Our exotic neighbor Kyrgyzstan appears to the tourist with the Pamir and Tien Shan mountain ranges, the blue expanses of Issyk-Kul Lake and endless steppes. Magnificent nature, ancient cities of Asia, mountaineering and trekking – all about Kyrgyzstan: news, maps, tours and photos. See JIBIN123 for Kyrgyzstan customs regulations and visa requirements.
The diamond in the Asian crown of ancient empires, Kyrgyzstan, has so far been little studied by domestic tourists. And it’s completely in vain – in terms of the abundance of natural and historical attractions, opportunities for beach holidays, treatment and skiing, this country is truly unmatched. On the territory of Kyrgyzstan there are the “heavenly mountains” of the Tien Shan and the Pamir ranges, here the purest high-mountain lake Issyk-Kul conceals the wealth of Genghis Khan, relic walnut forests grow and hot sulfur springs beat. However, Kyrgyzstan has prepared a lot of surprises for the idle “caretaker”: colorful yurts and felt carpets (and very good hotels), koumiss and Osh pilaf, traditional horse races, chants, fairy tales and legends. In a word, Asia in all its glory – that’s what Kyrgyzstan is!
From Kyrgyzstan, you can bring felt hats “kalpak” and items of national costume: quilted “ichken” robes, bloomers and swing skirts, leather shoes, traditional vessels and cases made of leather – for example, for making, storing and serving koumiss. The visiting card of the folk crafts of Kyrgyzstan is a felt carpet “shyrdak” made of sheep’s wool, decorated with bright national patterns. Such carpets are not cheap, but they are truly eternal. Pay attention to wood products: chests and caskets, cases, coasters, interior items and chess. Representatives of the fair sex will appreciate Kyrgyz jewelry: familiar bracelets, rings, earrings and exotic forehead and hanging pendants.
Any meal in Kyrgyzstan begins and ends with tea. Dried fruits, nuts, sweets and pastries are always served on the table before the main course.
Cuisine and restaurants
Kyrgyz cuisine is rich in meat and wet foods: soups, broth-based and gravy-based dishes, and dairy products. Of meat, lamb and horse meat are mainly used, beef and poultry are also eaten, but pork – for religious reasons – is not at all on the Kyrgyz menu. One of the most popular dishes is “beshbarmak” (“five fingers”), which is prepared from a young lamb. The meat is boiled, broth is served for the first dish, then individual pieces of meat as a prelude to the second, and after that the remaining meat is finely chopped and mixed with broth and homemade noodles. The guest is traditionally offered delicacies – cheeks, brain and eyes. Another favorite dish of all is boiled horse sausage “chuchuk”. It is used both independently and as part of other foods. Many dishes came to the national cuisine of Kyrgyzstan from neighboring countries: Shorpo soup, pilaf and shish kebab, samsa and manty — moreover, they are enriched with local nuances and are already perceived as primordially Kyrgyz. The best pilaf, for example, is considered to be Osh pilaf. Fatty food is washed down with milk drinks – koumiss based on mare’s milk, ayran and local varieties of yogurt. In all other cases, tea is consumed in abundance: green or black (here it is called “kyzyl chai” – red tea) with nuts, dried fruits, cakes and pies.
In Kyrgyzstan, you should definitely try the unusual national drink “bozo” made from wort on crushed wheat grains – almost like Russian kvass, but more tart and rich.
Visa to Kyrgyzstan
Citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine do not need a visa to visit Kyrgyzstan, so there are no obstacles for tourists in enjoying its natural beauties and national hospitality. Moreover, entry into the republic is possible both with a foreign and with an internal Russian passport. The only caveat is that upon departure you will have to pay an administrative fee of 10 USD. Stay in the republic is possible for 90 days, after which you must either leave the country or apply for temporary residence.
Entry into the country
At passport control at Bishkek’s Manas Airport, it is enough to present a valid passport and make sure that the border guard officer puts an entry stamp into it. The presence of a stamp is extremely important for further stay in the country: documents are often checked in Kyrgyzstan and the absence of an entry mark can lead to various unpleasant consequences – from banal extortion to detention “until clarification”.
Entry into Kyrgyzstan for citizens of Russia is also possible with an internal passport – in this case, a mark on crossing the border is placed on the migration card.
When traveling with a child at the border, you must present:
- birth certificate of the child;
- the internal or international passport of the child or the internal or international passport of the parent in which the child is entered;
- if the child is traveling accompanied by one of the parents or a third person, a notarized power of attorney from the remaining parent is required to take the child out.
When departing from Kyrgyzstan, an administrative fee of 10 USD per passenger is charged at the airport. Children under 2 years of age are exempt from the fee.
In addition, you should definitely take out a medical insurance policy for the entire duration of the trip. Let it be better not to be useful than to be left without qualified assistance in case of an accident.