Do's and don'ts in Kyrgyzstan

These will help you be prepared and have a wonderful tour in multi-cultural and multi-religious country. Around 80 different ethnic groups are living in harmony. Here's a list of things to do and not do when traveling to Kyrgyzstan:

To Do:

  • Research and familiarize yourself with Kyrgyzstan's culture and customs before your trip.
  • Bring warm clothing, as Kyrgyzstan can be quite cold also in summer higher than 1000 meters altitude.
  • Learn a few basic phrases in Kyrgyz or Russian to help you communicate with locals.
  • Try traditional Kyrgyz dishes such as beshbarmak.
  • Respect local customs, including dressing correctly when visiting religious sites.
  • Bring enough cash with you, as credit card usage is limited in Kyrgyzstan.
  • Take a free SIM card at your arrival and register to stay connected while traveling around the country (a month with internet without limit cost around 10$)
  • Respect and respect the environment, particularly when trekking or hiking, leave no trace and follow the principle of low impact tourism
  • Before taking photos of tourist sites (historical buildings, mosques etc.) and local people, make sure to seek the consent of the responsible person/people. Ask your guide if you are not sure.

Not To Do:

  • Do not take photographs of military or government buildings without permission.
  • Do not expect Western-style amenities in all parts of the country.
  • Do not offend locals by dressing immodestly or showing disrespect for their culture or customs.
  • Do not offer to shake hands or give gifts with your left hand, as it is considered impure.
  • Do not be tempted to buy counterfeit or illegal goods.
  • Do not ignore local laws, regulations and rules in national park, wilderness or protected areas
  • Do not feed or approach wild animals, respect wildlife and their natural habitat
  • Do not litter or leave trash behind, bring a bag and pack out your trash

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