kyrgyzstanKyrgyzstan is often called the Switzerland of Central Asia. In some sense this epithet is more deserved than in others. It is quite off the mark when it comes to the level of income, but very justifiable when it comes to the beauty of the mountainous landscape.

Compared with the dry and hot plains of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan it is quite refreshing to go into the high mountains of Kyrgystan. Kyrgyzstan may not have a long settled history, but it has all the natural beauty to make up for that. Furthermore the poeple are very friendly and helpful. This makes traveling in Kyrgyzstan relatively easy.

Compared with its neighbours, Kyrgyzstan might lack in cultural heritage, but the natural beauty can be overwhelming. In Soviet times much of the country was closed to visitors because of its strategic importance, closeness to China and the uranium mines in the Tian Shan mountains. Now it is the most of open of the Central Asian states.

Bishkek the capital is a green and friendly city. It is the travel hub and the best starting place to explore the country. You can visit the Ala Archa Gorge as an easy day trip from there. Osh and Naryn are further away.

Bishkek is a classic modern Soviet-style city with marble buildings and boulevards that seem too large for its population of around 700,000. Among the high rise apartment blocks typical of Soviet times, you’ll find Central Asia creeping in again. Farmer markets (bazaars) are springing up everywhere and money changing seems to be one of the main industry.

Apart from the distinctly communist-style museums and the general open atmosphere, there is not much to keep you in Bishkek, but you will spend quite a bit of time there anyway in all probability, as it is the main travel hub for Kyrgyzstan and the best place to get information or make bookings.


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