Tourism in Kyrgyzstan

Sights
Sights of Kyrgyzstan are the most interesting and beautiful places for rest and travel!
Accommodation facilities
Guide of popular hotels, hostels and boarding houses in Kyrgyzstan
Culture and traditions
Unique nomadic civilization of Central Asia: culture, traditions and customs of Kyrgyz people

News

III Word Nomad Games 2018 in Issyk Kul lake
III Word Nomad Games 2018 in Issyk Kul lake
Published: February 23, 2018 at 0:10

Save the date !!! Live an unique experience on the III World Nomad’s Games in September 2018 !

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They talk about us : 2017 - 2018
They talk about us : 2017 - 2018
Published: February 23, 2018 at 0:00

 

If our country is still relatively unknown internationally, some newspapers start to talk about us. Press review:

 

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News from the Tourism Exhibitions in 2018
News from the Tourism Exhibitions in 2018
Published: April 21, 2018 at 8:53

Baibol Travel visited during March and April at several tourism fairs in Europe and Central Asia.On this occasion, we could meet our European partners and deepen our relations but also meet new peo...

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What to take on a trip to Kyrgyzstan
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What you should know about Kyrgyzstan

What do tourists need to know about Kyrgyzstan?

In Kyrgyzstan, the tourist season has opened. Millions of tourists from Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and other parts of the world began to flock to the heart of Eurasia in search of their own adventures - to the land of ancient nomads on the Great Silk Road surrounded by the Tien Shan mountains. If you are one of these lucky travelers who are planning to visit Kyrgyzstan, we recommend that you read our list of tips that will help you prepare for the trip to make it more interesting comfortable and safe before you arrive here. 

Where is located Kyrgyzstan?

If you find it difficult to find Kyrgyzstan on a map, you may need to read this text more carefully. We assure you that after this you will be ready to travel to the land of ancient nomads by 100%. First of all, you need to know that Kyrgyzstan is a small mountain country located in the heart of Central Asia bordering with China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Kyrgyzstan has no access to the sea. More than three quarters of the country's territory is occupied by mountains. The north-eastern part is located in the part of the Tien-Shan mountain range, the south-western part is located within the Pamir-Alai Mountains. The Victory Peak, with a height of 7,439 m., Is the highest point of the country and the most famous northern seven-thousand-square meter on earth. On the territory of Kyrgyzstan, also rise the famous peak Khan-Tengri with a height of 7100 m. And South Enilchek - the largest glacier of the Tien Shan. More than half of the territory of Kyrgyzstan lies at an altitude of 1,000 to 3,000 meters and about a third lies above 3,000 to 4,000 meters above sea level.

By the size of the territory, Kyrgyzstan ranks 85th in the world and 7th among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The territory of the country is divided into 7 regions: Chui, Talas, Issyk-Kul, Naryn, Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken. The capital of Kyrgyzstan is - Bishkek. In 2015, the population of Kyrgyzstan reached 6 million people, which implies that the population density in the country is not large. The main feature of Kyrgyzstan is its weak urbanization, 60% of the population still lives in the villages. 

How safe is it to travel in Kyrgyzstan?

Perhaps this is the most frequently asked question, which interested travelers. Perhaps you did not know, but in 2015 Kyrgyzstan entered the list of countries safe for travel according to the British edition of “Telegraph”, therefore, it is safe to travel here. In addition, the Kyrgyz people themselves are quite friendly and always ready to help any tourist, if you need to specify the road or give some advice.

Of course, in spite of the fact that Kyrgyzstan is considered a hospitable country you need to observe the basic rules of safety while you are here: 

