Country Kyrgystan – Unseen and Unexplored
Touted as the Switzerland of Central Asia, this mountainous country is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Blessed with natural finery, Kyrgyzstan has only started to evolve as a tourist destination, so the travellers are ensured of a quiet and wonderful experience. From lush green meadows to snow capped peaks and stunning farmlands, this country is a palette of colours and moods.
There are not many choices in accommodation in this country and budget hotels are confined mostly to the cities of Bishkek and Osh. Only basic amenities can be expected in these hotels. In small cities and villages, locals let out attached rooms of their houses to guests. In case you are looking for a unique experience, try out the Turbazas, or 'tourist bases', which substitute hotel accommodation. Cheap and comfortable, guests are provided with basic bungalow accommodation and three meals a day. Home stays, tents, camps and caravans are some of the other options on offer
Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed into the Russian Empire in 1876, which in turn set off a series of ethnic conflicts and revolts against tsarist authority with many of the Kyrgyz opting to relocate to the Pamirs and Afghanistan. In 1991 Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union.
Kyrgyzstan has many trekking routes including the fabled Tash Rabat caravanserai along the ancient Silk route, which is a good flag off point for hikes. The nature enthusiast would find the Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve a great pick. An enchanting maze of forests, lakes and meadows, it is a miniature ecosystem at its best. If you think it is time for some souvenir shopping, head straight to the Osh market, where you can shop till you drop. One of the largest market places in central Asia, it is a great place for shopping and people watch too!
Buses and taxis are the common mean of transport in the travel guide of Kyrgyzstan. Most of the taxis are unlicensed and as a guide and goos tip, the fares should be negotiated before the trip. Domestic flights and trains services also connect the various cities.
Places of Entertainment
There are both Russian and European operas and ballets and the best place to catch up with the latest show is at the State Opera House in the capital city of Bishkek. The local theatres screen the Kyrgyz national epic, Manas that runs to over 500,000 lines to packed houses.
Kyrgyzstanian Som is the local currency and it can be exchanged in commercial banks and money exchange facilities. The value of Som can be accessed from the internet or financial news papers.
Group accommodation in Kyrgyzstan | Cheap hostels & budget hotels