Kyrgyzstan – a Hiker’s Dream Destination

According to countryaah, Kyrgyzstan is a small landlocked state in Central Asia, neighboring China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Despite its small size, Kyrgyzstan offers many different options for the traveler.

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Beautiful nature attracts tourists

Kyrgyzstan, located in the middle of Asia, is a mountainous country. The Tienšan Mountains pass through Kyrgyzstan and cover almost the entire country. The magnificent nature offers amazing hiking and climbing opportunities. Horseback riding is an important part of Kyrgyz folklore and culture to this day.

Short for KG by abbreviationfinder, Kyrgyzstan is a land of opposites. For example, the country’s climate is far from the same in all parts of Kyrgyzstan. Although the country is moderately small, you can choose to spend your vacation in a dry continental climate, a cold mountain climate, or in the subtropical climate of the southern part of the country.

In Kyrgyzstan, you can see authentic nomadic life in the muted landscapes of the mountains or enjoy what the capital Bishkek has to offer.

The climate varies depending on the destination

The weather varies greatly in different parts of Kyrgyzstan from the cold mountain climate to the subtropical climate of the south. The summer season in Kyrgyzstan is quite short but warm.

Winters in Kyrgyzstan are even freezingly cold, so the best travel time is late spring to early fall. In addition, especially in autumn and spring, there is a high risk of avalanches and many roads are often covered in snow.


Horseback riding is the highlight of the trip

In Kyrgyzstan, horse bridges cannot be avoided. The best way to get to know the still wild nature of Kyrgyzstan is definitely horseback riding. In the footsteps of nomads, you can explore ancient petroglyphs in Kyrgyzstan, go on adventures in nature and sleep in the yurt of your night. Along the way, you should also try a local sport, kok boru, which is like rugby on horseback.

The horses will also be associated with one of Kyrgyzstan’s flagship events, the At Chabysh Festival in Barskoön in early November. During the festival, you can learn about special equestrian gifts, such as horse wrestling.

The former Soviet republic suffers from poverty

Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet republic and, since independence, the country has suffered from internal conflicts, although the situation is calm so far. The locals are friendly and hospitable, but unfortunately Kyrgyzstan also suffers from the problems that poverty brings, such as crime. For example, on full buses, you should keep your eyes open for pickpockets, and driving alone at night is not recommended.

The currency of Kyrgyzstan is som and cannot be exchanged in Finland. It is a good idea to book US dollars or euros as your travel currency and exchange them locally for your local currency. The price level in Kyrgyzstan is low compared to Finland.

The official languages ​​are Kyrgyz and Russian. The capital, Bishkek, generally speaks moderately well in English, but in smaller cities, especially the older age groups do not speak English.


No direct flights from Finland

You can travel from Finland to Kyrgyzstan, for example, via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines or via Moscow on Aeroflot flights. Round-trip flights cost around EUR 500 at their cheapest.

There are two international airports in Kyrgyzstan. Manas International Airport is 25 km from the capital Bishkek. The second field is in the city of Osh.

A night’s sleep in a hotel or yurt

In the capital Bishkek, there are several different levels of hotels and hostels to choose from. The prices are very cheap compared to the Finnish price level and you can get accommodation for about ten euros per night.

Smaller towns often have mostly small inns, but also a few hotels. When traveling to Kyrgyzstan, when the opportunity arises, you should spend the night in a traditional nomadic lodge, in a yurt.

The traffic culture is different from the domestic one

In Kyrgyzstan, the roads are in poor condition and the traffic culture is completely different from Finland. Traffic is dangerous for both pedestrians and motorists. A large proportion of Kyrgyz have bought their driving licenses without attending driving school, so it is no wonder that the traffic is quite chaotic.

When taking a taxi, it is always a good idea to agree on a price in advance to avoid disagreements at the end of the trip. The railway network in Kyrgyzstan is rather narrow and the horse is still a common means of transport.


Lake Issyk Kul offers options for the traveler

Kyrgyzstan’s largest lake, Issyk Kul, is the second largest mountain lake in the world after Titicaca. Located in the mountains, in the Issyk-Kul area, the lake does not freeze even in winter, so it offers good fishing opportunities all year round. The lake is over 180 kilometers long and is located at a whopping 1,600 meters in the mountains.

The Tienšan mountain dominates the south shore of Issyk Kul. On the north shore is the tourist destination Cholpon-Ata and on the east shore is the largest city in the region Karakol.

Bishkek offers city amenities

Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan and is located in the northern part of the country. Crossed by wide boulevards, the city is a mixture of Soviet-era residential buildings and marble-clad buildings. One of the country’s international airports is right next to Bishkek, but the city can also be reached by train. The train journey from Moscow to Bishkek takes about three days.

The city is worth visiting the Kyrgyz Historical Museum, sensing the local atmosphere at the bazaars and eating delicious Central Asian cuisine.

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