Published on Jul 13, 2013
Central Asia Travels: Travelling to Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan, also referred to as the Kyrgyz Republic, is a country that is situated in Central Asia. It is landlocked and bordered by four other countries: Kazakhstan to the north, Tajikistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, and China to the east. The capital of Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek, which is located at the northern part of the country. Aside from being the largest and most populated city, you may also notice that many of Bishkek's buildings bear some Soviet influence.
The country's official languages are Kyrgyz and Russian. The Kyrgyz ethnic group makes up more than 60% of Kyrgyzstan's population, followed by the Uzbeks, Russians, and Germans.
People who are looking for Central Asia travel places should consider putting Kyrgyzstan on their list of countries to visit. Seeing the nature of Kyrgyzstan is highly recommended as it boasts of mountain ranges, rapid-flowing rivers, highland lakes, forests, deserts, and glaciers. One of the most popular reasons people visit Kyrgyzstan is because of Lake Issyk-Kul and the Tian Shan mountains.
Lake Issyk-Kul is actually the tenth biggest lake in the world in terms of volume, measuring 182 kilometers in length, 60 kilometers in width, and it covers an area of more than 6,000 square kilometers. The Tian Shan mountain range, on the other hand, is located across the border between Kyrgyzstan and China. Its highest peak is called the Victory Peaks which stands at approximately 7,400 meters above sea level.
The Kyrgyz people have a rich history and cultural traditions. They started out as nomads living in the south-central part of Russia, between Lake Baikal and Yenesei River, approximately 2,000 years ago. Their language, Kyrgyz, is a Turkic language with traces of Mongolian. Many of them also speak Russian, which is the second language of the country.
The Kyrgyz also consider the horse as an important part of their culture. They are considered as the "wings of the Kyrgyz", and were believed to carry the spirit of a dead person to another world. They also have national horse games, like Kyrgyz horse wrestling, "Ulak tariysh", "Kyz kuumai", and "Upai".
Kyrgyzstan music can be described as "nomadic" and "rural". The main feature of their folk music includes long and sustained pitches, with influences of Russian elements. As for relationships, beautiful Kyrgyz women usually greet each other with hugs and handshakes. Relationships between males and females are also less rigid among Kyrgyzstanis compared to Uzbeks and Tajiks. Household tasks are commonly shared among men and women. The Kyrgyz are very hospitable people, and they usually serve cooked sheep's head to honor their guests.
Traditionally, Kyrgyz people live in a "yurt". Today, most of them live in permanent homes in the city.
Travel to Kyrgyzstan
Those who have gone to Kyrgyzstan certainly recommend going back. Travel in Kyrgyzstan is friendly on the budget, but the flights can get really expensive. Plan out your trip carefully to get the most out of your stay in Kyrgyzstan.
Going to Kyrgyzstan also gives travellers a feeling of excitement about discovering the unknown. Other popular places like China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, etc. have already been featured in a lot of travel magazines and even in online travel sites, and Kyrgyzstan is relatively untouched compared to these places.
Kyrgyzstan is a country that has many things to offer the adventurous kind of traveller. If you are looking for places to visit in Central Asia, make sure you put Kyrgyzstan at the top of your list.