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   Duty Free:
The following goods may be imported into Kyrgyzstan by travellers of 16 years or over without incurring customs duty: 1000 cigarettes or 1000g of tobacco products; 1.5l of alcoholic beverages and 2l of wine; a reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use.
  • Note: On entering the country, tourists must complete a customs declaration form which must be retained until departure. This allows the import of articles intended for personal use, including currency and valuables which must be registered on the declaration form. Customs inspection can be long and detailed.

  •    Prohibited imports:
    Military weapons and ammunition; narcotics; fruit and vegetables; live animals; photographs and printed matter directed against Kyrgyzstan; loose pearls; anything owned by a third party that is to be carried in for that third party. If there are any queries regarding items that may be imported, an information sheet is available on request from Intourist.
       Prohibited exports:
    As prohibited imports, as well as annulled securities, state loan certificates, lottery tickets, works of art and antiques (unless permission has been granted by the Ministry of Culture), saiga horns, Siberian stag, red deer antlers (unless on organised hunting trip) and deer skins.
    Visas for Kyrgyzstan may be obtained in Kyrgyz embassies or consulates in the foreign countries. To obtain Kyrgyz visa you need a letter of invitation. Japan and Malaysian citizens don't need Kyrgyz visa. To send you a letter of invitation we need your full name, date of birth, passport number, citizenship, nationality and the period of staying in the Kyrgyz Republic.
    The other zones are:
    The Inylchek area and other places Tour Khan-Tengri can provide you with all necessary permits.
    If you stay in Kyrgyzstan more than three days you have to be registered by the police department OVIR unless your country is among these: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Korea, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portuguese, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
    The national airline is Kyrgyz International Airlines (N5), which operates direct flights to Bishkek from Germany and Turkey (Istanbul). BA operates a direct flight from London to Bishkek. British Mediterranean (a franchise partner of British Airways) operates services three times a week from London to Bishkek. Turkish Airlines also flies to Bishkek from London, with a stopover in Istanbul. In addition, there is a number of direct flights from Europe to Almaty, in neighbouring Kazakhstan. The connection from there to Kyrgyzstan is via frequent bus services to Bishkek (travel time - 4 hours). Other European airlines flying direct to Almaty include Lufthansa (five weekly flights from Frankfurt/M) and KLM (from Amsterdam). There are also direct flights to Bishkek from Moscow and St Petersburg (Russian Federation) and from Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
       Approximate flight times:
    From London to Bishkek is 9 hours. From London to Almaty (Kazakhstan) is 6 hours 30 minutes; from Istanbul to Almaty is 5 hours 30 minutes and from Frankfurt/M to Almaty is 7 hours.
       International airports:
    Bishkek Manas Airport (FRU) is 30km (19 miles) north of Bishkek. There is a minibus shuttle service to the city centre when the airport is open (travel time - 60 minutes). Taxis are available. Airport facilities include left luggage, creche, bars, 24-hour restaurant, chemist, bank (Mon-Fri 0800-1630) and bureau de change (24 hours).
    There are rail connections with the Russian Federation (travel time to Moscow is three days) and with other Central Asian republics. However, tourists are advised that robberies on trains have been reported.
    The main international road links are with Kazakhstan and there is presently one crossing point into China; visitors should note that the Chinese authorities normally require proof of an invitation by a Chinese tour operator as a condition of entry. There are regular bus links from Bishkek to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) (travel time - 10-12 hours) and Almaty (Kazakhstan) (travel time - 6 hours); services leave the long-distance (zapadni) bus station in Bishkek. There is also a direct service to Osh from Tashkent (Uzbekistan) via the Fergana Valley, but road conditions are very poor on this route (see also Uzbekistan section). Generally, roads can be affected by landslides (especially during spring in the mountain areas), while winter may cause hazardous conditions on a number of roads (especially on mountain passes, some of which may be closed during certain periods); visitors should also note that garage services are very limited.

       Travel - Internal
    There are internal connections from Bishkek to Cholpan-Ata, Kara-Kol, Naryn and Osh. Travellers should note that maintenance procedures for aircraft operating internally may not conform to internationally accepted standards. Access to the Central Tien-Shan region is via helicopter, which takes climbers up the Inylchek Valley.
    There is only one railway line, which runs from Bishkek to Balikchi at the western end of Lake Issyk-Kul. Osh, in the south of the country, can be reached by rail via Tashkent (Uzbekistan). A new North-South railway is currently planned. Travellers are advised that robberies on trains have been reported.
    Kyrgyzstan has 28,400km (17,400 miles) of roads. Traffic drives on the right. Bus: There are regular bus connections to all parts of Kyrgyzstan. Buses are crowded but they are currently the best and safest form of internal travel in Kyrgyzstan. Visitors to the southern regions, including Osh, should inform an Embassy (or Consulate) or tour operator before travelling. Taxi: Taxis can be found in all major towns. Many are unlicensed, and fares should be agreed in advance. As many of the street names, particularly in the capital, have changed since independence, visitors are advised to ask for both the old and the new names when seeking directions. Car hire: Car hire is not available. It is possible to hire cars with drivers for long-distance journeys, but because of the shortage of petrol, it is generally an expensive option. Foreigners are generally expected to pay in US Dollars. Documentation: Licences for long-stay residents intending to buy or import a car can be obtained from the Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry. An International Driving Permit and two photos are required.
    There are bus and trolleybus services around the capital.
       Travel times:
    The following chart gives approximate travel times from Bishkek (in hours and minutes) to other towns in Kyrgyzstan.
    Osh 12.00
    Tokmak 1.00
    Balikchi 2.30
    Kara-Kol 5.30
    Counters Contact Links
    Kyrgyz Republic, zip code 722360, Karakol city, Kasym Kadyrov str. 55,
    Ltd Tour Khan-Tengri
    Tel/Fax: (996) 3922 2-72-69
    Tel:        (996) 3922 2-65-59
    Sites about Kyrgyzstan:
    General information about Kyrgyzstan (eng)
    Victor Velikorodov photogallery (rus, de)
    Karakol photogallery (rus)
    TDS about Kyrgyzstan (eng)
    About holidays (eng)
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