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Landlocked and mountainous, it borders Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the southeast. This ancient city is located in. Annexed by Russia in 1. Soviet Union in 1. It has the most liberal tourist visa policy in Central Asia and one of the more progressive post- Soviet governments in the region. After unrest in various regions throughout the Soviet Union, a coup in Moscow against the regime of Mikhail Gorbachev failed. This move against the central government motivated the Kyrgyz power structure to declare independence from the U.
Kyrgyzstan also saw during that time the election of the only non- communist party backed president in the Central Asian region, a physicist named Askar Akayev. After several years of questionable elections, in March 2. Akayev to flee into exile in Russia. Bakiyev ran for the office of President and won, but was unable to gain parliamentary approval of his cabinet until five months later.
After several attempts to resolve a constitution, Bakiyev declared in 2. He then dissolved parliament and called for an early election to reform the parliamentary structure. State Department expressed deep concern about the conduct of the elections, citing several issues including widespread vote count irregularities and exaggerations in voter turnout.
Some of the current problems that Kyrgyzstan faces today are universal throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States, namely lack of political freedom, widespread corruption and negative influences on democracy. The mountains are beautiful for hiking. The northern and cooler region consists of Chui, Issyk- Kul, Talas, and Naryn oblasts.
While the southern and warmer region contains Jalalabad, Osh. The southern half of Kyrgyzstan is also part of the Fergana Valley, a fertile agricultural region shared by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Bishkek to south and 4. The city situated near big reservoir Toktogul.
Do not forget about the Terskey mountains range. This is real paradise for the lovers of outdoor activity. The famous places of Issyk- Kul regions; the valley near the Karakol city. Cholpon Ata beach, and Fairtaly on the southern shore of the lake. Lake Song Kul — Issyk Kul's little cousin, far more remote, and many would say more beautiful as well.
Lake Kul Ukuk The caravanserai of Tash Rabat — a well- preserved 1. Burana Tower — all that remains of the ancient Silk Road capital of Balasagun, a massive minaret standing alone on the step.
Ala Archa National Park — gorgeous Tian Shan high alpine landscapes within easy striking distance of Bishkek. Toktogul area — There are a lot of lost lakes in the region of Toktogul. Kara suu mountains lake, Kapka mountain lake and Ak kol mountains lake. Arslanbob — The world's second largest walnut forest, with beautiful walks and stunning scenery in a relaxing small rural village. As of July 2. Kyrgyzstan visa- free for up to 6. What follows below is the content of a letter distributed by the Kygyzstan embassy in Urumqi.
Notice for foreign tourists. Kyrgyzstan introduced a visa- free regime for citizens of 4. Air Manas Air Company runs 2 flights weekly to Bishkek. Details can be found at poezda. On the train it is forbidden to carry portable stove fuel cans. This is not to say that driving in the Republic is easy. The border at Kegen may be more difficult to get across. Frequent and obvious smuggling happens in this border and it's quite obvious that the immigration and the border guards are in cahoots with the smugglers.
If you are a holder of a passport of a country that is visa free to Kyrgyzstan you can cross without problems. From Uzbekistan to Bishkek, the road goes through Kazakhstan and drive would take more than 1. Osh in the south From Tajikistan to Osh the road from Khudjant Tadjikistan and through Batken Kyrgyzstan further to Osh.
The road is one of the most difficult to drive. The main road goes through the Uzbek enclaves but there is also an alternative way around the enclaves. If taking a taxi, remind the driver to go around the small bit of Uzbekistan. There is also a road from Khorog to Osh. From China there two passes - Irkeshtam leading to Osh and Torugart leading further to Naryn.
Minibuses between Bishkek and Almaty operate from many of Bishkek bus stations, including Almatenskaya Station. The flights are operated on local airlines using 3. On the other hand, the mechanics and pilots are well trained how to operate these old beasts. They're inexpensive and congregate at every village centre or bus station.
You can also arrange a private taxi by purchasing all the seats at the bus station or contacting a taxi firm directly. With shared taxis you will be quoted a price for one seat and if you have significant luggage you should expect to pay for an extra or partial seat.
You should negotiate prices, but as a foreigner you will likely pay more than a local. Another option that is developing is Iron Horse Nomads: You can get updated information and a complete Snow Report online.
Eurosolutions is organized by Germans and provides different packages. A lot of locals hitchhike and pay for the ride. So particularly if you happen to be a foreigner you are expected to pay for the ride. Most drivers will expect you to pay for the petrol. You can try to explain that you do not want to pay, the russian phrase Bez deneg can be used but prior to using the ride. As a rule of thumb you should either pay more than if you had paid a bus but less than if you had paid a taxi.
The roads are getting better and the police are becoming friendlier toward tourists and treat them better than they do locals. Most long- term expats drive, though some opt to use a driver. Kyrgyz is more common in rural areas whereas Russian is the urban language of choice in fact it's not uncommon to meet ethnic Kyrgyz people in Bishkek who cannot speak Kyrgyz.
English, while becoming more popular, is still rarely spoken, so in order to effectively communicate one must at the very least learn a few basic words yes, no, please, thank you, etc. If you are lost completely, try to ask young people, especially students. However, the characters are not too hard to learn and once that is done you'll find that many of the words are familiar. They use it for Kyrgyz language as well! Banks will accept a variety of major currencies, while the money- changing booths that are ubiquitous in urban areas will typically only deal with US dollars, pounds sterling, euros, Russian rubles, and Kazakh tenges.
Note that neither banks nor money changers will accept any foreign currency that is torn, marked, excessively crumpled, or defaced in any way, so be sure to carefully check any notes you intend to bring into the country for defects. Credit cards are rarely used. You can withdraw US Dollars or Kyrgyz som at many ATMs. And if we are saying overwhelmingly, it means really overwhelmingly.
Those with vegetarian fixations may wish to revise their habits, purchase their own fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh bread from one of the many small stands or food bazaars that are ubiquitous in every city, eat in Chinese restaurants or stay with bread and tea only. Same is valid for pistachios, almonds as well. Washing vegetables before consumption is recommended. For preparation, a sheep or horse is slaughtered and boiled in a large pot. The resulting broth is served as a first course.
Kyrgyz people like soupy food in general, those food that are served as kind of pasta in Russia pelmene , they prefer it as soup. The basic ingredients of lagman plain noodles and spiced vegetables mixed with mutton or beef can be fried together, served one on top of the other, or served separately.
Shashlik shish kebabs can be made of beef, mutton, or pork and are normally served with fresh onions, vinegar and bread. Almost all Kyrgyz meals are accompanied by tea either green or black and a circular loaf of bread known as a lepeshka. The bread is traditionally torn apart for everyone by one person at the table. In the south of Kyrgyzstan, this duty is reserved for men, but in the north it is more frequently performed by women.
Sometimes some words are said, but more often the prayer takes the form of a perfunctory swipe of the hands over the face. No matter if you are served tea, kymys, or vodka, if you have been invited to a Kyrgyz person's table to drink, you have been shown warm and friendly hospitality. Plan to sit awhile and drink your fill as you and your host attempt to learn about each other.
Traditionally, Kyrgyz tea is brewed strong in a small pot and mixed with boiling hot water to your desired taste. If you want light tea, say 'jengil chai'. If you want your tea strong and red, 'kyzyl chai'. You might notice that they don't fill the tea cup all the way. This is so that they can be hospitable and serve you lots of tea.
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