Kyrgyzstan

Hello and welcome to the overview page of Kyrgyzstan. If you scroll further down, you will find posts about this country.

So far, I’ve been to Kyrgyzstan once in April/May/June of 2021. Because this was during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I didn’t hitchhike a lot. I really enjoyed Bishkek and I stayed there for quite a while with Jonas working on some projects. We also traveled to Cholpon-Ata at Issyk-Kul Lake, which was a marvelous place to be. I really hope to return to Kyrgyzstan at a time when I’m not so busy to go hiking. We only received 60 days for a visa and the country is quite a challenge to get from A to B because of the mountains. Here are some highlights from my first visit:

  • Admiring the beautiful Soviet-era mosaics in Bishkek
  • Issyk-Kul Lake and the abandoned airport in Cholpon-Ata
  • Getting my first vaccinations against COVID-19 (Sinopharm: dose 1 and dose 2 in Bishkek)

Valleys nearyb Cholpon-Ata Grigorievskoe Gorge Gigorievka (first lake) Swimming in Lake Issyk-Kul in Cholpon-Ata from a jetty snowcapped mountains Issyk-Kul Lake Kyrgyzstan motorized boat trip

Things I’d Like to Do on a Second Visit to Kyrgyzstan

Though I have a private list of the things I want to see and do on my next visit, here are some highlights from that list:

  • Travel to Osh
  • Go really remote, like the Engilchek area towards the border with China
  • Visit the walnut forest in Arslanbob and chomp on some walnuts

If you know even more cool places and things to do in Kyrgyzstan, comment at the bottom of this page so I can always find your suggestions again! This will also help other travelers to Kyrgyzstan who stumble upon your underrated place/activity

Are you a travel blogger and do you have good posts about Kyrgyzstan? Drop them in a comment below and I’ll read them!

Hey There, Tashkent?! Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan (Semi-Live Blog)

These events happened on Saturday, the 26th of June, 2021. We hoped to fly from Manas International Airport (FRU) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport (TAS), Uzbekistan. I’m trying to update this blog as a sort of semi-live blog while on the move.  Saturday, 26th of June: 60 Days Up, Go to Tashkent, Uzbekistan?! Goodbye, Bishkek Time to go! Jonas woke me up at 7:00 to shower and finish packing. He pointed out that today was another one of those beautiful Bishkek days that’s clear and shows the mountains. Yesterday evening they were veiled in cloudsContinue reading

My First Car Crash in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

This car crash happened on Wednesday the 9th of July, 2021. There will be some gross generalizations about driving in Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan, but these have been my experiences so far. Some things in Kyrgyzstan are fantastic, while others are crap. Today was crap. And writing is how I process shit. Getting a Yandex Taxi After getting our Sinopharm vaccines translated and notarized at Big Ben Translation, we wanted to go celebrate this. We wanted to go to Craft Bar nearby the Ala-Too square. But first, we made a little detour into the Vefa Center shopping mall. I really wantedContinue reading

Urban Exploring at the Abandoned Airport of Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan

We stayed in Cholpon-Ata in late May, 2021. Watch the vlog to see me do some urban exploring at the abandoned airport of this town with fantastic vistas of Issyk-Kul Lake. This post contains additional information regarding the questions I had while walking around the abandoned terminal. Cholpon-Ata Airport’s History (Post-)Soviet Airport: Glory Times, Abandonment, Replacement (As any good article starts:) According to Wikipedia, Cholpon-Ata Airport was built somewhere in the 1930s. But it was even less glamorous then than how it was during my visit because it was merely a landing strip. The terminal building and other auxiliary buildingsContinue reading

