The Stan countries are a fascinating part of the world that not many people consider travelling to. If you are considering your first Stan country to visit Kyrgyzstan is a great choice and here are ten reasons why.
1. It’s visa policy is friendly
Many of the Stan countries are difficult to travel to as their visa policies are restricted.
Kyrgyzstan on the other hand is eager to welcome you in! When the USSR collapsed Kyrgyzstan was left high and dry so this tiny little country turned to tourism. Tourism is done differently in this country, and what you will find will astound you.
2. It’s got fascinating historical sights
There is petroglyphs, remnants of the Silk Road, ancient Turkic gravestones just to name a few. One of the best things is you’ll have these things all to yourself to enjoy.
3. The country has a great community based-eco tourism network (CBT)
Arrive into a new town and ask for CBT and you’ll be directed to a local who has a homestay, or a local who can take you on a hike, or a local group that can organise a horse trek and yurt stay for you. Best bit is you know that your money is going straight to the Kyrgyz families who need it.
4. There is lots of outdoor activities
A visit to Kyrgyzstan is all about the outdoors. Its cities don’t have a lot to offer but its mountains do. The most popular things to do are overnight hikes and horse treks. The opportunities are endless but two worth mentioning are Song Kol lake where you can stay in a yurt with a shepard family and Altyn Arashan where you can swim in hot springs.
5. The scenery is spectacular
There are no words to describe how incredible the landscape is so here are some photos to tempt you to go and see for yourself.
6. The people
Not many people speak English but it doesn’t matter because they are some of the friendliest people in the world. The people are trustworthy and honest which is great! Spend some time with a local, it’ll be a highlight of your trip!
7. Karakol Sunday Animal Market
Its worth trying to being in the town of Karakol on a Sunday just to see this market. Some people travel for days just to be at the market to sell their animals. It’s a fascinating place where country meets city. You will have never been in one place with so many cattle and horses. It’s an eye opener.