IntroductionThe country's second-largest city (pop. 300,000) is an ethnically diverse commercial and agricultural center on the edge of the rich Ferghana Valley. It was once a major stop on the Silk Road, though little remains from that era. Today's attractions are the city's daily market (Jayma bazaar)—probably the best bazaar in the country—and a tall rock formation of historical importance, called Solomon's Throne, at the center of the city. Another highlight is the breathtaking range of snow-capped mountains that surrounds the city. The drive to Osh from Bishkek, which takes a full day, crosses the Kyrgyz Ala-too and Ferghana mountains—the passes are spectacular. Osh is also a jumping-off point for treks into the Pamir Mountains. 190 mi/300 km southwest of Bishkek.
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