How to Get a SIM Card in Bishkek, or Anywhere in Kyrgyzstan

When traveling to Kyrgyzstan, it’s a great idea to not save on the wrong end and pick up a SIM card. We did that at the Manas International Airport in Bishkek on arrival. Mobile data is very cheap in Kyrgyzstan. Here’s how to get a SIM card in Bishkek without making the mistakes we made. FYI, the country code for Kyrgyzstan is +996 Which Kyrgyz Telecom Company Should I Choose? Before going to Kyrgyzstan, we looked on the prepaid SIM card wiki for the country. For us, coverage is the most important aspect. Though Kyrgyzstan has not the greatest mobileContinue reading

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan?! Traveling from DXB to FRU (Semi-Live Blog)

After 88 days of 90 allowed days in the UAE, it’s time to leave. Jonas and I chose Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan as the next place to go during this pandemic with limited choices. Follow this post for the coming days to see how things are going. Also, the latest date is always on top. Use the table of contents to skip to the date you want to read about. This is a semi-live blog that I’ll update throughout the journey. I’ll add photos once I’m back on my laptop.  Wednesday, 28th of April: Arrived in Bishkek Too sleepy to writeContinue reading

Getting the J&J Booster Vaccine in Mauritius as a Non-Citizen

This happened on Tuesday the 15th of February, 2022. Jonas and I had an appointment at the Wellkin Hospital in Moka for a booster vaccine. The only vaccine available to us as people under 40 years of age was Johnson & Johnson. This is a European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved vaccine, so this will help us travel in Europe too. Before this, we only had two doses of Sinopharm thanks to Kyrgyzstan. First of, Fuck the European Medicines Agency Secondly, I Was Not Excited about the Booster But it had to be done. Predicting shit during this pandemic is extremelyContinue reading

Bonzur, Mahébourg?! Traveling from Istanbul to Mauritius (Semi-Live Blog)

On the 3rd of December 2021, we’re hopefully flying from Istanbul Airport (IST) in Turkey to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU aka Port Louis Airport) in Mauritius. I’m updating this post as we go. If you’re here for the documents checklist to enter Mauritius, click here.    Booking Mauritius Before we even arrived in Turkey, I already knew I didn’t want to spend the full 90 days here. It would be too cold by the end of our visa. And Jonas wanted to spend at least one month in Istanbul, which would result in too little time toContinue reading

How to Get a Turkish SIM Card (In the Small and Non-Touristic Towns of Turkey)

We bought our Turkish SIM cards on Monday the 25th of October, one day after arriving in Karasu. Karasu is a port town on the Black Sea coast and we’d arrived by ferry. It’s relatively small and getting a Turkish SIM card wasn’t straightforward. This post is supposed to help people who are also arriving in Turkey by land or sea and in a smaller town away from places geared toward foreigners. Our Experience Buying a Turkish SIM Card in Karasu FAQ Turkish SIM Card + Internet Freedom in Turkey Which provider should I choose? There are three telecom providersContinue reading

Arabat Spit: A Day Trip to Ukrainian-Controlled Crimea with Hot Spring + Pink Lake

These events happened on October 3rd, 2021. Our Booking host in Heniches’k named Yuri offered to do a day trip with us down the Arabat Spit to visit some hot springs and a pink lake. This eventually turned into a little adventure with even more spontaneous stops and detours along the way. The Arabat Spit is geographically part of the Crimean Peninsula, but administratively it’s Kherson Oblast. Russia didn’t annex this part of Crimea back in 2014. Ukrainian-Controlled Crimea: Is it Safe? Yes. Since 2014 there has been nothing really going on on the Arabat Spit. One should of courseContinue reading

Celebrating My Birthday in Kyiv, Again! (30th)

When booking Ukraine, I knew that I was gonna celebrate my 30th birthday in Kyiv. This happens to also be the same town where I celebrated my 22nd birthday back in 2013 during my first medium-sized hitchhiking trip. A few things have changed: I’m not a happy single anymore but a happy partnered individual. And as a partnered individual I am also not hyper-poor and on the brink of developing scurvy anymore. I believe they call this ‘progress’. Jokes aside, quite a lot has changed. My interests have changed. And though I think getting blind drunk, getting banged on theContinue reading

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