PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS 2015
Of all Central Asian Republics Kyrgyzstan is the easiest country to entry. Nevertheless, even if you can enter under one of the visa-free regimes explained here below, make sure that you get an entry stamp into your passport when crossing the border.
As of July 27, 2012, citizens from 44 nations may visit Kyrgyzstan visa-free for up to 60 days:
|Australia||Iceland||Republic of Malta||United States of America|
|Republic of Austria||Ireland||Monaco||Republic of Finland|
|Kingdom of Belgium||Kingdom of Spain||New Zealand||The French Republic|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||The Italian Republic||Kingdom of Norway||The Republic of Croatia|
|Vatican||Canada||United Arab Emirates||The Czech Republic|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain||Republic of Korea||The Republic of Poland||The Swiss Confederation|
|Hungary||Kuwait||Portuguese Republic||Kingdom of Sweden|
|Federal Republic of Germany||The Republic of Latvia||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||The Republic of Estonia|
|Kingdom of Netherlands||The Republic of Lithuania||The Republic of Singapore||Qatar|
|The Hellenic Republic||Liechtenstein||The Slovak Republic||Brunei Darussalam|
|Kingdom of Denmark||Luxembourg||The Republic of Slovenia||Kingdom of Bahrain|
Malaysia, Turkey and Japan:
According to bilateral agreements a visa-free regime till 30 days is accorded for citizens of Malaysia and till 90 days for citizens of Turkey (all categories of passports).
Legislation of Kyrgyzstan allows visa-free entry for 60 days to citizens of Japan (all categories of passports).
Citizens from following countries are entitled to obtain a 1 month tourist visa upon entry at in Manas International Airport without any Letter of Invitation:
|Bulgaria||Montenegro||The Sultanate of Oman|
With the list of the countries with which the visa/visa-free regulations are set, it is possible to check on the official site of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kyrgyz Republic: http://www.mfa.gov.kg/
For convenience of our passengers at the territory of international airport “Manas”, Department of Consular service serves24 hours.
Consular Department atthe Manas airport provides free consultation on the following phone numbers:
Consul mobile phone number (24 hours): +996 550 770 433;
For the moment, there are only few international flight schedules –
Kyrgyz airlines: Kyrgyzstan Air, Bishkek Air, AviaTraffic
(fromMoscow, Siberia, Istanbul, Dubai, Seoul, Tashkent, Dushanbe, Urumchi),
Turkish Airlines to Bishkek (from Istanbul 2 times a day and Ulan-Bator, Mongolia 2 times a week)
Turkish Airlines to Osh – 3 times a week
Pegasus Airlines (from Istanbul SabihaGokcen Airport every day and to Delhi, India 2 times a week)
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (from Moscow 2 times a day),
S7 (from Novosibirsk),
Fly Dubai (from Dubai), Air Astana (from Almaty),
Southern China Airlines (from Urumchi),
Uzbekistan Airways (from Tashkent), Tajik Air (from Dushanbe),
Ural Airlines (from Ekaterinburg).
Within Kyrgyzstan local aircompanies frequently fly to Osh, Jalalabat and Batken on a regular basis.
“Manas” International Airport: www.airport.kg
The best connections with Europe are:
(twice a day from Istanbul to Bishkek, twice a week connecting to Ulan-Bator, Mongolia, 3 times a week to Osh
2 – Pegasus Airlines via Istanbul; Delhihttp://www.flypgs.com/en/
(every day from Istanbul to Bishkek, 2 times a week to Dehli)
3 – Aeroflot Russian Airlines via Moscow Sheremetievo http://http://www.aeroflot.ru/cms/en
(twice a day from Moscow to Bishkek)
The best connections with Asia:
1 – Air Astana via Almatyhttp://airastana.com/kaz/en-us/
2 – China Southern Airlines via Urumchi and other Chinese citieshttp://www.flychinasouthern.com/KG/GB/PGNF
3 – Fly Dubai via Dubai UAEwww.flydubai.com/
4 – Uzbekistan Airways via Tashkenthttp://www.uzairways.com/en
Kyrgyzstan holds only one main railway line, which runs from Bishkek to Balykchy town at the western
end of Lake Yssyk-Köl.It turn, Bishkek can reached by railway from Russia.
