5 Things you can do in Kyrgyzstan that will make your trip special

View on Oguz-Bashi Peak

If you’re travelling to Central Asia, then Kyrgyzstan is the perfect place to start. You’ll be welcomed by endless natural beauty. Just make sure you come at the right time of year – although there’s a fantastic network of homestays across the country, many of them open in the winter months, and roads can often be accessible. That’s good news for skiers!

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In this post, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best things you can do in Kyrgyzstan. Not only will it make it easier to plan out your trip, but it’ll get you excited about your Central Asian vacation to come! Also, it’s always better to have a place to stay and relax after a day’s adventure. Here are some of the top vacation rentals in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Visit Karakol

Scale the Tien-Shan Mountains (also known as the Celestial Mountains)

The Tien Shan is the largest mountain chain in Central Asia, with the tallest of all of them standing in Kyrygyzstan. One of the 5 peaks in the Tien Shan over 7,000m tall, Pobeda Peak (also known as Jengish Chokusu) stands at 7,439m above sea level. Although it would be incredible to conquer all 7,000+ metre mountains in Central Asia and gain the title of Snow Leopard, there are hikes throughout the Celestial Mountains that don’t have you at such a high altitude! In fact, you can leave Bishkek and find awesome hikes within just an hour of the capital city. So, the mountains are pretty accessible too! If you want to spend longer getting to know the Tien Shan, it’s a good idea to pick up some camping equipment in Bishkek (if you’re not carry it already). These mountains will provide you with some of the most incredible summer and hiking you could ever dream of!

Adam Gladki

Admire untouched and wild nature

Kyrgyzstan consists of 13 national parks, 10 natures reserves, and 19 natural monuments. So, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of nature and you shouldn’t forget to bring your camera! The nearest to capital Bishkek is the incredible Ala-Archa National Park, named after the juniper which can be seen across the park. It’s a great introduction to the country’s wild and untouched side, with spots for picnics, trails for hiking, and even climbing in the park. You can even explore nature in the centre of cities! Kyrgyzstan’s second biggest city, Osh, is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sacred Mountain Sulaiman Too. Kyrgyzstan’s myriad national parks and nature reserves not only offer gorgeous landscapes and outdoor activities, but you also have the opportunity to meet some incredible wildlife. Kyrgyzstan natives include brown bears, wolves, and the rare Turkestan lynx! For more information on which one, two, or five you should visit, check out the National Parks and Reserves Page.

Shmulik Simon

Get wet in Alpine Lakes and Rivers

They say that the closer we are to water, the calmer we are. So, a trip to Kyrgyzstan can be relaxing too as throughout the country there are bright blue alpine lakes, rushing rivers, and waterfalls! The biggest and best-known is sometimes known as the Pearl of Kyrgyzstan, but the locals prefer to call it just Issyk-Kul Lake. It’s not only largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, but one of the deepest lakes in the world! It doesn’t freeze at any time of the year and it’s a favourite spot of locals and tourists alike. Yes, you can still go to the beach even though the country is landlocked! Near the shores of Issyk-Kul, it’s also a good idea to visit the Hot Springs of Juuku. Although you won’t be able to swim and sunbathe, you can have a therapeutic experience in the thermal spas. They’re the perfect cure to relax any aching muscles after treks and hikes! There are a number of high altitude lakes for explorers to enjoy too, including Tulpar-Kul Lake, The Merzbacher Lake, and Kel-Suu Lake. If you want to know more, check out the Water Points page!

Bas Wallet

Get to know the local nomads

Kyrgyzstan’s stunning landscapes are often punctuated by nomads and their yurts. These people are known for their kind hospitality and traditional way of life, and some even use falcons and eagles to catch hare and foxes. One of the most popular places to stay in Kyrgyzstan is not a hotel nor a hostel, but a homestay. Many nomadic people open up their homes and welcome you to see their way of life and sample their home cooked foods. Yurts often have comfortable carpets which you might even get a chance to make depending on where you stay! If you want to know more, check out the Customs & Traditions page!

Alexey Fedorov

Travel the Great Silk Road

The Silk Road wasn’t only a route used for commercial interest. No, it was so much more than that, and it passed right through Kyrgyzstan! It meant communication and technology improved between the countries along the route, as well as the exchange of spiritual ideals. In fact, this road was one of the most important drivers in the development of cultural exchanges in Asia! A number of Kyrgyz towns and cities were established due to the Silk Route, including Surab, Balasagyn (The Burana Tower), and Uzgen. The roads that were once trodden by caravans are now tarmacked and you can admire the stunning views of snow-covered peaks, steppe, and you might even pass by some of the beautiful blue lakes that Kyrgyzstan is famous for! If you want to know more, check out the Great Silk Road page!

Allan Grey

So, now that you know what to do when you travel to Kyrgyzstan...

You’d best start planning the next steps of your trip. Although it’s an exciting destination that should be on any traveller’s bucket list, it’s not always the easiest place to get around. Especially if you only speak English! However, you will be welcomed with smiles and kind hospitality. To help you on your trip, it might be best to consider seeing Kyrgyzstan’s wonders as part of a tour. If that’s the case, check out Trip to Kyrgyzstan. As well as lots of help on how to find the activities above, there’s lots of information about this beautiful country and plenty of options – no matter what your travel style is!