Kyrgyzstan or Kyrgyz Republic is a landlocked country in the very heart of Central Asia, bordering Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Over 80% of its territory is covered by mountains. Thus, our country is often referred to as “the Switzerland of Central Asia”. Having a rich recorded history of around 2,000 years, Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road. In 1919 Kyrgyzstan joined the Soviet Union and became independent only after its collapse in 1991. Population of Kyrgyzstan is 6,3 million people (2019).
Capital city: Bishkek is the largest city of Kyrgyzstan and its proud capital (known from 1862 to 1926 as Pishpek and from 1926 to 1991 as Frunze). Population of Bishkek is a bit more than 1 million people (2019).
Safety: Kyrgyzstan can be readily called as one of the safest countries in the world! It actually has been placed in Level 1 group by international organizations along with the other central asian countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, which means they are among the safest places to travel to. Unfortunately, because of its suffix – stan, the country is often associated with the other less popular and dangerous destinations. People in Kyrgyzstan are very friendly, warm and welcoming. Need a hand of help? – You’ll definitely get it! Very often we hear tourists say that they feel much safer in Kyrgyzstan than in some of the European countries. Of course, however, there’s always room for the force majeure circumstances, just like anywhere else, but Ventura Tours Kyrgyzstan team is always responsible for their travelers and surely there to take care of your stay in our friendly country!
Language: Kyrgyz – is a state language, Russian – is official. Many people are bilingual. Other ethnic minorities may use their native language within the community but also can speak either Kyrgyz or Russian.
Other regions: Kyrgyzstan is divided into 7 regions. Bishkek and Osh are the independent cities. The list of the regions is as follows: Bishkek city, Osh city, Batken region, Jalal Abad region, Naryn region, Osh region, Talas region, Chuy region, Issyk Kul region. Issyk-Kul Lake is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan and the second largest alpine lake in the world after Titicaca. On the map, exactly this lake will be helpful to find Kyrgyzstan.
Climate: Varies from dry continental to polar and subtropical, depends on elevation and region. In the south it may be extremely hot in summer with temperatures reaching 40 °C (104 °F). In the northern parts the climate is more temperate with an average of 25-30 °C (77-86 °F) in summer. In winter the maximum temperature can reach -25 °C (-13 °F) with the average figure of -6 °C (-21 °F).
People: Nearly ¾ of the population is taken up by Kyrgyz and amounts to 73%. Second place is behind Uzbeks – 14,7%, third is Russians – 6%. The rest of the population includes other minorities like: Dungans, Uighurs, Tajiks, Turks, Kazakhs, Tatars, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, etc.
Currency: Kyrgyz som. It was introduced by the Kyrgyz government for the first time on May 10, 1993, after the entire Soviet epoch of using the russian rubles. 1 som equals 100 tyiyns (cent or pence). International rates are: $1~85 soms. €1~103 soms. £1~119 soms, 1 AED~23 soms.
Cuisine: The traditional food of Kyrgyz people consists mainly of meat and obviously refers to our nomadic past: beef, mutton and horse. There are numerous variations of meat dishes mixed up with other products like: potato, noodles, rice and vegetables.The most popular examples are: Beshbarmak (boiled noodles with meat and onion), Boso lagman (fried noodles with meat, vegetables and trimmed with a sauce), Kuurdak (fried potato with meat and onion) and Plov (fried rice with meat, carrot, onion and sometimes with some berries). Due to the wide ethnic diversity in Kyrgyzstan, many dishes and ingredients have been derived from other cultures as well. Thus, nowadays you will find many similarities in Kyrgyz cuisine with those of: Uzbek, Russian, Uighur, Dungan and Kazakh cuisines. Dairy products and national drinks are hugely popular as well, such as: Kymyz (a fermented mare’s milk), Maksym (a fizzy drink made out of the fermented grains), Chalap, Bozo and Jarma. The national bread called “lepyoshka” is adored too. It’s baked in “tandyr” (the clay oven shaped like a dome with a burning fire in the bottom) and often made in the shape of a flower.