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Kyrgyzstan

Introduction

Mountainous Kyrgyzstan lies lost amidst soaring peaks and the rugged valleys, deep gorges and glaciers that tumble from them. Kyrgyzstan travel is unusual and a chance to see Central Asia before the West encroached. Those that do venture here can be assured of activity and adventure; hop on a horse and ride into the mountains, sleep in a yurt and experience the local Kyrgyz hospitality.

The capital Bishkek is a largely Soviet-built city full of sites of interest including an impressive opera and ballet theatre, museums and the Victory Monument.

The impressive Tien Shan Mountains are everywhere you look; a haven for walkers and climbers there are countless tracks and trails to explore, including the taxing but thrilling journey from Bishkek to Kashgar in China via the Torugart Pass.

The mountains are also home to pretty Issyk Kul Lake, the world's second-largest alpine lake, which never freezes despite its altitude. Lake Song Kul in the centre of the country is another attractive destination with good camping and walking opportunities.

Alternatively, travel to Ala Archa National Park for views over high peaks, large glaciers and lush water meadows as well as the chance to glimpse eagles, bears, lynx, wild boars and wolves.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
7½ hours

Time zone
GMT +6

Currency
Som (KGS) = 100 tyin

Language
Kyrgyz

Travel advice
Check the FCO for latest visa & travel advice

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