KYRGYZSTAN TRAVEL GUIDE
What would become modern Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1876 and became an independent country with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It has the most liberal tourist visa policy in Central Asia and one of the more progressive post-Soviet governments in the region.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the friendliest, warmest and most hospitable countries in Central Asia. The Kyrgyz welcome you into their country and homes with true nomadic spirit: for the nomads living in the mountains, life has not really changed since the days of caravans trailing along the Silk Route.
Kyrgyzstan has been called The Land of the Tian Shan – Oasis on the Great Silk Route because of its importance as a trading post between Europe and Asia. Though the country is still struggling to find its feet after the break up of the Soviet Union, modern Kyrgyzstan has done much to promote tourism.
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KYRGYZSTAN QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Bishkek
- Currency: Kyrgyz som (KGS)
- Area: 198,500 km2
- Population: 6,316 million (2018)
- Language: Kyrgyz, Russian
- Religion: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
- Electricity: 220V/50Hz, European plug
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KYRGYZSTAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 7 January, Orthodox Christmas
- 17 February, Independence Day
- 9 April, Constitution Day
- 1 May, International Labor Day
- 9 May, Europe Day
Also, Easter Monday, Orthodox Easter Monday, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
KYRGYZSTAN WEATHER SYNOPSIS
The climate in the Kyrgyz Republic is as varied as the country’s topography and can be classified into four major zones, each with distinctive characteristics. The valley-sub-mountain zone (from 900-1,200 m) experiences hot summers, snowless and temperate winters, and almost zero precipitation. The mountain zone (from 900–1,200 to 2,000–2,200 m) is characterised by a temperate climate, which has warm summers and cold, snowy winters. The high-mountain zone (from 2,000–2,200 to 3,000–3,500 m) is cooler in the summer and has relatively cold, snowless winters, with temperatures ranging from well below zero to 16°C. The nival belt zone (from 3,500 m and higher) has a polar climate and is covered by numerous snowfields and glaciers.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN KYRGYZSTAN
The snow season in Kyrgyzstan can start as early as November and last until April at the higher altitudes. The best months for skiing are January and February. Kyrgyzstan is a cheap skiing destination when compared to ski resorts in Western Europe.
HIKING & CYCLING IN KYRGYZSTAN
The best time for outdoor activities in Kyrgyzstan is from June to September. Most hiking trails are closed outside of these months.