Kyrgyzstan

by Laurence Mitchell

Kyrgyzstan

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  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781841628561
  • Size: 135mm x 216mm
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  • ISBN: 9781841629681
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About this book

Deep within central Asia, Kyrgyzstan's beautiful mountainscapes, dreamlike rock formations and semi-nomadic culture are gloriously unspoiled. A trip here can be as adventurous as you please: admire 5,000-year-old petroglyphs at Saimaluu-Tash, gallop on horseback through the rugged Ala-Archa Canyon, visit Bishkek's Soviet-era statues or simply laze on the shores of the vast Lake Issyk-Kul.

Now in its third edition, this remains the only English-language guide dedicated solely to Kyrgyzstan. It offers in-depth coverage of historical background, health, safety and transport, plus author recommendations on the best yurt camps and chaikhanas. Join Laurence Mitchell on a magnificent journey through the country's remote Silk Road villages, ancient conifer forests and rolling alpine meadows.


About the author

Laurence Mitchell is a freelance travel writer and photographer and has travelled widely in Central Asia and the ex-Soviet world. He is the author of four other Bradt guides: Serbia, Belgrade, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Contents

Introduction vi
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1
Chapter 1 Background Information 3
Geography 3, Climate 4, Natural history and
conservation 5, History 9, Government and politics 21,
Economy 23, People 25, Language 29, Religion 30,
Education 32, Culture 33
Chapter 2 Practical Information 49
When to visit 49, Highlights 50, Suggested itineraries 50,
Tour operators 51, Red tape 56, Getting there and
away 59, Health 62, Safety 65, Women travellers 66,
Travellers with a disability 67, LGBT travellers 67, Travelling
with a family 67, What to take 68, Money and banking 69,
Budgeting 70, Getting around 70, Accommodation 73,
Eating and drinking 75, Public holidays and festivals 77,
Shopping 78, Arts and entertainment 79, Photography 79,
Media and communications 80, Business 81, Cultural
etiquette 82, Travelling positively 83
PART TWO THE GUIDE 85
Chapter 3 Bishkek 87
History 88, Getting there and away 89, Getting around 91,
Safety 93, Tourist information 97, Where to stay 97,
Where to eat and drink 101, Entertainment and
nightlife 107, Shopping 108, Sports 110, Other
practicalities 111, What to see and do 114
Chapter 4 Chui Province 123
Valleys south of Bishkek 123, Chui Valley 129, Chong-
Kemin Valley 135, Boom Gorge 137, Kara-Balta 138,
Suusamyr Valley 139
Chapter 5 Lake Issyk-Kul - North Shore 145
Lake Issyk-Kul 145, Balykchy 149, Tamchy 154, Cholpon-
Ata 156, East of Cholpon-Ata 161, Karkara Valley 164
Chapter 6 Lake Issyk-Kul South and the Central Tien Shan 171
Karakol 171, Around Karakol 180, Trekking south of
Karakol 187, Th e Central Tien Shan 189, Lake Issyk-
Kul's southern shore 193, Barskoon 195, Tamga 198,
Bokonbaevo 200, Th e southwest shore 205
Chapter 7 Talas Province 207
Talas 207, South of Talas 212, West of Talas 213, East of
Talas 213
Chapter 8 Naryn Province 215
Kochkor 215, Excursions from Kochkor 219, West to the
Suusamyr Valley 221, Lake Song-Köl 224, Naryn 226,
East of Naryn 231, Naryn to the Torugart Pass 233, Th e
Torugart Pass 238, Naryn to Kazarman 241
Chapter 9 Jalal-Abad Province 243
Jalal-Abad 243, Kazarman to Jalal-Abad 247,
Kazarman 248, Saimaluu-Tash 249, Ortok 250,
Arslanbob 251, Th e road to Bishkek 259, Western Jalal-
Abad Province 261, Lake Sary-Chelek 263, Arkyt 265,
West to the Chatkal Valley 266
Chapter 10 Southern Kyrgyzstan 269
Osh 269, Around Osh 277, Özgön 280, Th e Alay
Valley 282, Th e Irkeshtam crossing to China 284, Th e road
south to Tajikistan 286, Batken Province 288
Appendix 1 Language 291
Appendix 2 Glossary of Kyrgyz Terms 298
Appendix 3 Further Information 300
Index 305
Index of advertisers 312