Overland Journeys: Silk Road

Kyrgyzstan is a remote country in central Asia border by China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Despite being on the Silk Road route between Kashgar in China and the medieval cities of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan is more renowned for its natural landscapes than its historical features. It's a country of spectacular mountain scenery, in particular in the Tien Shen Mountains, with many peaks over 4,700 metres as well as alpine scenery, forests and some 2,000 lakes including the Issyk-Kul, the second largest alpine lake in the world, and Son-Kul. Kyrgyzstan is a wonderful place to explore this landscape on foot or horseback and is well off the beaten tourist track. Many Kyrgyz people live a traditional nomadic life in yurts which combined with their friendliness and hospitality makes for a memorable cultural experience. Whether passing through on a Silk Road journey or staying for a more in depth visit, Kyrgyzstan is a unique and unforgettable destination. Explore in depth highlights of Kyrgyzstan.

Travel Information for Kyrgyzstan
Time zone:GMT +5 (Kyrgyzstan standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Kyrgyz
Other languages:Dungun, Russian, Uzbek
Currency: Kyrgyzstani som (KGS)

1 = лB77.00, $1 = лB69.04, £1 = лB91.82

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.kgInternational Dialling Code:    996

For help planning your trip to Kyrgyzstan including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Kyrgyzstan trip planning page.

Further information on Kyrgyzstan

Discover more about Kyrgyzstan - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of kyrgyzstan

Total area: 198,500 sq km (7,200 sq km under water)

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Neighbours (border lengths): China (858km), Kazakhstan (1,224km), Tajikistan (870km), Uzbekistan (1,099km)

Climate: Diverse climate in very mountainous landscape. Broadly dry continental with very cold winters but the Fergana Valley in the south-west has a sub-tropical climate with summer temperatures reaching 40C.

Highest mountain: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) (7,439m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Kyrgyzstan from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 95/167
Economic FreedomModerately Free 82/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 86/179
ILGA LGBT rightsLimited rights -
Corruption PerceptionsHigh corruption 136/174
Overall Ranking:    121/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Kyrgyz Republic     Status: Independent Country

Population: 5,604,212 (rank: 112/196)     Density: 28.2 people/sq km (rank: 150/196)

Ethnic groups: Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7% (1999 census)

Religions: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%

GDP (PPP): $14.3 billion       GDP per capita: $2,500 (rank: 154/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.