  • Carry a copy of your passport at all times. You can store the original in the hotel safe. Almost all hotels have them in their rooms.
  • It is better not to carry large amounts of cash with you, especially if you are going for a walk. This applies to both the city and the countryside. It is best to take some cash with you for unforeseen expenses.
  • In places of large crowds (markets, public transport, etc.) take security measures to protect your documents and money.
  • If a police officer approached you on the street to check documents, he must present a service certificate at your request. You need to show your passport.
  • If there are suspicions of abuse of authority by internal affairs officers, try to clarify the name, rank, place of work of the employee and inform the embassy or the internal affairs body of Kyrgyzstan about this.
  • If you have been fined illegally, detained, arrested, seized or spoiled your documents, you have the right to demand a meeting with your embassy staff in Kyrgyzstan.
  • If you arrived in Kyrgyzstan for extreme sports, you need to register with the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic and notify your embassy about the composition of your tourist group and the itinerary.
  • Carefully study the security measures of staying in the mountains. Obey and follow the advice of guides and guides.
  • Be careful when crossing roads. Fasten your seat belts on all trips around the country.
  • If you rent a car, do not leave valuables in it.
  • On Lake Issyk-Kul, the safety of tourists during the preparation and conduct of the tourist season is provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the country. During this period, the country's law enforcement agencies expose the mobile posts of the road patrol service (DPS) from the fixed Kordai-Bishkek-Balykchy-Cholpon-Ata-Karakol post.
  • Discard visits to nightlife without guides
  • In case of emergency, you can always call 101 (fire service), 102 (police), 103 (emergency medical service), 104 (gas emergency service) or simply dial 112 (a single emergency response number).
  • In addition, embassies can also be a good support in case you have special formalities or need any legal advice. Since Kyrgyzstan is a tourist country, Bishkek has 25 embassies of the world's main countries, where tourists come from. For example, here you can find the addresses and contacts of the embassies of the USA, Germany, France, Great Britain, China and Republic of Korea, etc. 

Visa

To fulfill your dream on a journey through the country of the Great Silk Road is easier than you think! In 2012, Kyrgyzstan opened its borders to 45 countries around the world. During these time millions of tourists visited the country of nomads. At present, the visa-free regime for up to 60 days is still valid for Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Vatican, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, USA, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Switzerland , Sweden, Estonia, Qatar, Brunei Darussalam, Bahrain and Japan.

This means that citizens of these states can enter, leave, follow transit, move and stay on the territory of Kyrgyzstan without a visa on one of the valid documents.

Citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, as well as Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba and Laos can freely travel around Kyrgyzstan. In addition, the visa-free regime operates in the country for Malaysian citizens (up to 30 days), Turkey (up to 30 days), Ukraine (up to 90 days), Uzbekistan (up to 60 days) and Mongolia (up to 90 days).

In addition, currently the simplified visa regime in Kyrgyzstan applies to citizens of the following countries: Bulgaria, Israel, Cyprus, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, San Marino, the Philippines, Albania, Brazil, Indonesia, the Republic of South Africa, Chile, Venezuela and Oman. From which it follows that the citizens of the above-mentioned countries can obtain entry visas for Kyrgyzstan for a period of up to one month on the basis of personal appeals. 

Weather in Kyrgyzstan will pleasantly surprise you

Kyrgyzstan is an ideal place for traveling. As a rule, sunny, clear weather is established in the country in early spring and lasts until late autumn. The annual number of hot days is 247 days, which is approximately 2,900 sunny hours. However, in summer, showers and rains are quite rare. The best time for tourism is from the beginning of May to the end of September.

The climate of Kyrgyzstan is sharply continental and is caused by three factors - mountainous terrain, remoteness of the country from the sea and its location in the center of Eurasia. Typical features of this type of climate are hot, dry summers (+ 20 ° C to + 38.4 ° C) and cold, snowy winters (+1 ° C to -25 ° C). At the same time, the duration of the day in June is 15 hours, and in December - 9 hours.

If the route of your trip passes through the mountains, and most likely it will be, since most of the territory of Kyrgyzstan is located in the mountains of the Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai mountains, you should take with you not only sunscreen, glasses, hiking boots, but and a sweater. The fact is that in the daytime in the mountains it is very hot, but with sunset without warm things cannot do. In general, for each tour our guides have compiled a universal list of things necessary for travel, please use it as a guide. 

Traditional cuisine and drinks

The first thing you need to know is that drinking tap water is safe, almost all over Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz people themselves are proud of this and believe that there is not such a clean and tasty water in almost any other country. For travelers, this means that they do not have to spend money on buying bottled water, but perhaps, that in the first days, until your body adapts.

As for food, Kyrgyzstan is a real oasis of a wide variety of culinary offerings. Here you will find cafes and restaurants offering not only national cuisine, but also dishes: Italian, European, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Georgian, Armenian, Uzbek and Uighur cuisine. At the same time, you can be absolutely sure that all dishes will be made from fresh and natural products, since it is not customary in Kyrgyzstan to use GMO.

The national cuisine of the country is characterized by an abundance of meat dishes, which can be enjoyed at dinner, in any chaikhana, snack bar, cafe or restaurant, where you will be offered a traditional beshbarmak, kuurdak, manty (steamed meat), rice with meat) or lagman (an adapted version of the Japanese ramen). Choosing from exotic dishes it is better to stop your choice on an incredibly tasty dish of hunters - tash-kordo and meat snack - chuchuk.

Vegetables and fruits in Kyrgyzstan are distinguished by their unique taste and aroma and are used in the country's cuisine everywhere, especially in the south of the country, so here even vegetarians will be satisfied with the abundance of lean dishes.

World fast food chains are not very common in Kyrgyzstan, but their local counterparts, offering hamburgers and hot dogs, you can find almost at every step. In such economical snack bars, Asian versions of fast-food - samsa or shaurma are also often offered. Also, we recommend you to taste tasty and useful national drinks: kumis, shoro, chalap, etc. 

Currency exchange

You will be surprised, but in Kyrgyzstan you can exchange currency almost anywhere and at any time of the day. And this applies not only to Bishkek, where commercial and state banks, as well as currency exchange offices come across almost at every step, but also remote provinces. In general, the sale and purchase of currency, as well as money transfers are carried out in dollars, euros, British pounds sterling, Turkish lira, Chinese yuan, Russian rubles and Kazakh tenge. Most banks on weekdays are open from 8:00 to 17:00, while small currency reception offices are open around the clock.

Credit cards (VISA and MasterCard are the most popular) are accepted almost everywhere: in hotels, hotels, hypermarkets, restaurants and cafes. ATMs are also widely available in Bishkek and other regions.

The national currency in Kyrgyzstan is the som. The catfish rate is floating and set by the National Bank in relation to the main foreign currencies. The country uses money in nominal value: banknotes - 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 soms and coins - 1, 3, 5, 10 soms.

The tipping system in Kyrgyzstan extends to the services of guides, waiters in bars and restaurants and is approximately 5-10% of the order value, which is likely to be added to your account. Payment of tips is not mandatory, but if the customer is satisfied with the service, the tip is a sign of good tone. To pay a tip to taxi drivers here is not accepted, so feel free to use them if you need a recommendation or advice. 

Wi-Fi and mobile communications

You will be surprised, but in Kyrgyzstan not the slowest and most expensive Internet. Free Wi-Fi in Bishkek is available in almost all hotels, hotels, restaurants, cafes and shopping centers. You can also connect to the Wi-Fi network in the main square of the capital Ala-Too, on the Youth Alley, opposite the City Hall, in the National Library and the Library. K. Bayalinov, as well as in buses and trolleybuses, plying all around Bishkek.

Most likely, most of your travel will pass through the regions of Kyrgyzstan, but even then you should not worry that you can remain without communication with the outside world. Many cafes of large cities of the country give out free Wi-Fi, and in guest houses, hotels and hostels not only in Bishkek, but also in the most remote regions of the country, this service is a must.

As for mobile communications, the most popular mobile operators are "Megacom", "Beeline" and "O". The first two has the best coverage all over the country, so that even in the most remote regions you can easily stay in touch. You can purchase a SIM-card, one of these operators that supports 3G or 4G format in any sales office or dealers all over Kyrgyzstan, but you will need to present your passport for this. On average, your domestic calls and mobile Internet expenses will not exceed $ 1 or euros per week.

Medical service

Medical care in general and in particular the provision of urgent medical care in Kyrgyzstan is at an adequate level. In addition, according to the law, foreigners temporarily staying in the country, medical care is in the order established by the Ministry of Health. However, when you enter Kyrgyzstan, we recommend that you have a stock of necessary medications that you may need. Also, before traveling to Kyrgyzstan, it is advisable to get vaccinated against viral hepatitis A, and to prevent food poisoning, we advise you to eat only at stationary points of feeding.

Language

 

The official language is Kyrgyz. For 80% of the population, Kyrgyz is a native or second language. At the same time, as in all post-Soviet countries, most local residents are fluent in Russian, which also has the status of an official language in Kyrgyzstan. Unfortunately, English is not so widely distributed among the population, as, for example, Russian. You should also know that the population of the Uzbek nationality prevails in the south of the country, so if your route passes through the Osh or Jalal-Abad regions, do not be too surprised to hear the Uzbek speech here.

The Kyrgyz language belongs to the Turkic language group. Currently, there are more than 16 nations in the world that are related to it. Therefore, if you are a little acquainted with one of the Turkic languages, for example, Turkish, Kazakh or Tatar, be sure, you will easily understand in Kyrgyzstan. During the trip, we strongly recommend that you communicate more with the local population in order to better understand the identity and diversity of nomadic culture. A knowledge of a pair of universal phrases in the Kyrgyz language will greatly facilitate your stay in Kyrgyzstan, help you to make friends and make you a welcome guest in any family.

Greeting

Hello

Salamatsyzby

Саламатсызбы

Hi

Salam

Салам

How are you?

Kandaisyz?

Кандайсыз?


Farewell

See you

Körüshkönchö

Көрүшкөнчө

Good by

Djakshy kalynyz/barynyz

Жакшы калыныз/барыныз 


Civility 

Thank you

Rakhmat

Рахмат 

Please

Suranych

Сураныч 

I’m sorry / Excuse me

Kechirip koyunuz

Кечирип коюнуз 

Enjoy your meal

Tamagynar tattuu bolsun

Тамагынар таттуу болсун 

Thank you very much, it was delicious

Chon rakhmat aiabai tattuu boluptur!

Чон рахмат аябай татту болуптур! 

Communion

Do you speak English?

Siz anglisçe süylöysüzbü?

Сиз англисче сүйлөйсүзбү? 

My name is …

Menin atym …

Менин атым … 

I’m tourist

Men sayakatchymyn

Мен саякатчымын

Understood

Tüshündüm

Түшүндүм

Don’t understand

Tüshüngön djokmun 

Түшүнгөн жокмун

How to ask the way?

How to get to …

… cheyin kantip jetsem bolot?

… чейин кантип жетсем болот?

Where is …

 Kaisyl djakta?

... кайсыл жакта? 

Could you show me on the Map

Kartadan körsötüp bere alasyzby?

Картадан көрсөтүп бере аласызбы?

Another question

What is it?

Bul emne? 

Бул эмне?

How it's called?

Kandai atalat?

Кандай аталат?

How much?

Kanchadan?

Канчадан? 

Where may i have a meal?

Kaisy djaktan tamaktansam bolot?

Кайсы жактан тамактансам болот? 

Can you help me?

Maga djardam bere alasyzby?

Мага жардам бере аласызбы?

To call the taxi

How can I call the taxi

Taxini kantip chakyrsam bolot?

Таксини кантип чакырсам болот?

I would like to take a taxi

Taxi chakyraiyn dedim ele

Такси чакырайын дедим эле

How long I have to wait?

Kancha kütüshüm kerek? 

Канча күтүшүм керек?

Religion:

Kyrgyzstan is a secular state. The dominant religion in the country is Islam, 85% of the population profess it, the remaining 15% refer to Christians. Also in the country there are small groups of Baptists, Pentecostals, Adventists, Bahá'ís Faith, Jews and Buddhists. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim, in Kyrgyzstan there are no strict rules regarding clothes, so tourists can wear absolutely everything. The exception is the mosque, which cannot be entered without a T-shirt, in shorts or any other unsuitable clothing. At the entrance to the temple, shoes must be removed. 

Moving around Kyrgyzstan

The possibilities for moving around Kyrgyzstan are very diverse, and you yourself can choose how you want to travel around the country.

Walking: If you are planning to travel on foot, the main thing that you should remember about is that in Kyrgyzstan pedestrians are somewhat limited in movement and cannot cross the road freely, where they want. Therefore, when crossing a road, make sure that you do this at a traffic light or pedestrian crossing, because otherwise you risk losing a lot of time, absolutely in vain waiting for when the drivers will let you in.

Especially, all of the above applies to Bishkek - the capital of Kyrgyzstan and other major cities, where most of the country's car fleet is concentrated. However, if you travel with the group as part of trekking, bicycle tours or horseback tours, and not alone, then there is nothing to worry about. Most of your way will pass through the wild, pristine nature and the most picturesque places: The Tien-Shan mountains, high-mountainous lakes, valleys and pastures, and the transfer from one point of the route to another will be organized by a transfer.

