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  • Writer's pictureAnushka Eranga

Footsteps of Nomads : A Journey Through Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a country rich in history and culture, distinguished for lively festivals and yurt-dwelling communities. The main city, Bishkek, is a hub for the hospitable Kyrgyz people

Travel from Dubai to Bishkek by direct flight. UAE residents can obtain a visa on arrival in Kyrgyzstan for up to 60 days.

Take a direct flight from Dubai to Bishkek. Although citizens/ Residence of the United Arab Emirates can get a visa on arrival in Kyrgyzstan, obtaining an electronic visa allows you to avoid lengthy lines during peak travel times. To guarantee a seamless travel experience, confirm in advance whether your passport qualifies for both on-arrival and e-visa alternatives.

The people of Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked nation in Central Asia, are friendly and diverse. With sizable Uzbek and Russian minorities, the majority of Kyrgyz people are ethnic Kyrgyz. Most people of Kyrgyz identify as Sunni Muslims, making Islam the most common religion; nevertheless, there is also a small population of Russian Orthodox Christians, especially in the Russian minority.

The past of Kyrgyzstan is extensive and diverse. Over the ages, the area has been impacted by numerous civilizations and cultures and played a significant role in the Silk Road. It joined the Russian Empire in the 19th century, then the Soviet Union. Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, it became independent in 1991.

The official language of Kyrgyzstan is Kyrgyz, which belongs to the Turkic language family; Russian is also extensively spoken there. Kyrgyz culture emphasises community, hospitality, and care for the environment. It is a synthesis of modern customs, Soviet influences, and nomadic traditions. The traditional crafts, music, and dancing of the Kyrgyz people are essential to their culture.

Kyrgyzstan boasts breathtaking natural landscapes, featuring stunning mountains, lush valleys, and pristine lakes. The Tien Shan mountain range, known as the "Celestial Mountains," dominates the scenery with its snow-capped peaks. Lake Issyk-Kul, one of the world's largest alpine lakes, offers serene beauty and recreational opportunities.

The country is also home to dramatic canyons like Jeti-Oguz, known for its striking red rock formations. Green valleys and meadows, such as those in the Alay and Suusamyr regions, provide picturesque views and a glimpse into the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Kyrgyzstan's diverse landscapes make it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Tips -

Here are ten suggestions for travellers going to Kyrgyzstan:

Verify the requirements for a visa in advance. Numerous nationalities are able to apply for an e-visa or receive a visa upon arrival.

Local Currency: The Kyrgyzstani Som is the currency used locally. Carrying cash is advised because credit cards might not be accepted in rural locations.

Language: Learn a basic understanding of Russian or Kyrgyz. Speaking English is hardly common, particularly outside of large cities.

Transportation: There isn't much public transit in rural areas. For farther-off places, think about hiring a driver or renting a car. I highly recommend a well experienced tour guide

Weather: Be prepared for a range of weather scenarios. Warm summers and bitterly severe winters are common in Kyrgyzstan, particularly in the country's mountainous areas.

Respect Traditions: Be mindful of and respectful of regional customs and traditions. In remote places, dress modestly and always get someone's permission before snapping their picture.

Health Tips: To prevent contracting a waterborne sickness, drink bottled or boiling water. Keep a basic first aid kit on you in case of minor illnesses or injuries.

Preparation for Hiking: If you intend to trek, make sure you have the necessary equipment, maps, and knowledge of the paths.

Connectivity: In isolated places, connectivity for mobile and the internet may be patchy. Tell someone when you plan to travel and when you anticipate to return.

Safety: While Kyrgyzstan is a generally safe location to explore, like with any place, be mindful of your surroundings and keep a watch on your valuables, particularly in crowded areas.

Drone photography in Kyrgyzstan can be a wonderful way to document the breathtaking scenery of the country, but there are a few rules and laws you must go by:

Avoid flying drones in restricted areas, such as near airports, military installations, government buildings, and border zones. Be aware of no-fly zones to avoid legal issues.

Respecting people's privacy is important. Refrain from taking pictures or recordings of people without their permission and from flying over private property without authorization.

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