My flight to Kyrgyzstan was finally booked! As I looked over my itinerary (spending hours googling and downloading travel apps), It was fully packed and full of adventure, although It was my first time to visit I know I am going to have some sweet time for a couple of days.
But…! Why KYRGYZSTAN? How I found that on The map?
Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country in Central Asia and 90% of the country is
Kyrgyzstan also has an interesting history, it was part of the ancient Silk Road, and then part of Soviet USSR before gaining independence in 1991.
IS it Safe to Travel to KYRGYZSTAN?
Well on my first day in the evening from a long drive to the beautiful Ala Archa National Park. I wanted to get a glace of the night lights in the city, so I put on my google map and walked all the way to the city area had some good food and came back. I was alone and none give a thing on me. so I guess it’s pretty safe to travel.
VISA, TRANSPORT AND HOTEL BOOKING – DO YOUR OWN OR HIRE SOMEONE TO GET IT DONE FOR YOU
You could do this on your own, and most experienced travellers do these on their own, but you need to do your research a bit more, sometimes you end up spending more time and money. In my case, I got it done from Musafir Holidays, as I did not worry much about Hotel booking, Airfare and the boring stuff.
I only had to explore and capture all the beautiful memories as much as I can. isn’t it cool?
A big Shout out to Musafir.com
Musafir.com is the UAE’s first premium-experience travel website. Offer flights to over 3,000 destinations, hotel stays in over 85,000 properties around the world, holiday experiences and much more. – Musafir.com
I have traveled few times with them and they are super convenient in terms of customizing my travel plan, they literally had to re do my travel plan 3 times
The word musafir (pronounced moo-saa-fir) means “traveler” in Arabic.
(For your note, this is not a paid promotion to Musafir, it just came from my heart.)
How to get around in Kyrgyzstan? Bus, Taxi or Horse
Kyrgyzstan is not a fully developed country, so traveling in Kyrgyzstan can be a bit of a pain. Uber have not yet countered them :). But there are cheap ways of transportation.
Public Bus: There are public buses in the city which runs on electricity connected to electric cables (above photo)
Mashrutka (Minibuses) : Mashrutkas are vans and mini-buses that connect all cities and towns in Kyrgyzstan.
Taxi: Taxis are easy to get but expensive than Mashrutkas, the only option to travel long distances as you might not get Mashrutkas all the time and not the convenient option.
How to stay connected? SOMETIMES instagraming is more important than food
According to a recent report, an average human spend more time on staring and taking pitchers of the food than eating. and yah you need internet for that.
Get a SIM from a mobile company called O! For just a few dollars, they offer weekly deals for both internet data and calls. you get unlimited data for around $3 (200 SOM) for a whole week.
What to eat and where? Bring it baby
In Kyrgyzstan, they eat a lot of meat and drink a lot of tea. It is predominantly a meat-eating country. Sheep is the most common meat while I have seen there is always horse meat on the menu.
Vegetarians/Vegans might have a tough time surviving since the vegetarian options aren’t in plenty. But you get salads to fill your stomach.
Do not forget to tryout these foods
- Start with the horse milk
- Then stuff those starter pieces of
breadswhile drinking tea
- Laghman – Meat, vegetables, and noodles served in broth
- Monty – A meat, onion, and fat filled dumplings.
- Besh Parma
- Also, you must try Shawarma which will lift you a feat from the ground
- For sweet lovers, I don’t think you will gonna find anything good.
Alright lets talk money? how much is everything
Travelling in Kyrgyzstan is extremely cheap. The currency of Kyrgyzstan is the Som, which around $69 at this time. Although there are ATM’s around the city, It is advisable to bring Dollars and exchange them to SOM. where they might not accept cards in the village areas. keep cash handy.
BUDGET + TIPPING
For budgeting, everything is relatively inexpensive. Even when we forgot shampoo, we were able to buy a big bottle for roughly $2 USD in a remote village. Here is a guide for everything else.
- Hostel: 400 – 600 KGS (Shared Room) or 900 – 1200 KGS (Private Room)
- Yurt / Homestay: 400 – 850 KGS
- Breakfast or Lunch: 100 – 250 KGS
- Dinner: 150 – 500 KGS
- Horse (per Day): 700 – 1000 KGS
- Guide (per Day): 1200 – 2500 KGS
- Public Bus 20 KGS
In general, tipping is not expected but always appreciated, especially in the tourism industry. In larger international hotels in Bishkek, the western style is the norm, so expect to pay a small sum to bell boys or cleaners.
For guides and drivers in Central Asia tipping is a part of their salary and, though not compulsory, tipping is an excellent way to show your appreciation of their services.
Tourism is so new here that there is no standard for tipping, but here’s what we did:
Travel Guide, Friends and The Model – NIK
It is always fun traveling alone, if you get the right guide or you bump into the right people, it is not easy to get someone cool enough to show around and have good times like a good friend not like a guide. luckily Nik was one of them, cool guy and a nice character. soon he became a good friend and my photography model 🙂
Best places to visit and things to do in Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek City Tour
The Bishkek city not so big, but has some good places to see, such as Manas Ordo Statue, Philharmonic concert hall, Central square Ala-Too, National Square, Bishkek Park. you can tour the city in one day or less.
Ala Archa National Park – Trekking with beautiful Nature
Its a popular destination point for weekend picnickers, hikers, horse trekkers, skiers as well as mountain climbers
Kashka Suu & Cable Car Ride & snow activities
Kashka-suu ski resort is located 2,100 meters above sea level, 35 km from the Bishkek.
Fresh air, stunning panorama of t
The world’s second largest glacier lake and in Summer you can swim in the lake and relax on the beaches surrounding the south shore or party on the beach resorts on the north shore. In winter it’s super cold and I did not see any water activities happening.
It took a whole day for this trip as it took over 3 hours to reach, I would suggest to stay over in Issyk Kul.
Burana Tower is one of the most accessible day trips to undertake from Bishkek, which is the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Finally! That was a long one but I hope this is helpful in putting together your trip to Kyrgyzstan. Travel
Kyrgyzstan but make sure you preserve the nature.