The national currency in Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyz Som (KGS) which is divided into 100 Tiyin. You will find that higher-priced items are priced in US dollars and a few businesses in the hospitality industry also fix their prices in Euros. Although shops and businesses in Bishkek introduce increasingly card payment, you will need cash in national currency for every day purchases. Banks and licensed moneychanger booths (marked “obmenvalyut”) exchange USD and Euro. There is no black market for currency transactions. It is preferably to change big notes (50 USD or EUR or more) in neat (almost new) condition. For small bank notes (under 50 USD or EUR) and blemished notes it happens that moneychangers significantly lower the exchange rate. There are ATMs in Bishkek, Jalal-Abad, Cholpon Ata, Karakol and Osh that dispense both US dollars and Som, but mostlyVisa Cards are accepted. Few banks as the KazkommertBank, DemirBank and RSK Bankbranches in Bishkek accept MasterCard / Maestro / Cirrus. If you need to wire money, MoneyGram has services at main post offices and Western Union works through most banks.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$10,000 or equivalent must be declared to the customs.
The current official exchange rate can be checked on the website of the Kyrgyz National Bank: www.nbkr.kg
- Duty free
Following goods may be imported into Kyrgyzstan by travelers of 16 years or more without incurring customs duty:
- 1000 cigarettes or 1000g of tobacco products
- 1,5 liters of alcoholic beverages and 2 liters of wine
- A reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use
Next to weapons and narcotics banned imports are also fruit and vegetables and live animals (subject to special permit).
Banned export are precious metals and articles, works of art and antiques (unless permission has been granted by the Ministry of Culture) and furs.
- Communication / Internet
- Electric devices
- Public Holidays
- Weather & climate
If you need to call during your travel in Kyrgyzstan you can buy a local GSM Sim card for about 2 dollarswith passportregistration. You can charge units to your sim according to your needs; either in a public automat (in shops and public places in Bishkek) or in a kiosk in any town or village.There are 3 major telecom providers with nationwide coverage (except remote mountain areas far from roads or villages). The country code is +996 (city/area/mobile network code) (phone number)
Internet cafes are available in small towns throughout the country although the speed is best in Bishkek. An hour costs between 30 and 40 som. Some of these cafes also provide landlines for calls abroad which are cheaper than call from cell phones.
Wi Fi is accessible in almost all hotels, guesthouses and restaurants of Bishkek and Osh. In rural areas, Wi Fi access can be limited.
Electricity in Kyrgyzstan is 220 Volts, alternating at 50 Hertz. Outlets in Kyrgyzstan generally accept plugs of two round pins – European/Soviet standards .
Medical services offered to foreigners, except emergency care, require immediate cash payment and are somewhat limited. First aid and small interventions can be provided in regional hospitals but for severe health problems it is preferable to get help in Bishkek. Embassies and local CBT offices will assist to find English-speaking physicians. Medical insurance is strongly recommended.
Tab water in towns is generally bacteria free but can have a high metal content. Therefore bottled or boiled water is preferable. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Hepatitis B and E occur. Rabies is present. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. Tuberculosis, brucellosis and meningitis are common to Kyrgyzstan. Altitude sickness can occur above 2,500m (8,202 ft).For short term travels check adequate immunization against polio, tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A (booster shots every 10 years). For longer stays following additional exposure vaccinations are recommended: Hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies. If you plan excursions in the forested mountains in the early summer months, there is the risk of a tick-borne encephalitis disease that you can get vaccination against before your departure.
|1 January – New Year|
|7 January – Russian Orthodox Christmas
23 February – Soviet Army Day
|8 March – Women’s Day|
|21 March – Nooruz, Central Asia New Year|
|1 May – Labor Day|
|5 May – Constitution Day|
|9 May – Victory Day (Victoryin the World WarII)|
|31 August – Independence Day|
|OrozoAit – the end of Ramadan according to the Moon calendar|
|KurmanAit – the Feast of Sacrifice according to the Moon calendar|
During official holidays,public institutions are closed, but most shops and bazaars are working.
