|Combo meal at McDonalds||$3.08|
|Mid range bottle of wine||$5.00|
|Pack of cigarettes||$0.93|
|1 Pair of Nike shoes||$120.00|
|Monthly Pass (local transport)||$6.40|
|Local draught beer||$1.12|
|Imported beer at restaurant||$2.00|
|Loaf of white bread||$0.39|
Kara-Balta which literally means 'black ax' is a city in the Kyrgyzstan province of Chuy. It lies by the Chu River and upon the northern incline of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too in the western portion of the Chuy Province. It is the Jaiyl District’s capital. Kara-Balta was founded in the early 19th century and gained city status from the Soviets in 1975. It is found some 62 kilometers to the west of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital. Cheap flights to Kara-Balta regularly arrive from the country’s capital city. Kara-Balta used to be the site of the biggest ore mining facility in Central Asia.
There are locations near Kara-Balta that are known for skiing, mountain climbing, and surfing. Since the city is well-connected to all the other major places in Kyrgzstan, these tourist attractions are very accessible. The nearest skiing resort to the city is the Mountain skiing base of Kashka Suu. Apart from this, there are also nearby skiing resorts that can be visited such as the Mountain of Orlovka Skiing Resort, the Norus Mountain Skiing Centre, the Toguz Bulak Mountain Skiing Base and the Oruu Say Tourist. For avid mountaineers, the closest mountain peak to the city is the Vladimir Putin Peak.
Other mountain climbing and trekking opportunities nearby are the mountains of Saimaluu Tash, Pik Talgar, Greater Chimgan, and the Gora Kurumdy.
Hotels in Kara-Balta and its environs feature accommodations that range from luxury hotels to backpacker lodges. Most of the grandest hotels are found in Bishkek. These include The Silk Road Lodge on Abdumomunova Street, the Best Eastern Pinara Bishkek along Mira Avenue, the Golden Dragon Hotel on Elebaev Street, the Hotel Dostuk on Frunze Ul, and the Hyatt Regency Bishkek at Sovietskaya 191. The city has various shops for sports gear, as well as health clubs, play parks, leisure camps, and gyms.
Cheap flights to Kara-Balta land at the city’s closest airport, the Bishkek Airport. There are many main roads that connect Kara-Balta with the other chief cities of the country. Aside from air travel, these transport roads are the efficient means by which tourists and business travelers access the city. Kara-Balta in itself does not have too many tourist attractions but the city is a strategic gateway to the many marvelous sightseeing wonders of nature found just outside the city.