Kyrgyzstan

by Laurence Mitchell

Kyrgyzstan

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About this book

Bradt's Kyrgyzstan remains the only English-language guide dedicated solely to this astounding country, described as 'the Switzerland of central Asia' and regarded by many as the most beautiful country in the world. This new, thoroughly updated fourth edition further extends its comprehensive coverage of all the country has to offer, including trekking, mountaineering, horse riding, historical sites, festivals and Kyrgyz culture. All the most recent information on all the major towns and visitor hubs is included, along with suggested itineraries and details of natural history and conservation issues. Feature boxes throughout the text give further cultural detail on Kyrgyz society, while all budgets are catered for with traveller information covering all options from low-cost to luxury, as well as extensive detail on travel by public transport throughout the country.
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 alpine meadows that surround 3,016m-high Lake Song-Köl, go trekking in the mountain valleys that lie south of Karakol, visit Bishkek's Soviet-era statues or simply laze on the shores of the vast Lake Issyk-Kul.
Kyrgyzstan has it all: glorious mountain scenery, a rich nomadic tradition, Silk Road monuments and thrilling wildlife. It also remains an intriguing, little known but easily accessible country for travellers. With in-depth coverage of historical background, health, safety and transport, plus author recommendations on the best yurt camps and chaikhanas, Bradt's Kyrgyzstan is the ideal companion for a successful trip.

About the author

Laurence Mitchell is a travel writer and photographer with an interest in forgotten places, border zones and territories in transition. After completing a degree in environmental science and pursuing a varied career that has included teaching English in rural Sudan, clerical work and surveying historic farm buildings, he retrained as a geography teacher, which he pursued for 12 years before swapping it for the uncertainties of full-time travel writing and photography. As well as writing guidebooks for Bradt including Serbia, Norfolk (Slow Guides) and Suffolk (Slow Guides), he has also written for a range of publications that include Walk, hidden Europe, Geographical, Discover Britain and Russian Life. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild. His website can be found at www.laurencemitchell.com and blog at http://eastofelveden. wordpress.com.

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'Utterly essential...particularly the dos and don'ts and basic phrases.'
James Willsher
Times of Central Asia
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Contents

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights , Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Travellers with a disability, LGBT travellers, Travelling with a family, What to take, Money and banking, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Photography, Media and communications, Business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively

PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Bishkek
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Safety, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping, Sports, Other practicalities, What to see and do
Chapter 4 Chui Province
Valleys south of Bishkek, Chui Valley, ChongKemin Valley, Boom Gorge, Kara-Balta, Suusamyr Valley
Chapter 5 Lake Issyk-Kul - North Shore
Lake Issyk-Kul, Balykchy, Tamchy, CholponAta, East of Cholpon-Ata, Karkara Valley
Chapter 6 Lake Issyk-Kul South and the Central Tien Shan
Karakol, Around Karakol, Trekking south of Karakol, The Central Tien Shan, Jyrgalan, Lake IssykKul's southern shore, Barskoon, Tamga, Bokonbaevo, The southwest shore
Chapter 7 Talas Province
Talas, South of Talas, West of Talas, East of Talas
Chapter 8 Naryn Province
Kochkor, Excursions from Kochkor, West to the Suusamyr Valley, Lake Song-Köl, Naryn 226, East of Naryn, Naryn to the Torugart Pass, The Torugart Pass, Naryn to Kazarman
Chapter 9 Jalal-Abad Province
Jalal-Abad, Kazarman to Jalal-Abad, Kazarman, Saimaluu-Tash, Ortok, Arslanbob, The road to Bishkek, Western Jalal-Abad Province, Lake Sary-Chelek, Arkyt, West to the Chatkal Valley
Chapter 10 Southern Kyrgyzstan
Osh, Around Osh, Özgön, The Alay Valley, The Irkeshtam crossing to China, The road south to Tajikistan, Batken Province

Appendices
Language
Glossary
Further info
Index