6 million (60% Kyrgyz, 21% Slavs, 13% Uzbek, 2% Koryoin)
$1 = 84.7 som (as of July 2, 2021)
som (som, Kyrgyz: com, sometimes translated as "sum" or "soum")There are currency exchange stations all over the city, so you can exchange dollars, and where you can use your credit card is extremely limited and mainly cash is used.
Three hours slower than Korea, six hours faster than the U.K.(GMT).
To Dial Kyrgyzstan in Korea, you can just dial the service number, area code and phone number: Service Number (001, etc) + 996 (Kyrgyz Country Number) + phone number.
From the end of June to mid-August, the temperature is around at 40℃, but the humidity is not so high, so the wind chill is relatively cool. The best time to travel Kyrgyzstan is from May to October, flowers blooming in spring and fresh crops ripening in autumn. You can also enjoy various fruits in all seasons except winter. From mid-October, some roads in mountainous areas are closed due to heavy snow, so we recommend you obtain enough information before travelling.
Kyrgyzstan is a presidential country. The Constitution of Kyrgyzstan was amended in 2021, so the role of a president was strengthened and the power of the parliament was diminished. A president, who represents the whole country, appoints a prime minister. The prime minister designates members of the Cabinet with the consent of the Council. The country is operated under the system of President Sadyr Japarov, who was elected in the 2021 presidential election, and Prime minister Ulubek Maripov, who was appointed in May 2021. A term of the congress is a five-year and a 120-seat unicameral system. In terms of diplomacy, Kyrgyzstan has maintained close political, economic and military relations with other Central Asian countries and Russia.
The Kyrgyz territory is 199,951㎢ in area, slightly smaller than the Korean peninsula. The territory stretches west to east, and the mountain area is 92%, with the average altitude of 2,750m. It is nicknamed ‘Switzerland in Central Asia’, due to a large number of mountains and a wonderful mother nature without any desert. The capital city, Vishkek, is also located at an altitude of 774m above sea level. The whole country is formed into about 10 mountain ranges. All of them including the Tianshan Mountain, Famirgo Mountain, Kyrgyz mountain extend from east to west and they are divided into several isolated canyons. The Tianshan Mountains are made of high peaks, including Mount Poveda(7,439m), which is covered with ice and permanent snow, and forms a border with China.
A variety of religions are practiced in Kyrgyzstan, mainly Islam, Christianity (including Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Protestant), and Buddhism. The Sunni Muslim accounts for 83% of total, and Christian does 15%. Since there are a number of religions practiced in Kyrgyzstan, you can visit diverse religious places. There is an Islamic temple and a Russian Orthodox Church in the city of Karakol.
Kyrgyzstan is a multicultural society, with a nomadic culture in the North region, and a farming culture in the South region by the influence of Uzbekistan. There are traces of Russian culture as well due to being a part of the Soviet Union in the past. There are two basic cultures in terms of food, clothing and shelter – nomadism and Islam. There are hunting festivals in Kyrgyzstan, and people use eagles or horses to hunt wild animals. These festivals are influenced by nomadism. There are handicrafts made with felt throughout the country.
Diet and Food
The staple diet is mainly dairy products, meat and bread. You can also taste food widely eaten in Central Asia, and Russian cuisine. Kyrgyz people mainly eat lamb, beef and horse meat. Some fat not used in other foreign dishes is utilized in Kyrgyz food. Bread is commonly consumed in Kyrgyzstan, but it is sacred as well. You need to eat bread only with your hands, not with folks, and it is good to pray before eating it.
The road traffic is relatively well-developed compared to railways. It’s convenient to use a bus or a car to travel in Kyrgyzstan. The most commonly used transportation is a bus. In Bishkek, there are ‘trolley buses’, which are similar to trams in European cities. People take horses in mountainous areas. It is better to use rent-a-car in Kyrgyzstan, and driving a car is not recommended because roads are not well-developed compared to advanced countries. The roads are mostly four-lane or six-lane.
There are nine registered UNESCO world heritages in Kyrgyzstan. Some of them are registered as sole Kyrgyz heritages, and others as joint with neighboring countries. The sole Kyrgyz UNESCO intangible cultural heritages are Ak-kalpak craftsmanship (traditional knowledge and skills in making and wearing Kyrgyz men’s headwear), Kok-boru(a traditional Kyrgyz horse game), Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdak (the art of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets), and Manas (the Kyrgyz epic trilogy). The sole Kyrgyz UNESCO World Heritage is Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain, which contains numerous ancient places of worship and caves with petroglyphs as well as two large 16th century mosques. The Kyrgyz UNESCO intangible heritages registered in association with other countries are traditional knowledge and skills in making yurts (association with Kazakhstan), flatbread making and sharing culture (with Azerbaijan, Iran, etc). The registered Kyrgyz natural heritage is Western Tien-Shan range(in association with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan). The Silk Road sites, the routes network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor, is registered as the UNESCO World Heritage in association with China and Kazakhstan.