Printable travel guide for Kyrgyzstan
Travel Guide

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Kyrgyzstan that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Kyrgyzstan Page.

Basic Facts

Official Country Name: Кыргызстан (Кыргыз Республикасы)
Capital: Bishkek
Population: 4 892 808
Telephone Code: +996
Time Zone:KGT (UTC+5), summer KGST (UTC+6)
Area:198 500 sq km
Language(s):Kyrgyz, Russian
Ethnic Groups:Kyrgyz 69.5% Russians (9.0%), Uzbeks (14.5%), Tatars (1.9), Uyghurs (1.1%), Kazakhs (0.7%), Ukrainians (0.5%)
Highest Mountain: Pik Pobedy 7,439 m
President/Head of State: Kurmanbek Bakiyev
Government: republic
Currency: Som (KGS)
Country Name in other languages:Kyrgyz Respublikasy Кыргызская республика, Kyrgyzskaya respublika, Kyrgyz Republic

Attractions and Things to See and Do

We recently visited Kyrgystan and spent time with Hospitalityclub member and Servas co-ordinator Devendra.His club name is Himalaya. He is an excellent person to visit, interesting and fun.His group is very active and have a lot of dinners and parties. They helped me travel, meet people. We met a mebers' 14yr old boy on school break who spoke great english. He came with us and we hired his uncle to drive us around Lake Issycul. Its a beautiful lake with interesting petrogliffs, lovely mountain hikes and trecks and climbing,hotsprings,good restaurants,homestays etc. Kyrgystan has many wonderful places if you like hiking.The skiing is also good just outside the capital Bishkek.

Maps

Here you can include references to maps that are somewhere on the internet. Two conditions apply: they cannot be protected by copyright, (or you have to make sure that we are allowed to use them), and you have to make sure that it is ok if we call them up from here. If that is a problem, you can also send us the image file and we will upload it to our server.

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

Suggested Itineraries

1 Day, 1 Week, 2 Weeks, 1 Month ...

Transport

AIR: there are regular flight to Bishkek from Istanbul (Turkish Air), London (British Air), Erevan (British Air), Moscow (Aeroflot), St. Peterburg (Pulkovo Airlines), Dehli (Kyrgyz Air), Frankfurt (Kyrgyz Air), Dubai (Kyrgyz Air), China (Zin Ziang Air)

AIRPORT-BISHKEK: Only taxi transportation is available as most of international flights arrive at night. reasonable fare for Airport-Bishkek is 400 KG Som which is about $10 U.S.

GROUND: Most common ground transport in Bishkek are mini-buses (10 seats) called marshrutka. Fare per destination is 5 KG som ($0.1). Normally, marshrutka's are overcrowded and not really safe to take, but they are good if you are on tight budget. Taxi in Bishkek is 75 KG Som any destination iwthin the city (about $2).

Accommodation

If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest. Hostels Hotels Camping Other Options

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

OVERALL - KYRGYZSTAN IS NOT VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY. BISHKEK IS FINE BUT IT'S HARD TO FIND VEGETARIAN FOOD IN OTHER PLACES, ESPECIALLY IN WINTER TIME.


Restaurants: a very nice cuisine may be found at Four Seasons and Navigator Restaurants (a meal would cost for about $5 to $15).

Breakfast: A nice place that offers continental breakfast is Fat Boys Cafe (not recommended for dinners though).

Fancy but sweet: Tokio sushi bar is one of my favorite places...sushi is quite expensive so i go there just to have a beer:)... A nice night club by my place is PROMZONA - nice food, not expensive drinks, sweet. ,

Markets: The cheapest network of supermarkets is Narodniy. Osh bazar is the biggest open air market - recommended to visit in summer. Keep your eyes on pockets!

, Street food: Hamburgers, samsa's, grilled chicken, korean salads are the most famouse of street food.

, Local food: a real local food is available at Faiza and Arzu Cafes. Turkish cafes Yusa and Carisma are also much recommended ...

Money and Costs

Currency, Exchanging Money, Credit Cards, Tipping, Bargaining, Costs...

Visa and Documents and Embassies

Who needs a visa? How to get it? Embassies & Consulates, of the country abroad and in the country

Borders and Customs

Post and Communications and Internet

Post, Telephone, Fax, Internet Access ...

Questions and Answers or Forum

Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospitality Club into the category Offtopic Messages.

Hospitality Club Meetings

Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.

Photos

Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

Nightlife and Entertainment

Bars, Cafes, Discos, Cinemas...

Population and People

Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

Language and Useful Phrases

Events and Holidays

Festivals, Sports, Concerts, Public Holidays...

Climate and When to Go

Geography

Environment and Flora and Fauna

Dangers and Warnings

I would like to warn hitch-hickers about way of getting a free transport here. In nothern part of country - Bishkek, usually people ask for money for a ride, and if somebody is ready to take you in his car, please ask for how much first. Because you can be unpleasantly surprisi after you will want to get off the car, people can be nice to you but after ride they usually ask for money and for big money. Foreigners tought local people to recieve money for every help, so for many kirgis people it looks normal. They can also invite you to spend night in their house just to ask for money next morning. In southern part there are lot of uzbek people who usually give you a ride for free, and kirgis drivers who go to Irkeshtam (Kirgis - Chinese border). In southern part there are no russian people and sometimes drivers know only basic russian. Southern part is much more pleasant for HH. Everything written above is more then correct.Kyrgyzstan is quite dangerous place and I strongly discourage anybody from travelling there with exception of southern part where is more friendly for foreign tourists especially alpinists but not much then northern.

Tourist Traps

Health

History

Government and Politics

Economy

GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...

Arts

Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

Media

Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...

Religion

The main religion in Kirgistan is Islam, for now different denominations have their churches: catholics, protestants, ortodox. You can find your church without problem. But last referendum was about to decide to have only to religions in a country as legal: Islam and ortodox.

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

Organized Tours

What to Bring or Packing List

Shopping

Books and Further Reading

Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyrgyzstand (L)

Offtopic Messages

Here you can add messages that are not exactly related to the aims of the Hospitality Club (but related to the country). Do you need a visa invitation? Looking for an internship, job or a flat to rent? Just add this here, and if you are lucky other members will read it and contact you. Remember: do not send messages like this directly to members - after giving you this space here, we will fight spam even more strictly!
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