Your biggest risk in Kyrgyzstan are car wrecks and accidents while crossing the street or falling into an unprotected draining hole in the sidewalk. You should also exercise caution around stray animals and avoid approaching dogs.
During nighttime there can be an increased risk of robbery or aggressive behavior due to alcohol intoxication in the streets of Bishkek,Karakol and other larger towns. To avoid incidents travelers are advised not to walk but to use taxis which are cheap and can be ordered by phone.
On places typically frequented by foreigners like bazaars pay special attention to pickpockets and trick thieves.
In the past there have been occasional reports of foreigners being approached by persons impersonating police and asking for documents in order to find an excuse to extort monies (Osh market in Bishkek). When approached by a policeman without uniform, try to simply walk on or to get help from a local person.
As corruption is a serious issue in Kyrgyzstan, even real policemen can stop you and ask for a bribe for whatever reason. Therefore you should know that police in Kyrgyzstan is only allowed to stop foreigners in order to control their passport and visa. A foreigner without passport can be taken to the police office. To avoid any problem make sure you carry your passport with you and have all contacts of your travel agency.
Emergency lines :
112 – Emergency
102 – Police
103 – Ambulance
Kyrgyzstan has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. In the lowlands, the temperature ranges from around -6°C (21°F) in January to 24°C (75°F) in July. In the low-lying Fergana Valley of the south temperatures may peak as high as the low 40s in summer.
In the highlands, the temperatures range from between -20° (-4°F in January to 12°C (54°F) in July, although some high mountain valleys can drop as low as -30°C (-22°F) in winter. Rainfall is fairly low throughout the country but there can be heavy snowfalls during winter. The wettest area is the mountains above the Fergana Valley; the driest, the southwest shore of Lake Issyk-Kul. March to May and October to November are usually the wettest months
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Kyrgyzstan is between May and October as getting around outside this period can be difficult. Trekking is best between June and September, although July and August are the busiest times for foreign visitors. The south of the country, and even Bishkek, can be uncomfortably warm at this time of year, so if these are the prime destinations to be visited, spring or autumn may be a better choice.
- Border Zone Permit:
Kyrgyzstan has border zones, where foreigners and even locals need “Border Zone Permit” to allow to travel. Most popular areas close to the border are Victory Peak and Peak Khan-Tengri or Lenin peak. To apply for border permit, you need to visit OVIR (immigration department) if you planning travel or cross that areas. Please do it in advance, since it can take time. If you travel from Kyrgyzstan to China or another neighboring country and you have visas for those countries, you do not need “Border Zone Permit”.
SUGGESTED CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST FOR TREKKING
We recommend you to travel with a soft material bag and a small day-pack. Please
bear in mind the porters will be carrying your luggage so please ensure they are of
good quality, have strong straps and secure zips.
In terms of clothes, it is all about layers as you could experience temperatures (in
celsius) that range from zero to thirty degrees. Though the weather will
usually be less extreme than this, you will find yourself adding and removing layers
a fair amount during a day, especially if you are walking. As such lots of layers are
essential and we would recommend packing a range of clothes from t-shirts, long
sleeve t-shirts, jumpers, shorts and trousers.
- Thermal underwear
- Good quality fleece pullovers and trouses-100% polyester
- A good rain/windproof jacket with a hood and trousers
- Good quality socks with cushions and climate control (several pairs).
- Lightweight trousers (the combat style are the most practical, especially the ones
- One pair ankle length boots/or walking shoes with a good grip profile. We
- Fleece hat with ear flaps and sun hat.
