Once one of the republics of the USSR, Kyrgyzstan is now a developing country in Central Asia that has maintained excellent relations with Russia, which is regularly reflected in the data of local travel agencies. Most of the guests of the sunny republic are Russians, and rest in Kyrgyzstan remains a good tradition for many.
- Jibin123: Provides information for visa application to enter Kyrgyzstan, as well customs regulations and import restrictions.
Pros and cons of Kyrgyzstan
- There is no language barrier – the majority of the population speaks Russian fluently
- Excellent attitude towards tourists from Russia
- Low prices for accommodation and meals
- Unique nature and diversity of landscapes
- The opportunity to relax all year round, depending on the goals
- It is very hot in summer in most regions
- Tourism infrastructure is underdeveloped
- The ecological situation in the country is a big question
- During the high season, the hotels are crowded with locals.
The peculiarities of the climate of Kyrgyzstan are explained by the fact that the country is actually located at the junction of several belts. Most of the territory is located in the temperate zone of the dry type, part of the foothills has a sharply continental climate, and the high mountain regions have a picture of winter temperatures similar to the tundra. From the point of view of tourism, Kyrgyzstan is a full cycle resort area, where every month you can relax and enjoy nature.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Kyrgyzstan is by plane. From Moscow and St. Petersburg, several regular flights fly daily to Bishkek, and at least twice a week – charter flights of national airlines. The average flight time is 5 hours.
Traveling by train is problematic – the journey takes almost 4 days with all stops and border inspections. Given that these are not always modern trains of Russian Railways, the advantages of the aircraft are undeniable.
Traveling by car to Kyrgyzstan is not recommended by those tourists who prefer comfort. The car will have to be given to the conscience of the checking border guards, and the border itself will have to be crossed on foot. For some travelers this is unacceptable.
The most popular way to get around the Kyrgyz steppes is by buses and fixed-route taxis. The second option is very different from Russian minibuses, if only because any passenger can buy all the tickets according to the number of seats in the cabin and hire a driver for the whole day.
Trains run only between major cities. And for the most part, these are Soviet-era trains, without the slightest hint of modern service.
It is best to take a taxi only within the city – it will be cheaper, and there is always the opportunity to bargain with the driver.
The official currency of Kyrgyzstan is the som, KGS. 1 som consists of 100 tyins.
All state institutions accept only the national currency. Resort facilities can often accept both Russian rubles and dollars, but the objective price for goods and services will be higher. Therefore, it is much more profitable to pay in soms.
Currency exchange is carried out in banks, special points and in some shopping centers. Banks are open from 9:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.
The national dishes of the Kyrgyz are intertwined traditions of nomadic Turks, Caucasians and even Chinese, who had a certain influence on local culture. Many of the dishes can be seen on the tables in other Asian countries, but what is a gastronomic holiday, Kyrgyzstan represents in its own way. And yes, pilaf, despite its popularity, is considered a foreign Uzbek dish here.
- Lagman is a thick soup made from noodles and lamb. According to the classic recipe, be sure to add radish, tomato paste and bell pepper
- Beshbarmak is a meat dish of homemade noodles with beef or lamb. In Kyrgyzstan, it is customary to serve with a large amount of spicy chyk sauce
- Kesme – traditional lamb broth soup with tomato paste, radish, garlic and noodles
- Kulchetay – almost the same as beshbarmak, only meat and noodles are cooked separately
- Shorpo – lamb broth soup. Be sure to cook in a cauldron with thick walls
- Chuk-chuk – this is the word the Kyrgyz call boiled horsemeat sausages
- Susamyr – can mean two dishes: beef steak with bacon or vegetable salad (similar to our Olivier)
Frequently asked Questions
Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim country, are there any rules of conduct for tourists, and clothing for women?
No, when it comes to the northern regions of the republic. Large cities have preserved a secular way of life, and religion in them is a personal matter for everyone. Otherwise, you should follow the same etiquette as in any country where you are a guest.
We want to come to Bishkek in winter, to the markets. We will rent an apartment. Are there any problems with heating, or do you need to worry about it in advance?
In apartment buildings, central heating works without interruption, you don’t have to worry.
Do I need to buy a local SIM card, or do Russian operators work in Kyrgyzstan?
Of our mobile operators, there is only Beeline. There are no problems with national numbers – cards are sold at every step, while passport data is not needed to get a number.
Is alcohol banned in the country, or is it sold freely?
There was no ban on alcohol in Kyrgyzstan, and moreover, local production is considered one of the best among all the Central Asian republics.