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Flights to Kyrgyzstan | Cheap flight tickets booking on Skyscanner

Kyrgyzstan, or known officially as the Kyrgyz Republic and formerly as Kirghizia, is situated in Central Asia, landlocked by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest, and China to the east. It was annexed by Russian in 1876 and only received its independence in 1991, still bearing with it up to date, as it stays on as one of the more progressive post-Soviet governments in the region. It has a population of 5.7 million people who are predominantly ethnic Kyrgyz, spread out across its entirety of 77,182 square miles. Its capital city and largest city, Bishkek, also happens to be the administrative centre of Chuy Province which surrounds the city.

What to see & do

Kyrgyzstan is a country highlighted by its unspoilt mountains, craggy ridges, and summer pastures that were brought to life by its natural beauty, now more appealing than ever due to the recent introduction of visa-free travel, that has attracted a majority of Western tourists who long to seek adventures in its rural and high altitude attractions, most especially during the summer time.

For a start, head north of the former airport runway and find the petroglyphs, an extensive field of glacial boulders that date back from as far as about 1500 BC, which Saka priests used for its sacrifices and other rites to the sun god. Afterwards, explore the five-peaked rocky crag of Suleiman Too, a Muslim place of pilgrimage where the Prophet Mohammed once prayed. You can also relax at the world's second biggest high altitude mountain lake in Issyk Kul, where you can also swim, sail, and go sunbathing. Another high altitude mountain lake you can go to is in Son Kul which is known more for its local's portrayal of a traditional semi-nomadic Kyrgyz lifestyle. Those who long for adventure could also take an expedition up to the peak of Lenin (7,134 metres) in the southern part of Osh City. Once you are done touring, make sure not to miss out the Dordoi Bazaar, the largest market in Central Asia where you can buy cheap Chinese goods, and the Osh Bazaar where you can buy traditional Eastern goods.

How to get around within Kyrgyzstan

There are several daily domestic flights between Bishkek and other parts of Kyrgyzstan using 30-40 year-old soviet planes. If that scares you, you can always travel by train via the only domestic rail link between Balykchy (Western edge of Issyk Kul) to Tokmok through to Bishkek through to Karabalta and on to the Kazakh border, but note that this means of transportation take at least twice as long when you take a taxi except that it's cheaper. Preferably, marshrutkas (minibuses) and shared taxis are the most common and accessible option if you wish to explore the country. You can also make private taxi trips by buying off all the seats or contacting a taxi firm. If you happen to know the place, you can also rent a private car from the likes of OcOO Iron Horse Nomads, although they don't provide auto insurance.

How to get there

Manas International Airport near Bishkek is the main international airport of Kyrgyzstan, with receives flights from Moscow, Tashkent, Almaty, Beijing, Urumqi, Istanbul, London, Baku, and Dubai. As of writing, 378 international flights occur here on a weekly basis, and some of the airlines that offer direct flight to Manas International Airport include Atlas Global, China Southern Airlines, Iran Air Tours, Pegasus Asia, Turkish Airlines, and Ukraine International Airlines, among others.

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