Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Overview

Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country in central Asia. Bishkek is its capital and largest city. Kyrgyzstan became an independent country in 1991, after about 70 years as part of the Soviet Union.

Kyrgyzstan boasts some of the highest mountains in the world with 23 peaks over 19,685 feet, and is often referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Central Asia’. Ala-Archa National Park includes approximately 20 glaciers and 50 peaks and offers dozens of hiking, climbing and skiing possibilities. The mountains are also home to lakes, including Lake Issyk-Kul.

CLIMATE

Temperatures in Kyrgyzstan vary with altitude. Summers are very warm and dry in the valleys and plains, and cool in the mountains. July temperatures average 60 to 75 °F (16 to 24 °C) in the valleys and plains and about 41 °F (5 °C) in the mountains. Winters are chilly in the lowlands, but extremely cold in the mountains. January temperatures average 7 to 23 °F (-5 to -14 °C) in the lowlands and -18 °F (-28 °C) in the mountains.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CAPITAL: Bishkek
POPULATION: 5.3 million
LANGUAGE: Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian
CURRENCY: Som
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.
COUNTRY CODE: KG
COUNTRY DIALLING CODE: +996
TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +6

TRAVEL WARNING

There is a threat from terrorism in Kyrgyzstan. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

Tensions also exist over recognition of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek borders and you should only use officially recognised border crossings if travelling in the region. There is a risk that uncontrolled border areas may be land-mined.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk