Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a stunning nation rife with tourism opportunities: the wild nomadic culture, endless mountains and lakes, soothing hospitality, and unending potential for adventure are a combination that draws an increasing number of tourists to this off-the-map little country each year. The Tien Shan and Pamir Mountain ranges course through Kyrgyzstan’s territory, towering over its residents with dizzying heights such as Pobeda Peak (7439 m), Lenin Peak (7134 m), and Khan Tengri Peak (6995 m). Not only are Kyrgyzstan’s mountains perfect for adventurous sports such as climbing and skiing, but even travelers who prefer a more relaxed pace will find plenty to love in the form of stunning landscapes like Issyk-Kul Lake, meadows full of vibrant flowers, and rolling hills. You’ll also come across historical ruins in unlikely places if you explore enough, and the locals are always happy to share their culture and traditions with visitors.

A Travel Guide to Kyrgyzstan

The fastest and most comfortable method to travel to Kyrgyzstan is by air. The nation’s capital, Bishkek, has multiple international airports serviced by direct flights from Russia, Turkey, the UAE, Delhi and other Central Asian nations. Osh, located in southern Kyrgyzstan also contains an international airport with connections to Dubai, Russia Kazakhstan,, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

There are also approximately 12 border crossings between Kyrgyzstan and its neighboring countries – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, and Tajikistan. These can be reached by car, bus, train, or marshrutka (minivan) depending on the crossing.

When to visit Kyrgyzstan

Depending on your interests, the best time to go to Kyrgyzstan is at any time of year. The skiing season in Karakol lasts from mid-November to the end of March, with a significant amount of snowfall throughout the country. Keep in mind that several mountain passes could be closed during this period. Spring is when most people visit Kyrgyzstan because it’s a pleasant, colorful season when nature comes alive on snow-covered mountainsides dotted with horses, sheep, and camels.

The best time to visit the mountains, if you’re not planning on skiing, is during July or August. The mountain air can be cool though, so bring a jacket just in case. And although it’s hot during the summer season in the city, traveling to the mountains  is still much easier than other times of year. Plus, there are an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available at bazaars all throughout autumn while also having cooler weather and stunning fall colors.

What to wear in Kyrgyzstan

There is no dress code in Kyrgyzstan. In the summer, you’ll want clothing that is both cool and light. A hat, sunglasses, and trekking shoes are highly recommended. If you’re visiting in the spring or fall, layered clothes are a good idea, as well as a raincoat or umbrella. Winter visitors should bring clothes that can handle potentially heavy snow and low temperatures. Women should cover their heads when visiting religious sites (sometimes required for entry).

How to get a visa for Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is one of the simplest countries in Central Asia to visit. Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, North Korea, Russia, Tajikistan and Vietnam are entitled to visa-free entry for a period of up to 60 days. –

Kyrgyzstan Customs Regulations

People are only allowed to bring in 1.5 liters of alcohol and 1000 cigarettes when entering Kyrgyzstan. If someone tries to leave the country with antiques, national artwork, or other objects deemed valuable from a historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural standpoint , they need special permission from the Ministry of Culture as well  as proof that customs duties have been paid (which should amount to 100% of what is stated on the export permit).

Kyrgyzstan Registration Guidelines

If you are a citizen of one of the 92 countries exempt from registration in Kyrgyzstan, then you may stay for up to 90 days. For a complete list of these countries, please visit our Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide: Visa Requirements Page. If your country is not listed as being exempt on this page, then you must register within 5 days after arriving in Kyrgyzstan at any public service center. Usually your hotel or guest house can take care of registering you.

Accommodation in Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek has a wide range of lodging options: luxury hotels, budget hotels, guest houses, hostels, AirBnB and bed & breakfasts. The popular vacation spots of Lake Issyk-Kul, Cholpon-Ata and Karakol also have a decent number of guest houses, recreation centers, and health resorts for all budgets. Kyrgyzstan offers the greatest selection of yurt stays in Central Asia with main yurt camps located around Son-Kul Lake (notably Bel-Tam and Tosor), Dzhety-Oguz Valley, Tash-Rabat Valley, and the southern coast of Lake Issyk-Kul

Kyrgyzstan Food

The Kyrgyz people have long been a nomadic people, and their national cuisine reflects the necessity for a nomadic people living in an area with harsh winters to consume hearty, filling meals. Influences from neighboring nations have also affected Kyrgyz cooking. Lamb, beef, horse meat, onion, potato, and dough are favorite foods across the country. You won’t want to miss out on trying Kyrgyzstan’s most famous dishes:

Beshparmak – In the old days, people ate hand-pulled noodles with their right hands and used chopsticks to scoop up meat, broth, potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Manti – Manti are dumplings that are stuffed with a seasoned meat or potato filling and then steamed in a unique multi-layered steamer. Manti can sometimes be found stuffed with jusai (a kind of green onion) or pumpkin.

Chuchvara –Filled with either lamb or beef, these dumplings are boiled and then served in a soup broth  Worcester sauce. They’re much smaller than manti, and often topped with sour cream.

Ashlyamfu – A cold soup called ashlyamfu, which consists of rice noodles, vegetables and meat or scrambled eggs, is found mainly in Karakkol and the Issyk-Kul region.

Laghman –Tastiest Uyghur noodles are handmade and served with a mix of well-seasoned meat, peppers, onions; can be eaten boiled or fried. You can enjoy them in hot broth form or as separate items on a plate.

Kuurdak –The French name for it is pot-au-feu, which means a rich dish of meat, potatoes, oil and onions.

Plov – Compared to Uzbek plov, this rice, carrot and meat dish is not as experienced, but it can be found all throughout Kyrgyzstan.

Samsa – Samsas are pastries that have been stuffed with meat, potato, pumpkin or cheese and then baked in a clay oven. They make for a cheap and tasty street food.

Shashlyk – There are many different types of meat kebabs in Bishkek, including chicken, beef, ground beef, lamb and liver. You can also find a good selection of international cuisine here, with Italian, American, Indian, Pakistani and Chinese restaurants all represented.

Vegetarian options: Vegetarian cuisine in Bishkek might be found in bakeries, restaurants, and supermarkets. Vegetables can also be prepared into a number of meals from salads to breads and milk products, as well as manti (meatless meatballs) and samsas (meatless pastries). In the capital’s many international cafés, vegetarian alternatives are available.

Local favorites include fermented mare’s milk (kumis), sour wheat drink (maksym), mildly fermented millet drink (bazo) and local microbrews and cognac.

Kyrgyzstan Healthcare

While traveling to Kyrgyzstan does not need any vaccinations, it is recommended that you update your immunizations. While most drugs (or their Russian equivalent) are available in the country and may be purchased without a prescription, it’s a good idea to bring your basic first-aid kit as well as any necessary medications and first-aid supplies. Before buying pain killers online, take a look at these EU Meds reviews first. If you intend on bringing prescription medicines with you, you must declare them upon entry and departure and have a doctor’s prescription with you, although the probability of customs officers checking your drugs is quite slim. You can find healthcare that has been accredited by international organizations only in Bishkek. If you drink the tap water in Kyrgyzstan, it will be safe for you. Some of the problems faced by tourists when they come to our country are diarrhea from produce that hasn’t been washed and stomach trouble from eating too much heavy food. Also, there have been many reports of people having accidents on the mountain passes because other drivers act impatiently and there are a lot of potholes.”

Is Kyrgyzstan Safe?

Overall, Kyrgyzstan is a safe place to visit for tourists. With that being said, one should always be cautious when in any new country and keep an eye out for their belongings as pickpocketing does happen occasionally. It’s important to note that while there have been reports of violent protests and altercations around Ala-Too Square in downtown Bishkek, these incidents are not common. In general, it’s best to take precautions against petty theft by remaining aware of your surroundings late at night or in touristy areas such as markets or bazaars. While violent incidents are less likely, travelers should be especially cautious when alone at night or on a journey. If you’re going to the mountains, remember to bring enough food and clothing.

Kyrgyzstan Souvenirs and Gifts

You can keep the memories of warm Issyk-Kul, historical monuments, ancient petroglyphs and tall mountain landscapes alive not only in your heart, but also with interesting souvenirs from Kyrgyzstan. Felt products are very characteristic of Kyrgyz culture and easy to transport home. If you’re looking for the perfect way to remember your trip, or want to find a unique gift for someone, consider items made from bone. These can include figurines, key rings, and knives. Other great Artisan gifts ideas Beside dolls in colorful national dresses including genuine leather products,, dishes stamped with traditional patterns and various hand-carved kitchen utensils.

Leaving Kyrgyzstan

For an international flight, we recommend getting to the airport two hours before departure. You can’t export perishables, unprocessed metals or minerals from Kyrgyzstan. You may be questioned about the souvenirs you’ve bought when going through customs to ensure that you’re not exporting antiques or cultural items illegally.

Author: admin

Kate loves to travel and write. She has been to many different places and has seen and experienced a lot of different things. This has given her a lot of material to write about, and she enjoys sharing her stories with others. She hopes to continue traveling and writing for many years to come.

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