Visiting Kyrgyzstan is a memorable experience. The most democratic country of Central Asia has many natural wonders to offer the visitors. Kyrgyzstan is inhabited by semi-nomadic populations, travelling throughout the country according to season, so they can use the best grasslands for their livestock. The old Kyrgyz customs can be seen everywhere in the country, but at the same time you can find the signs of the progress, especially in Bishkek, the capital city. Kyrgyzstan has several mountain chains forming a lot of charming valleys. The landscape diversity of the country is really huge; everyone can discover his Kyrgyzstan to love.
The country is divided, basically, in three great areas: the South, where there is the town of Osh, the East, gravitating around the Issyk Kul Lake and finally the most northern zone, home to the capital and characterised by decreasing altitudes, until to reach the Kazak steppe. For those who are entering in Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan, the journey will be a long descent from the peaks of Pamir toward more hospitable climates and environments, true paradises for lovers of activities as trekking or horse riding, just some of sports practicable on Kyrgyz Highlands.
The part of Kyrgyzstan wedged into Ferghana Valley is one of most interesting from a cultural perspective, with a mix of ethnic groups you can recognise thanks to clothing and other details. This, however, is the more troubled zone of the country, due to unrests between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks breaking out periodically, above all with regard to border issues. This is the most populated region of Kyrgyzstan, crossroad of peoples and cultures, where is possible to admire the peculiar architecture of houses and visit places as the Historical Museum, realised in a cave of Sulaiman-Too Mountain.
Natural Parks are one of the great Kyrgyz resources; the most famous is Ala-Archa, just a few tens of kilometres from Bishkek. Other naturalistic destinations not to be missed are the forests of walnut trees in the Arslanbob River Valley, or the high valley of Altyn Arashan. Travelling in Kyrgyzstan you’ll notice the yurts, the traditional tents in which the still semi-nomadic part of population lives. A mountain area very interesting is the Torugart Pass, border with China and destination for the most adventurous travellers.
Special mention should be made of the Issyk Kul Lake, a preferred destination in the times of the Soviet Union. This is the second largest alpine lake in the world, with is name meaning “hot water” because the mild temperature arising by its hot springs. Alongside these calm water surrounded by the Tian Shan Mountains, there are real beaches. Located not far from the capital the lake’s area has a great cultural relevance due to the petroglyphs discovered around Cholpon-Ata or due to the proximity of the Burana Tower. Other Kyrgyz lakes are the Ala Kol and the six of the Sarry Chelek Reserve.
Differences in climate in Kyrgyzstan are very different, so the journey should be carefully planned on the basis of destinations you would reach, but every season will offer a lot of attractive activities. Kyrgyzstan is increasingly recognized and appreciated all over the world of tourism and surely you will not disappointed by its hospitality. The possible itineraries are really a lot, whether visiting the country by horse or having as aim to go trekking.