By bus, trolley or minibus: Travel by public transport in Kyrgyzstan is economical and convenient. A single trip on a minibus in Bishkek will cost you about 14 cents, and a bus or trolley bus is even cheaper. The only downside is the high density of motor vehicles on the roads of Bishkek and in other large cities, where most of the country's car fleet is concentrated. You should remember this, so as not to get caught in traffic jams during the rush hour, which is at 9 am and 6 pm. As for the transfer to remote provinces, you can get there by bus or minibus, which can be boarded at the western or eastern bus stations of Bishkek. At the same time the cost of the trip will depend on the distance of the region where you go.

Taxi: Most legally operating taxi can be identified by the so-called "checkers", which drivers install on the roofs of their cars and meters (taximeters) in car parlors. The cost of a trip to such a taxi consists of the cost of the car (landing) and the tariff for transportation per kilometer. On average, the cost of one trip to a taxi in Bishkek can be about $ 2 to 3. A trip to the airport will cost $ 7.3. In Kyrgyzstan there are also no legal taxis, where the price for a trip will depend on how you agree with the driver. You can also hire a taxi if you need to reach any remote region, but in this case we recommend that you use the services of a legal taxi, or ask your local friends to find you a driver with a car. The fact is that illegal taxi drivers often neglect the speed regime and the rules of the road.

Car Rental: You can also rent a car in Kyrgyzstan. The price range of this service ranges from $ 14.5 to $ 101 per day, depending on the brand of the car. In this case, according to the terms of the lease, you will need to leave a pledge a certain amount established by the car owner and show the valid driver's license. In addition, you should know that the minimum age for renting a car is 21-23 years, and the driving experience should be more than 1.5 years. During the trip, we recommend you to use GPS, so as not to get lost in an unfamiliar area and not get off the route.

Flights: There are 5 airports in Kyrgyzstan, the main one being Manas International Airport, which is located in Chui oblast, 23 km north-west of Bishkek. In addition, the remaining 3 airports: Osh, Issyk-Kul and Karakol perform both international (except Batken) and domestic flights.

If you want to view in more detail the most interesting and beautiful natural places of Kyrgyzstan, you can use the service "Baibol Travel" and charter a light, silent helicopter Airbus H130, which is ideal for VIP and passenger transportation during sightseeing tours or transfers from one point of Kyrgyzstan in the other. Thanks to the frontal glazing and wide passenger windows providing excellent visibility in all directions, every helicopter passenger can comfortably enjoy the pristine beauty of the wild nature of Kyrgyzstan.

By Train: There is no metro in Kyrgyzstan, but there is a railway service that allows you to move faster from one city to another. True, only the northern part of the country is covered by railways, so you can count on moving in a train only if your route passes through the northern regions of Kyrgyzstan. The cost of railway tickets varies from 37 cents to $ 1 and depends on the range of the trip. 

You will like it here. No, in fact you will love Kyrgyzstan!

You go to Kyrgyzstan and want to know what sights you cannot miss during your trip? In fact, the beauty and strength of nature of Kyrgyzstan is amazing! There are many delightful places here: the magnificent Tien Shan and Pamir mountains and their famous Pobeda peaks (7,439 m) and Khan Tengri (7,010 m), snow tops of which are lost somewhere high in the clouds, endless green valleys and pastures Surrounded by mountains, crystal clear alpine lakes, picturesque gorges and the oldest on the planet walnut forests. So, there are infinitely many reasons to come to Kyrgyzstan and see it all.

Rich and diverse flora and fauna make Kyrgyzstan an ideal place for those who prefer ecotourism, pristine, wild nature and unity with it. The connoisseurs of rare plants, animals and birds, including the snow leopard, lynx, red deer, golden eagles, white falcons, eagle owls have a chance to see them in the natural environment. But, if you prefer extreme adventures, you can choose tours combined with different activities: climbing to glaciers, climbing, rafting, ethno-hunting with golden eagle, etc.

Here, in just one day and at once, you can easily get a lot of unforgettable impressions that you will find it difficult to experience anywhere else. You explore the unknown paths and ancient cities of the Great Silk Road that have preserved the charm of the East to our days, immerse yourself in an amazing nomadic civilization, meet interesting people, see spectacular horse games, ancient hunting with a golden eagle, be inspired by wonderful sunsets and sunrises, learn how to live in yurts, also try exotic cuisine and national drinks of nomads.

We suggest that you familiarize yourself with our selection of popular destination, a description of the unique features of the culture and traditions of the Kyrgyz people, as well as a list of hotels and guest houses where you could stay during your trip, just to help you find what you are looking for.