, Gulmira.

Lagman at Daamduu Restaurant

Lagman at Daamduu Restaurant

Daamduu Restaurant

Wonderful staff at Daamduu Restaurant

Every day I would eat my food here, working my way through every dish on my menu. The food for a meal and a drink is rarely over 90 Som, so about 80 pence for a good meal with a drink. In the backpacking world (at least through my 130 odd countries) it doesn’t get any cheaper than this for top class cuisine.

Daamduu Restaurant

Daamduu Restaurant

Amazingly good and cheap food at Daamduu Restaurant

Amazingly good and cheap food at Daamduu Restaurant

Aigul in Daamduu Restaurant

Aigul in Daamduu Restaurant

4.Wi-Fi in Room and Lounge
When you hear about countries like Kyrgyzstan you may think they are difficult places to get online. But the Apple Hostel has two Wi-Fi networks. One works downstairs in the cosy lounge – my writing desk home for a month! Much better than the horrendous Wi-Fi in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (sigh) and India.

Jonny Blair working at Apple Hostel Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

Working at Apple Hostel Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

The other network works fast in the rooms. During the month I stayed in a dorm room most of the time, but also was able to get a couple of nights in the private double room with an ensuite.

My private room for a couple of nights with my own work station

My private room for a couple of nights with my own work station

5.Location: Next to the Bus Station
When I arrived across the border and got my Marshrutka to Bishkek, I got off at the final stop – the West Bus Station in the north west part of Bishkek. How perfect is this!

Apple Hostel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Apple Hostel in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Apple Hostel is just a 5 minute walk – straight across the hoardes of taxis and marshrutkas to the west side of the west bus station and you will see the Apple Hostel with its sign for Tourist Info Center as well as the restaurant Daamduu.

View to the Avtovagzal from Apple Hostel

View to the Avtovagzal from Apple Hostel

The bus station - Avtovagzal in Bishkek

The bus station – Avtovagzal in Bishkek

The bus station - Avtovagzal in Bishkek

The bus station – Avtovagzal in Bishkek

So you know the score now and if you are ever in Bishkek or Kyrgyzstan, head to Apple Hostel and say Hi to Aigul for me. This is an unforgettable hostel from my journey and also remembered fondly as luck shone on me with success in five visa applications! I headed onward to Tajikistan then Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan and Afghanistan to continue my journey.

Apple Hostel Bishkek,
Address: Chymkentskaya 1B, Бишкек 722110, Kyrgyzstan
Phone:+996 553 280 881 (What’s App), +996 558 25 35 45
E-mail: applehostelkg@gmail.com, apple_hostel@mail.ru
Manager email address: apulya28@mail.ru

Near the Western Bus Station
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Website: Apple Hostel Bishkek
Facebook: Apple Hostel Bishkek and Apple Hostel Cholpon Ata

Apple Hostel Bishkek!

Apple Hostel Bishkek!

Apple Hostel best hostel in Bishkek

Apple Hostel Bishkek!

Some videos from my time at the Apple Hostel Bishkek:

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