Kyrgyzstan has a very unique tradition when it comes to cuisine. Tending to livestock is a big part of their culture. As a result, there are many delicious meat dishes available here. Some of their most popular ingredients include mutton, horse meat, and beef.
Paloo, or plov, is a particularly delicious dish that consists of rice served with onions, veggies, and bits of meat. Then there’s monty, which are dumplings filled with meat, onions, and fat. Or you can try beshbarmak, one of the most traditional Kyrgyz dishes. It is made of chopped pieces of lamb meat mixed with noodles and onions.
Another great thing about Kyrgyzstan is its fascinating culture, which has been influenced by their history as nomadic people. For one thing, you’ll see yurts everywhere you go. These are unique, portable tents that are used as homes, restaurants, and even hotels. You’ll also see men wearing unusual, triangular hats known as kalpaks.
The people of Kyrgyz are also well-known for their musical talent. Their songs are often used to relate the Manas, a Kyrgyz epic which is many times longer than the works of Homer. You should also check out one of their many wonderful festivals while you’re there, such as the Horse and Game Festival or the Kyrgyz Kochi Festival.
Kyrgyzstan is truly a nature lover’s dream come true. Mountains cover more than 90 per cent of the country, meaning there are plenty of hiking and biking opportunities to be had. You’re also welcome to visit Issyk-Kul Lake, which is the world’s second-largest alpine lake.
The mountains themselves are teeming with wildlife. You’re likely to see many birds of prey while you’re there such as eagles and hawks. And thrill-seekers will be happy to know that Kyrgyzstan is an excellent destination for extreme sports. Rafting and skiing are both very popular here.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the most underrated countries you can visit in Central Asia. If you are planning your next trip here, these are some things you need to know before you get on a plane.
Bring sunscreen and protect yourself from the sun. Being in Central Asia means it can get pretty hot and steamy. This is why tour guides recommend you put on clothes that cover your skin and use extra sun protection, especially for your face.
If you plan on hiking up a mountain, make sure to wear multiple layers to beat the colder temperature in the higher altitudes.
Another tip is to bring your own toilet paper, wet wipes, or hand sanitizer with you. Remote areas are not known to have the best bathrooms. Sometimes, the public toilets are missing a sink or a bidet. Furthermore, to prevent spills and accidents, make sure to bring essential toiletries with you all the time, especially if you are going on lengthy tours.
The best time to go to Kyrgyzstan is from June to September in the northern parts of the country, and March to October in the southern areas.
If you are going hiking in the mountains, it would be best to go in the summer so you will be able to avoid rain showers. The ideal months are from April to June.
Here are some of the things you can expect during your visit to Kyrgyzstan. Make sure you are prepared for anything!
In Kyrgyzstan, they use the Kyrgyzstani Som for currency. Its code is KGS. One KGS is equivalent to 0.014 United States Dollars. Credit cards are not widely used, so it is better to have cash on hand, especially for things such as taxi rides.
The locals converse in Kyrgyz and Russian. They tend to speak Russian in the cities, but when you head to the outskirts of the country, they speak in Kyrgyz. Make sure to bring your survival language cards with you!
The only locations you will be able to find an ATM machine is in the bigger cities such as Cholpon Ata or in supermarkets. There are some ATMs scattered around but since they are few, you may want to have your cash exchanged early on to avoid having to hunt one down.
They use power plugs that are type C and type F with a voltage of 220V and 50Hz.
Although the locals are known for their hospitality, you may be subjected to a petty crime if you are not careful. But, with constant vigilance, you can get by without a scratch. Watch the news, though, for any signs of potential political unrest before booking your flight.
Kyrgyzstan has a continental climate since it is miles away from an actual ocean. The summers are hot but in the mountains, there are cooler temperatures.