WOOCS 2.1.6

Kyrgystan tours to places of interest. For mature & senior travellers who enjoy escorted small group tours exploring the culture & history of the place.

Crafted Tours for Mature World Travellers

Kyrgyzstan Tours

Mizdakhan Cemetery, Nukus, Uzbekistan
Guaranteed

This Odyssey is designed for the adventurous traveller, a traveller who is prepared for a range of accommodation styles, for walking excursions and some long travel days in 3 Central Asian countries. The program combines experiences with great scenery, ancient and modern histories, family visits and lifestyles that differ dramatically.

27 days
Asia and the Orient
Level 2 - Moderate
Silk Road specialist small group history tours for mature travellers
Guaranteed

The Silk Road is an ancient trade route linking China and Imperial Rome through Central Asia. Few areas in the world remain as unexplored or offer such richness in terms of ancient and modern history, culture, and scenic diversity as Central Asia. Our itinerary explores the Silk Road through remote deserts and mountainous environments as we visit key sites between Xi’an and Bukhara.

29 days
Asia and the Orient
Level 2 - Moderate
The need to know

Touring Kyrgyzstan

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Coach services operate between Bishkek and several major towns in Kyrgyzstan. Train services are fairly limited, so might not constitute the best option for transportation while in Kyrgyzstan. Taxis are generally inexpensive and can be found in all major towns, though fares should be agreed upon in advance.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour Guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography, Environment, & Weather

Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country, with a total area of 199,951 square kilometres. Mountains dominate the country, with the Tian Shan and Pamir mountain systems together making up about 65% of the national territory. Almost 90% of the country lies at an elevation of more than 1,500 metres above sea level, with an average elevation of 2,750 metres. There is considerable glaciation in Kyrgyzstan, with glaciers covering 8,048 square kilometres of Kyrgyzstan’s surface area, while a further 7,000 square kilometres are covered by lakes.

The climate in Kyrgyzstan varies from region to region, including temperate, dry continental, and polar climates. Temperatures can drop well below freezing in winter, especially in the mountain valleys, so depending on when and where you intend to travel, check the weather reports and dress accordingly.

World Heritage sites

Kyrgyzstan has 3 properties inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/kg). The World Heritage Sites in Kyrgyzstan include:

Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor, the historic former trade route linking China and Central Asia
Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain, which features 17 places of worship and over 100 archaelogical sites decorated with ancient petroglyphs
Western Tien-Shan, the towering mountains that dominate the Kyrgyzstan landscape

Festivals & Events

Kyrgyzstan’s numerous festivals and events celebrate the unique culture and traditions of the nation. As a Muslim majority country, Ramadan is observed across the nation with fasting and prayer, the end of which is celebrated with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, featuring family parties and feasting. The nomadic traditions of Kyrgyzstan are celebrated in events such as the Bird of Prey Festival, where falconers and their birds take part in falconry contests, and the Kyrgyz Kochu Festival, which marks the traditional annual migration of nomadic herders and their flocks with national games, horse races, music, dancing, and celebrating.

Reading List

Roaming Kyrgyzstan: Beyond the Tourist Track, by Jessica Jacobson
The Silk Road in World History, by Xinru Liu
Inside Central Asia, by Dilip Hiro
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, by Peter Frankopan

Eating & Drinking

The nomadic and pastoral traditions of Kyrgyzstan has heavily shaped the country’s cuisine, with meat a central part of Kyrgyzstani diet. Noodles often supplement meat in Kygyzstani dishes, including besh barmak (shaved lamb served with noodles and onions), laghman (meat, vegetables and noodles served with a spicy vinegary sauce) and ashlyam fu (a cold, spicy soup made of meat, vegetables and noodles). Like elsewhere in Central Asia, paloo (plov, or pilaf) is a popular dish, which features rice, carrots, onions and shredded meat. Breads and pastries also play an important part in Kygyzstan’s cuisine, with popular dishes including samsa (pastries filled with meat and onions) and borsok (small pieces of dough fried in oil).

Although Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim majority country, alcohol is consumed and is available in Kyrgyzstan, with popular alcoholic beverages including arak (vodka) and kymyz (fermented mare’s milk). Tea is widely consumed, with tea often offered to guests at meals.

Health & Safety

As of writing, smartraveller.gov.au advises a degree of caution when travelling through Kyrgyzstan. There is a potential for civil unrest in certain areas, so avoid demonstrations and street rallies. It is advised to reconsider travelling to the Kyrgyz-Uzbek and Kyrgyz-Tajik border areas and the Ferghana Valley due to a potentially volatile security situation.

Electrical Supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Kyrgyzstan’s electricity supply runs at 220V and 50Hz. Kyrgyzstan uses Type C and Type F electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

FAQs

Responsible travel tips for Kyrgyzstan

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although some locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Before departing on your trip, contact your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of som in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

Subscribe to our newsletter and save!

Receive a AUD$350 voucher towards your first small group tour
Join our newsletter mailing list to gain exclusive access to special offers and promotions.