The Kyrgyz Republic is little known as a travel destination and yet it has so much to offer. My 2 weeks through the country were like a dream and I feel a bit sad I had to wake up from it. With a little bit of distance now, I have identified the 9 reasons why I would recommend anyone to visit Kyrgyzstan.
Navigate back to the complete Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide
1 - THE PAINTING-LIKE SCENERIES
The main reason which decided me to visit the Kyrgyz Republic was the beauty of nature. And reality was even better than I had imagine. Several times during the road trip, I actually felt like I was looking at paintings! As if different artists had sculpted the mountains and then colored them with different brushes. I will let the following pictures show you what I mean. I assure you, I have not used any filter on them. Here is a little taste of what is to come on all my posts.
2 - THE SMILING PEOPLE
The people is the other main reason. Kyrgyz will easily open their heart to you: with a smile as you drive by, sharing tea and food, trying to communicate as much as possible. Discover more portraits on my dedicated article introducing Kyrgyz I met on the road.
3 - THE LACK OF TOURISM IMPACT
This was an incredible experience. This country is so little known as a travel destination that all contacts are very genuine. Kids are not asking for money just to talk with them, the prices at the market do not change for tourists, and I have not seen any of the touristy traps!
However if you need 5 start comfort facilities, check another destination...
4 - THE TASTY FOOD
Food in Kyrgyzstan is a delightful mix with influences from Russia, Asia and Turkey: a lot of bread and meat, noodles, potatoes, dumplings, soups, tasty rice, tomato and cucumber salads... Plus in summer we can have delicious fruits! Discover more about what to expect food-wise in Kyrgyzstan.
However if you have diabetes, the amount of sugary things might be a problem...
5 - THE VARIETY OF LANDSCAPES
I talked about the painting-like scenery, but another advantage of the Kyrgyz nature is variety: from a lake that sometimes look like the sea, to a red dry canyon, to greeny hills and snowy mountain passes… with my tour group we sometimes joked that we were actually touring the world. We noticed places and said what it reminded us of: China, France, Turkey, Utah...
If you wand more, check out my 8 min video: landscapes of Kyrgzystan
6 - THE NOMADIC HERITAGE
I experienced special moments discovering the art of yurt making from the heir of a long line of yurt makers as well as meeting families living in those yurts all year long, managing their herds of cows and sheep. On top of that, I visited in June during the transhumance (see it in photos)
7 - THE BEAUTIFUL HORSES
I know that Iceland is the country famous for its horses but the ones in Kyrgyzstan were also very beautiful: strong, fast, free and with shiny hairs.
8 - THE MANY HOMESTAY OPTIONS
Kyrgyzstan has developed and extensive network of home stay options including yurts and guesthouses. Good home made food and grey moment with the families, it is a meaningful way to travel around the country?
9 - THE LOOK OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS
And I think another very fun reason is to tell people where your are going and see the big question mark appear on their face. Kyrgyzstan, Do you mean Kurdistan? No Kyrgyzstan… Is that a country? LOL
For more pictures of beautiful Kyrgyzstan: check out my post with 30 pictures that will make you fall in love with the country.
Want to see more of Kyrgyzstan's beauty?
Discover more planning information, things to do and places to see in my online Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide.
So, does Kyrgyzstan make it on your list?