- You may like to bring a pair of rubber slippers/flip flops to pad around in.
- Swimming suit/shorts (you may like to cool off in the streams on the walks)
- Light gloves
- Sun glasses with UV protection
that unzip to make shorts) for walking
recommend ‘goretex’ as it is light and breathable, though leather is better in wet
and snowy weather. Please ensure you have ‘broken’ the boots in, new ones could cause aggravation.
• torch (plus spare batteries)
• Penknife – either Swiss Army or Leatherman, though the guide will have one.
• Sun cream with high SPF
• Insect Repellent
• Blister plasters
We recommend you to carry in your day pack
• Bearing in mind that you will not be able to access your main bag whilst you are
out walking, we recommend the following items be carried in your day pack:
• 1 x 25/30litre day pack with air-comfort system/back support.
• Water proof jacket
• Extra fleece/warm layer
• Sun hat
• Sun glasses
• Suncream with high SPF
• Lightweight scarf which can double up as a headscarf.
A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAEV, who had run the country since 1990. Former prime minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV overwhelmingly won the presidential election in the summer of 2005. Over the next few years, he manipulated the parliament to accrue new powers for the presidency. In July 2009, after months of harassment against his opponents and media critics, BAKIEV won re-election in a presidential campaign that the international community deemed flawed. In April 2010, violent protests in Bishkek led to the collapse of the BAKIEV regime and his eventual fleeing to Minsk, Belarus. His successor, Roza OTUNBAEVA, served as transitional president until Almazbek ATAMBAEV was inaugurated in December 2011, marking the first peaceful transfer of presidential power in independent Kyrgyzstan’s history.
Area: 199,951 sq km
land: 191,801 sq km
water: 8,150 sq km
country comparison to the world:87
dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan Mountains; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar’ya) 132 m
highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m
abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc
arable land: 6.38%
permanent crops: 0.37%
note:Kyrgyzstan has the world’s largest natural-growth walnut forest (2011)
Irrigated land: 10,210 sq km (2005)
Total renewable water resources: 23.62 cu km (2011)
total: 8.01 cu km/yr (3%/4%/93%)
per capita: 1,558 cu m/yr (2006)
water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices
landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; 94% of the country is 1,000 m above sea level with an average elevation of 2,750 m; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes
People and society
Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uighur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)
Languages: Kyrgyz (official) 64.7%, Uzbek 13.6%, Russian (official) 12.5%, Dungun 1%, other 8.2% (1999 census)
Religions: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
0-14 years: 29.8% (male 854,029/female 815,300)
25-54 years: 39.4% (male 1,079,691/female 1,127,520)
55-64 years: 7.1% (male 171,960/female 224,450)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 105,651/female 169,816) (2014 est.)
total dependency ratio: 53.2 %
youth dependency ratio: 46.9 %
elderly dependency ratio: 6.3 %
potential support ratio: 15.8 (2014 est.)
total: 25.7 years male: 24.7 years female: 26.7 years (2014 est.)
urban population: 35.3% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 1.31% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas – population:BISHKEK (capital) 839,000 (2011)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
Mother’s mean age at first birth: 22.6 note:median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
total population: 70.06 years country comparison to the world:153
male: 65.89 years
female: 74.51 years (2014 est.)
