STICKY: The Situation in Kyrgyzstan: Safety & Travel Updates
Replies: 147 - Last Post: Feb 8, 2011 10:13 PM Last Post By: JACKYL01
Jun 27, 2010 10:38 PM
60Currently in Bishkek. Came here from China via the Torugart which is still open. Hoping to leave to Tashkent via Kazakhstan shorty, no problems with that border either by all accounts. Despite what has been said about Bishkek being "tense", here and in news sites elsewhere, the only tension I sense is in the sports bars over the results of the world cup matches... All that may change in an instant but at the moment nothing seems out of the ordinary in Bishkek. People have made it through from Tajikistan to Bishkek via Sary Tash and a small diversion past Osh by car. Bike may be another matter? Food still a major problem by all accounts in Osh, even if it is safe, which it may not be, touristing a region beset by a humanitarian crisis probably not the best idea.
Jun 27, 2010 11:34 PM
Do you know the detail of route how they reached to Bishkek from Sary Tash by staying far away from Osh?
Jun 28, 2010 9:13 AM
62arrived in osh today from sary tash without a problem. the situation here is calm, there is only one police/military check at the entrance of the city, and visible military presense in the streets. lots of shops are closed, some areas are badly damaged by fire and vandalism, but otherwise, life seems to be going on as normal and the atmosphere is calm. i was advised to be back by 9pm in the guesthouse which i was. walked around solomon's throne - the only one.
as far as i can tell, it is really not as dangerous as some people seem to think and it is certainly possible to take a bus/shared taxi from bishkek to the south using osh, or vice versa. i don't think you can avoid osh in any case, but you can change bus/taxi directly in osh without staying here.
while most shops are closed, there are enough open shops to buy food, there are enough restaurants to have lunch/dinner. i decided to stay in tes guesthouse which is where some ngo's are staying too.
Jun 29, 2010 11:06 AM
63Thanks bkester for these informations.
I'll be in Kygyzstan next month on the 19th and I am just wondering if it is "easy" to find a private car from Osh to Tadjikistan (Murgab). Do you know (or someone else) how much cost such a journey ? Kyrgyz Concept told me 500 USD which I think is really too much even if GBAO is included.
Which guesthouse did you choose in Osh ?
Thanks for your help.
Jun 29, 2010 11:29 PM
64I'm living in Bishkek. The whole country is actually safe. But you should avoid some places like surrounding of cities of Osh and Jalal Abad, some mountainous villages near Osh, the town of Kyzyl Kia and Bazar Korgon. Don't walk alone during the night. Also avoid any kind of meeting. Arslanbob is secure. For the rest of the country, no problem of travel. No problem in Bichkek. No problem from airport to the town. No problem to go outside of Bishkek.
Jun 30, 2010 8:56 AM
65@lothaire, as i wrote, i stayed in tes guesthouse which was open for business.
one practical addition: it was not easy to get money in osh: atms didn't work and most banks didn't have cash. bear that in mind.
you can find a shared taxi from osh to sary tash, and i guess, also into tajikistan. when i crossed the border, it was officially closed and there was no traffic whatsoever. i paid 260 usd for the murgab-sary tash stretch, paying also the way back as there are no tourists now.
i passed through bazar korgon yesterday and today and although there was widespread destruction (although not of the scale you see in osh) it was still doable. it feels like people are picking up their lives again - and let's hope that this will be the case for the coming time.
Jul 1, 2010 2:10 AM
Jul 1, 2010 9:34 AM
67Hello, I have been planning a trip with my wife, who is from Kyrgyzstan, from mid July to mid August to visit her family. I have been to the country once before, but due to the recent events, I must ask is the region safe to travel to? Would it be ok for a American? We are planning to stay in Bishkek and around Lake Issyk Kul.
Edited by: seesage
Jul 1, 2010 7:05 PM
Jul 2, 2010 12:01 AM
69i've been to bishkek and am in karakol now, near issyk kol. things are perfectly calm here. the problems are in the south. even there, it is possible to travel through. while there is widespread destruction, i did not sense any aggression, violence - especially not towards foreigners. i felt that, with caution, it was possible to travel through. moreover, people are happy to see foreigners. the country's tourism sector is badly hit by all this.
anyway, all the horror stories i, and other travelers, heard in tajikistan appeared not to be true. i did not see gangs of armed people stealing, and only one checkpoint upon entering osh city. as a precaution, i didn't go out at night.
to be sure: osh is not a city to have a relaxed holiday. but if you need to travel through, it is possible. coming from/going to tajikistan/pamir region there is no other choice, unless you enter from china and go through sary tash.
Jul 2, 2010 12:05 AM
Jul 2, 2010 12:24 AM
71Thanks bkester, for the updated information on traveling i Kyrgyzstan! I can understand the uncertainty of seesage, even if he ought to get information from his family. We are a group of seven planning to visit Northern Kyrgyzstan in the beginning of August, and today I got some information from our emabssy in Astana which in few words says - it is quiet now, but one can not know if groups opposed to the new regime will try to provoke to make trouble. As bkester also says - they need us now (both to support their struggle for democracy and their tourism ) - and the clash three weeks ago was "internal". I haven't heard about agression against foreigners whether they dress like Russians or Americans. We have flights in and out of Almaty, so we will definitely go there, and hopefully also proceed to Kyrgyzstan as planned. And for us and all others in the same situation - this thorn three branch is our most valuable source of information, so, please, everyone daring to go - keep updating us on the situation. Thanks for all help!
Jul 2, 2010 12:27 AM
Jul 2, 2010 4:44 AM
Jul 2, 2010 12:44 PM
74I talked to my parents today about the situation they said everybody is tired of fighting and people want piece. Osh still seems a bit tense, but Jalalabad people talk to each other the same again as before. If i were you i wouldn't still go to Osh and small suburbs and surrounding villages, instead i would go to northern parts like lake Issyk-kul or to the mountains in small villages. Jalalabad is a lot safer a lot safer than Osh.
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