If you were offered to swim in the lake-sea, climb to the top of the mountain, look at the gorge, divided in half by the river, swim in thermal springs, wander around the oriental bazaar, see the snow leopard and eat rich fragrant soup – & nbsp; where would you go?
We have an answer: you will find all this in Kyrgyzstan. We tell you how and why you should go there.
Citizens of the Russian Federation do not need a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan. When crossing the border, you will need a passport or a Russian passport. Remember that if you are traveling with a child alone, you need to present a notarized consent of the other parent to take the minor out of the country.
You can stay on the territory of Kyrgyzstan for 30 days without registration, if you are planning a longer trip, you will need to register with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan within five days from the date of entry into the country.
Air communication with Bishkek is direct. Aeroflot, Ural Airlines and the Kyrgyz company Avia Traffic Company fly several times a day on the Moscow-Bishkek route. Travel time is four hours and fifteen minutes. A ticket for one adult will cost from 8,000 rubles one way.
You can also get there by train, however, you will have to spend more than three days on the way. It runs from the Kazansky railway station in Moscow three times a week.
Car enthusiasts can get to Bishkek by car. The distance between cities is 3,738 km. The road will take about 48 hours, if you do not stop for rest.
Food and prices
The main ingredient of local cuisine is meat: lamb, beef, horse meat and yak meat. Also in the diet of the Kyrgyz there are a lot of flour and sour-milk dishes.
Must-try for all meat lovers is beshbarmak. This is minced meat of horse meat or lamb, which is boiled in its own broth and fat, & nbsp; then served with noodles and onions.
Important: beshbarmak is eaten by hand, so don't be surprised if the waiter doesn't bring a knife and fork.
We also recommend trying lagman – a soup based on a spicy salty broth with meat, peppers, onions, carrots and herbs. There are many options: classic, fried boso-lagman, served separately gyuryu-lagman. You can safely taste pilaf in every city and even a restaurant: it will be different everywhere. Those who want something more unusual should pay attention to kurut – local cheese, small dried sour-milk balls. And also chuchuk – horsemeat sausage.
The prices are quite democratic, for example, a dinner for two in a restaurant in Bishkek will cost you about one and a half thousand rubles or 450 soms.
The famous lake Issyk-Kul
One of the deepest lakes in the world and the second cleanest water after Lake Baikal. Issyk-Kul does not freeze in winter, and the water here contains a lot of salt, thanks to which the climate on the coast is very similar to seaside. The ruins of an ancient Scythian city are hidden under the waters of the lake. Issyk-Kul is part of the biosphere reserve, where badgers, ferrets, mountain goats and even snow leopards live.
The most popular and comfortable beaches are & nbsp; Golden Sands and Blue Issyk, everything here is adapted for a family holiday. If noisy beaches are not for you, there are many wild and secluded places.
< p> Mount Takhti-Suleiman
One of the oldest cities in all of Central Asia, archaeologists have more than three thousand years of history of Osh. Here is an Islamic shrine – & nbsp; Mount Tahti-Suleiman. Another notable place is kilometer bazaar-the same age as the Silk Road. You can wander around it for hours, this is not just a market, but a place with a special atmosphere and goods and products from different Central Asian states.
International University of Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek today is it is a mixture of modern Kyrgyz culture and Soviet heritage. Architecturally, it is very similar to any large city of the Soviet era, adjusted for Islamic religious buildings and complex toponyms.
An hour's drive from Bishkek is the Ala Archa gorge – & nbsp; stunning natural park, which presents all the climatic zones of Kyrgyzstan. Here is beauty and a real paradise for lovers of outdoor activities – & nbsp; hiking, rock climbing and mountain hiking. If you are not traveling as part of an active tour — contact the nearest camp site for advice and assistance — It can be dangerous to walk the tracks in the gorge on your own without preparation.
Altyn-Arashan high mountain gorge
Nature reserve in the gorge with thermal springs, waterfalls and a relict lake. Green meadows, flowering fields and a spruce forest at an altitude of more than 2500 meters above sea level – & nbsp; it is a unique place and many trekking routes with surprises around every turn. And if you consider that you can swim in the terms all year round, then this is just a godsend for lovers of active travel.
The choice of housing is great:  ; from budget hostels to luxurious rooms in five-star hotels. If you want something more cozy and comfortable, we recommend staying in a guest house. Learn more about the local culture as a bonus. Housing prices are low: a night in a small, modest room costs 700+ rubles per person. A 4-star hotel can be booked for 3000-4000 rubles.
Kyrgyzstan has long been not the most popular holiday destination, but author's or active tours change the look at travel. Hayk, waterfalls, mountains, a majestic lake that easily replaces the sea, thermal springs and not the most traveled routes, a mixture of monumental Islamic architecture and the Soviet past, plus delicious food and aromatic tea – & nbsp; all this adds up to the harmony of an ideal trip.