Physicians density: 2.47 physicians/1,000 population (2011)
Hospital bed density: 4.8 beds/1,000 population (2011)
improved: urban: 97.1% of population rural: 82.3% of population total: 87.6% of population
Sanitation facility access: urban: 91.9% of population rural: 91.7% of population total: 91.8% of population
Literacy:total population: 99.2%
conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
local short form: Kyrgyzstan
former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
7 provinces (oblustar, singular – oblus) and 2 cities* (shaarlar, singular – shaar); Batken Oblusu, Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblusu (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblusu, Naryn Oblusu, Osh Oblusu, Osh Shaary*, Talas Oblusu, Ysyk-Kol Oblusu (Karakol)
note:administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Independence:31 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday:Independence Day, 31 August (1991)
Constitution:previous 1993; latest adopted 27 June 2010, effective 2 July 2010 (2010)
Legal system:civil law system which includes features of French civil law and Russian Federation laws
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Almazbek ATAMBAEV (since 1 December 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister Joomart OTORBAEV (since 2 April 2014, acting since 26 March 2014); First Deputy Prime Minister Tayyrbek SARPASHEV (since 2 April 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Valeriy DIL, Abdyrakhman MAMATALIEV, Elvira SARIEVA (all since 2 April 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president; ministers in charge of defense and security are appointed solely by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for one six-year term; election last held on 30 October 2011 (next to be held in 2017); prime minister nominated by the parliamentary party holding more than 50% of the seats; if no such party exists, the president selects the party that will form a coalition majority and government
elections: last held on 10 October 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: Almazbek ATAMBAEV elected president; percent of vote – Almazbek ATAMBAEV 63.2%, Adakhan MADUMAROV 14.7%, Kamchybek TASHIEV 14.3%, other 7.8%; Jantoro SATYBALDIEV elected prime minister; parliamentary vote – 111-2
Legislative branch:unicameral Supreme Council or Jogorku Kengesh (120 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 25 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president; Supreme Court judges serve for 10 years, Constitutional Court judges serve for 15 years; mandatory retirement at age 70 for judges of both courts
subordinate courts: Higher Court of Arbitration; oblast (provincial) and city courts
Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party [Feliks KULOV]
Ata-Jurt (Homeland) [Kamchybek TASHIEV, Akhmat KELDIBEKOV, Sadyr JAPAROV]
Ata-Meken (Fatherland) [Omurbek TEKEBAEV]
Butun Kyrgyzstan (All Kyrgyzstan) [Adakhan MADUMAROV]
Respublika [Omurbek BABANOV]
Social-Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK) [Almazbek ATAMBAEV]
ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kyrgyz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of a “tunduk” – the crown of a traditional Kyrgyz yurt; red symbolizes bravery and valor, the sun evinces peace and wealth
Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country with a dominant agricultural sector. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, and electricity. The economy depends heavily on gold exports – mainly from output at the Kumtor gold mine – and on remittances from Kyrgyzstani migrant workers primarily in Russia. Following independence, Kyrgyzstan was progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. Much of the government’s stock in enterprises has been sold. Drops in production had been severe after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991, but by mid-1995, production began to recover and exports began to increase. The overthrow of President BAKIEV in April 2010 and subsequent ethnic clashes left hundreds dead and damaged infrastructure. Under President ATAMBAYEV, Kyrgyzstan has developed a plan for economic development in coordination with international donors, and has also expressed its intent to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Progress in fighting corruption, improving transparency in licensing, business permits and taxations, restructuring domestic industry, and attracting foreign aid and investment are key to future growth.
$13.32 billion (2012 est.)
$13.44 billion (2011 est.)
note:data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $7.234 billion (2013 est.)
-0.9% (2012 est.)
6% (2011 est.)
note:data are in 2013 US dollars
services: 44.8% (2013 est.)
Agriculture – products: tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
Industries: small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals
services: 39.5% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: 33.7% (2011 est.)
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 27.8% (2009 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.128 billion expenditures: $2.458 billion (2013 est.)
Exports – commodities: gold, cotton, wool, garments, meat, tobacco; mercury, uranium, electricity; machinery; shoes
Exports – partners: Kazakhstan 26.2%, Uzbekistan 26.1%, Russia 14.6%, China 7%, UAE 6.1%, Afghanistan 5.2% (2012)
Imports – commodities: oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports – partners: China 55.2%, Russia 17.4%, Kazakhstan 7.9% (2012)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 7.793 million Mt (2011 est.)