Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide
Country of Mountains, Meadows, and Lakes
Kyrgyzstan is situated in the east of Central Asia. Its neighbouring countries are Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tadjikistan to the south and China to the East and South-East. The former Republic of the Soviet Union became independent in the year 1991 and since then is a democratic Presidential Republic. Bishkek, formerly called Frunze, is the capital with about 1 million inhabitants, the country as a whole has a population of about 5 million people and an area of 198.500 km².
As a result of its varied and turbulent history, Kyrgyzstan throughout the centuries became a multinational country with more than 80 nationalities dwelling there nowadays. The ethnic group of the Kyrgyz, traditionally nomads that still live as half-nomads (see also "Kyrgyz people and their traditions"), makes up only a bit more than 50% of the population. The two other important ethnic groups are Russians and Uzbeks, both with about 15 % of the population. The Russians came into the region during the 19 th century. The capital Bishkek, with a history of 125 years, is heavily influenced by the Russian lifestyle and Soviet architecture. This explains why that the second-biggest religious group in the mostly muslim country (83%) is Russian-orthodox.
The majority of Uzbek people live in the south of the country, close to the border of Uzbekistan. This part of the country is much more influenced by muslim traditions than the rest. The rest of the population living in Kyrgyzstan consists of European ethnic groups like Germans or Ukrains, muslim chinese people (Dungans), as well as Tatars and Uighurs.
Although there are so many different people living in the region, whose lifestyle and traditions sometimes differ a lot, they all have one thing in common: the typical Central Asian hospitality, which is a rare occasion in the western world. Never you will come across a yurt without being invited for a cup of national drink Kymyz and a snack, never you will be invited into the house of locals without facing a table, completely full of delicacies already before the main dish is served.
Gastronomy is not the only way where hospitality is shown. The warmth and openness of the people can be felt when you first get acquainted, and at the second meeting you're already considered as a family member!
Kyrgyzstan travel guide suggests 10 Great Things to Do and See in Kyrgyzstan
Cities of Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, the capital of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, with a population of about 1 million, is situated in the north part of the country (Chui-Region). The city centre is heavily influenced by the Soviet era, so you can enjoy quite a number of typical soviet-style architecture (Philharmonia – concert hall, government building, Historic Museum, Monument for the Great War of the Native Country), and also modern monuments pointing out the traditional Kyrgyz culture (Monument of Manas, Monument of Independence, as well as many statues of Akyns, Manas’chi and local governors of different periods).
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Issyk-Kul is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, with about 180 km length, 70 km width and 668 m at the deepest point, (the average depth is about 300 meters). It is the world's second largest mountain lake – and the fifth deepest lake in the world. The lake has been held in high regard by the Kyrgyz who call it the “pearl of the Tien Shan ”. In 2004, the government declared the lake as the “property of the nation”.
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Kyrgyzstan Travel Attractions
Kievskaya 131/2, Bishkek 720001, Kyrgyzstan
Tel: +996 312 900592, +996 772 152139 Fax: +996 312 311170