Destination: KYRGYZSTAN - Land of the Tien Shan

Kyrgyzstan? Wait a minute, isn’t it somewhere in Africa? Not really. Come and discover the land of beautiful mountains, gorgeous wilderness, rich history and friendly people. Learn about Issyk Kul, the largest lake in the world, where you can swim and enjoy the view of snow capped mountains at the same time. Find out how many statues of Lenin can be seen in the capital Bishkek. Visit the comfortable yurts and try the local specialties. Welcome to Kyrgyzstan!


Kyrgyzstan: High Mountains and Ancient Traditions

Tomas Haupt

What Kyrgyzstan lacks in gracious buildings and fancy cakes, it more than makes up for with nomadic traditions such as laid-back hospitality, a healthy distrust of authority and a fondness for drinking fermented mare's milk. Many travellers find Kyrgyzstan the most appealing, accessible and welcoming of the Central Asian republics, particularly as it contains the central Tian Shan and Pamir Alay ranges, Central Asia's finest mountains. In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union left this tiny,...

Tourism Industry Struggling Hard

Denise Chen

Kyrgyzstan, like other ex-soviet countries has kept low profile behind the iron curtain for the last 70 years. It was an unknown country for foreign tourists. "Unknown. Pshaw! Life was not bad without tourists," sneers an old man. The life was quite well, indeed. There were no noisy tourists speaking some double Dutch and demanding supernatural living conditions… However, there is one significant factor prompting people to indulge whims of foreign tourists. Decent remuneration. This factor motiv...

Bishkek: The City of Lenin and the White House

Michael Trout

Bishkek is the capital and the heart of the Kyrgyz Republic, its political, economic, scientific and cultural center, and the main transportation hub. It has population of approximately 1,000 000. Originally founded in 1878 as the Russian fortress of Pishpek, between 1926 and 1991 it was known as Frunze, after the Bolshevik military leader Mikhail Frunze. The name is thought to derive from a Kyrgyz word for a churn used to make fermented mare's milk (kumis), the Kyrgyz national drink. Bishkek...

Tourism Hopes Pinned on Alpine Lake Region

Samuel Dorsi

High in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, near China’s western border, there lies the country’s jewel: Lake Issyk-Kul. Kyrgyz officials and local entrepreneurs have long hoped that international tourism to the lake – which is ringed by eternally snowcapped mountains – might provide a lucrative boon for their cash-strapped economy. But the slow pace of Kyrgyz investment suggests it is up to others to make Issyk-Kul a hotspot for international tourism. Lake Issyk-Kul, tucked ...

The Land of Adventure

Pat Hyland

For many, Kyrgyzstan is the synonym for extreme tourism. Thanks to its mountainous landscape the country is gradually becoming a hot spot for all adrenaline enthusiasts. Climbing Kyrgyzstan provides a venue for the most extreme climbers in the world. The northern Tien Shan’s highest summit is Peak Pobeda (7439m). First climbed in 1943, Pobeda is the most northern seventhousender of Earth. Not far from Peak Pobedy rises Khan Tengri (6995 m), "Lord of the Sky". This towering pyramid first ...