Kyrgyzstan is an amazing country known for its natural attractions. Magnificent mountain landscapes, picturesque lakes, vast forests and snow-white glaciers attract tourists from all over the world. The Tien Shan Mountains are popular among climbers, and therapeutic mud and mineral springs are among those who want to improve their health. And although there are no luxurious ancient cities in Kyrgyzstan, the simplicity and splendor of pristine nature will win the hearts of those who decide to go to this mountainous country.
Geography of Kyrgyzstan
According to itypemba, Kyrgyzstan is a country of mountains. The main mountain systems are Tien Shan in the northeast and Pamir-Alai in the southwest. The largest valleys, Chui and Ferghana, are located in the north and southwest, respectively. More than half of the country is located at an altitude of 1000-3000m, and about a third – at an altitude of 3000-4000m. The highest point – Victory Peak (7439m) – is located on the border with China. Conventionally, Kyrgyzstan is divided into two geographical zones: southwest and north. You can cross the country along the Bishkek-Osh high-mountain highway. The famous mountain lake Issyk-Kul is located in the northeast, at an altitude of 1609m. Other large lakes include Sonkel and Chatyr-Kul.
The area of Kyrgyzstan is 198,500 km2. sq., occupies the 86th place in the world by area.
5 522 400
State currency – Kyrgyz som (KGS)
Official language – Kyrgyz, Russian
Visa to Kyrgyzstan
Citizens of the Russian Federation do not need a visa to enter the territory of Kyrgyzstan, they only need a valid passport. A visa-free regime has also been introduced for citizens of Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Turkey, Malaysia, and most of the CIS countries. If necessary, a tourist visa can be issued as a dip. representation of Kyrgyzstan in your country, and at the international airport “Manas”.
Weather in Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan, 3 types of climatic zones can be distinguished: valleys, foothill regions and high mountain regions. Due to the rugged terrain, air masses do not move freely between different regions, and as a result, climatic conditions vary. The only common feature is dry air and abundance of sun (about 245 sunny days a year). In the Ferghana Valley, the climate is subtropical, with mild winters (from -1 to -8 C) and warm summer months (from +15 to +27 C). In mountainous regions the climate is subpolar, winter temperatures reach -30C. The climate on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul is very mild, the average winter temperature is +2C, and the summer temperature is about +20C.
The choice of transport in Kyrgyzstan is quite limited. Not far from Bishkek is the only international airport in the country. The main domestic airport is also located there, which operates flights to Osh, Jalal-Abad and Batken. Rail transport is practically non-existent, mainly in the northern parts of the country. From Bishkek by train you can get to Moscow, Novokuznetsk, Yekaterinburg, Kazakhstan, as well as to Lake Issyk-Kul. The fare is more than modest. The most common mode of transportation is minibuses, taxis and buses. At the same time, roads in Kyrgyzstan are most often covered with a primer or gravel. Asphalt pavement is only on the roads from Bishkek to Osh, Alma-Ata and the village. Rybachye, as well as on the highway running along the coast of Issyk-Kul. Fares are negotiable but generally affordable. To get to the mountainous areas, you will have to use the services of “shifts”, special private trucks. More extravagant modes of transport are also available for outdoor enthusiasts: horses, helicopters and, of course, walking. Some remote parts of the country can only be reached this way. At the same time, tourists are advised not to forget that in winter the passage on the passes can be difficult due to snow drifts.
Currency exchange in Kyrgyzstan
The official currency of Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyz som, equal to 100 tyiyn. As of January 2012, the exchange rate is 1 USD = 46.46 KGS. You can exchange money both at bank branches (open from Monday to Friday from 9 to 17.30), and at exchange offices (usually open around the clock) and some shops. It is recommended to exchange money in Bishkek, as the rate may be lower in the provinces. Also, the currencies of some developed countries (euro, US dollars, pounds sterling) and the currencies of the nearest neighbors (Russian rubles, tenge, soums, yuan, etc.) are in use. If you plan to make high-altitude ascents, it is better to have US dollars on hand, some agencies may require payment in foreign currency. When exchanging US dollars, it is recommended to have banknotes of a new type, for old ones the rate is lower even at state exchange offices.
220V/50Hz (European sockets).
About 83% of the population are Sunni Muslims, 16% are Orthodox Christians. There are also a few communities of Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, etc.
Kyrgyzstan is quite safe for Russian tourists, although you should not forget about simple precautions: do not walk at night in unfamiliar places, beware of pickpockets, etc. In the outback, they can be weighed down or cheated in a store, although this is not very common. Despite the fact that the majority of the population is Muslim, there is no strict adherence to religious dress code and rules of conduct, although it is still recommended to avoid transparent clothing and miniskirts. Tap water is quite safe for health and tastes good.
Despite the fact that the network of medical institutions is well developed, there is a shortage of some drugs, disposable instruments, and equipment. If you need to constantly take some medications, it is better to take them with you. Emergency medical care will be provided free of charge, further services – for cash payment, so it is strongly recommended to purchase medical insurance. You can also contact private clinics (bargaining is appropriate).