KYRGYZSTANLive the silk route!
GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION OF KYRGYZSTAN
Kyrgyzstan is located in northeast Central Asia and has an area of 199.9 thousand km² and ranks seventh among the republics of the former CIS for its territory. Here Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands could all fit together. It has borders with Kazakhstan in the north, with Uzbekistan in the west, with Tajikistan in the southwest and with China in the southeast. Kyrgyzstan stretches 900 km from west to east and a little over 400 km from north to south. The northernmost point of Kyrgyzstan is at the same latitude as Rome, and the southernmost point – with the island Sicily. Kyrgyzstan is a country of mountains, because its mountains occupy more than 70% of its entire territory and the surface of the valleys does not fall below 500 meters above sea level. The highest peak is Pico Pobeda (7439m). In the mountains of Kyrgyzstan everything tastes like a virgin beauty, which is not possible to see in plains.
The Kyrgyz climate is continental, dry. In view of the strong ruggedness of the relief in the territory of Kyrgyzstan, the weather conditions are quite varied, in the regions of the high mountains of Tian-Shan the weather has all the signs of subpolar climate while in the south-west regions ( Fergana Valley) is of a subtropical climate and in the pre-mountainous areas of the north it is almost temperate thanks to the aridity of the air. There are 247 sunny days throughout the year in Kyrgyzstan.
The normal temperature in January is -1 C to -8 C in the valleys and -18 to -27 C in the high mountains. The coldest month is January, while in summer (July) in the valleys the temperature is +15 C to +27 C and in pre-mountainous areas ranges from +10 C to +24 C while in high mountain regions Temperatures range from +5 to -11 C. The temperature at the edge of Lake Issyk-Kul is less contrast and throughout the year it is moderate (in winter – +2 C, in summer +18 -22 C).
The currency of the country is the som (KGS) and in Kyrgyzstan you will never be very far from an exchange house. They are where you least expect and wholesale. Banks offer, in general, the same change but have the advantage that you accept USD or Euro bills that have some imperfection (not that they are broken, but if it is very spent in the exchange houses they will not accept it and in banks, yes). Taking money out of an ATM is another option. Preferably use those that are inside a mall for security reasons. The great advantage of using a cashier is that you can withdraw the money in som, which is the local currency, or in dollars. Yes, be careful with the commissions. Always watch what your bank and the cashier charge for the transaction so as not to take surprises.
WHAT TO EAT
Kyrgyzstan is a multinational, multi-ethnic country, where multiple nationalities coexist; Kyrgyz, Russians, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Uighurs, Dungans, Koreans, etc. This has had a great influence on the development of Kyrgyz’s traditional cuisine. Historically, the cuisine of the nomadic Kyrgyz has used meat, dairy, cereals and spices in abundance. Among the most popular dishes is the Plov, whose main ingredients are meat, rice, onions and carrots. Among the most common pastas are the Mantys, a kind of ravioli stuffed with minced meat and very spicy, sometimes with vegetables, especially onions and carrots. Although the filling can be of any type of meat, the most common is to find lamb mantys. Another type of pasta is the Lagman which are a type of very thick noodles and are taken in soup served with vegetables such as peppers and onions, and usually meat, can be spicy, as much as you want. The Samsa are the most popular snack in Kyrgyzstan, they are prepared from a filling made of meat, usually lamb, but it can also be beef or chicken, which is then put inside a triangular or rectangular shaped puff pastry and baked so that the exterior is crispy and the filling of the juicy interior. Shashlik are very popular roast beef skewers in Central Asia, Russia and the Caucasus. The most normal thing is that they are lamb, but you can also find it from the most diverse meats like veal, chicken, etc. And we get to the bread, the Lepyoshka is the traditional bread. Usually they are wheat loaves, round, of which they are baked in a clay jar attached to the inside of the walls, with their churruced contours that remind us a little of pizza. As for drinking tea or chai, it is the most usual. You can taste it with multiple colors and flavors. And for the most daring, there is the Kumis, the national drink of Kyrgyzstan. It is made from fermented mare’s milk, especially sour, and of course with a few alcohol gradients.