Does “Central Asia” conjure up images of craggy mountains, vast grasslands, nomadic tribes on horseback, and meandering rivers in your mind? You would get to see all this and more in Kyrgyzstan, a favorite travel destination in Central Asia for discerning travelers from around the world.
Kyrgyzstan boasts the title of “the Switzerland of Central Asia,” and lives up to it with its soaring mountains and glaciers. It is never overcrowded with tourists. You can explore the beautiful country at your own pace. And as you’re preparing for your trip, you can buy
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
to stay protected in case the worst should happen.
Things to Do for Travelers in Kyrgyzstan
The terrains here are harsh and unforgiving. But they are exceedingly beautiful, too. This mixture of opposites is an element of attraction here. The landscape is diverse, too, with snow-capped peaks, lakes, and grasslands.
- Ala Archa National Park: Located in the mighty Tian Shan Mountains, this stunning national park boasts splendid alpine vegetation. With 20 glaciers and more than 50 mountain peaks, there is a lot to explore in the park. Go for nature walks and mountain treks, or wander along wildlife trails. With some luck, you might get to see the elusive snow leopard here. Other faunas include marmots, wild goats, and roe deer.
- Issyk Kul Lake: This is the second-highest alpine lake in the world. The lake never freezes over, even during the harshest winters. The reflections of the soaring peaks of the Tian Shan range on the lake waters make for a stunning sight. This ancient lake offers opportunities for water sports like rafting, kayaking, etc. Or else, go for a simple swim in its waters after enjoying a horse ride on the banks of the lake.
- Merzbacher Lake: This lake is located in a fairly remote part of the country. But if you are intrepid enough to make this trip, prepare to be rewarded with outstanding scenic beauty. This glacial lake melts every spring, and visitors at that time can see large chunks of ice floating along. Sky-high, snow-capped mountains surround the peak, making for some spectacular sights.
- Tash Rabat: This place – in the middle of nowhere – was a caravanserai in the days of the old Silk Route. Travelers along the route used to stop and rest for a while in this once-bustling caravanserai. Today, only skeletal structures remain. But a visit to this remote and challenging 3,500-meter-high destination (almost 11,500 feet) would be a journey back in time. Add to it some unforgettable views of the desolate mountains all around, and you are in for the experience of a lifetime.
- Song Kol Lake: At an elevation of more than 3,000 meters (about 10,000 feet), Song Kol Lake offers jaw-dropping sights and lots of serenity. Lush green meadows and high mountains surround the lake, the second-largest in Kyrgyzstan. You would need to ride on horseback to reach this lake. Once there, laze around on the banks, or go for walks in the adjoining mountains.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Kyrgyzstan
The local people of Kyrgyzstan are friendly and welcoming, by and large. There are no major risks for international travelers in the country. Having said that, there are certain precautions that you need to take once you are there.
- Purse-snatchings do occur at times in the cities. Be on your guard in the crowded areas, and avoid traveling to the deserted locations of the city after dark.
- In the country’s borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, there are risks of landmines. Don’t venture out into off-the-beaten-track roads in such locations. Use the services of a guide in these areas.
- Scammers posing as police and taxi drivers are a threat. If you are in doubt of their genuineness, ask to see their government-provided identity cards.
- There is a risk of earthquakes in Kyrgyzstan. Also, during the winter months, avalanches and severe snowstorms pose a threat to travelers. Pay attention to weather warnings, and travel to remote locations only with an authorized guide.
- Never leave your food or drink unattended while in a bar/restaurant. It might get spiked.
Kyrgyzstan Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
No one can foretell when an ailment or an accident might strike on a vacation. But if such an unfortunate event were to befall you, you would need medical care. And medical care in a foreign country would entail high expenses. So, it’s best to purchase travel medical insurance to save yourself from such expenses.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Kyrgyzstan?
Though it is not a mandate to have travel medical insurance to visit Kyrgyzstan, it is worthwhile to have it before you travel there. It would safeguard your finances should you need medical care there.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Kyrgyzstan?
Given all the traveling you’ll be doing in rugged terrains through extreme weather, the chances of your falling sick are real. You might also injure yourself physically. Treatments there would be expensive. Hence, it’s advisable that before you visit Kyrgyzstan, buy travel medical insurance.
Kyrgyzstan Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Many reasons beyond your control might force you to cancel your Kyrgyzstan trip at the last minute. This unfortunate event also entails a fair amount of financial loss for you. With trip cancellation insurance, you’ll be reimbursed for your pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you had to cancel your trip for a covered reason as listed in your policy.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Kyrgyzstan?
There are several payments that you need to make in advance, chief among them being the flight tickets. You might also have decided to book the destination hotels and trips in advance. In the event of a cancellation, you might end up losing all this money. But if you have trip cancellation insurance, you are saved from such a consequence, as long as your reason for cancellation is covered in the fine print.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Kyrgyzstan?
Some of the standard reasons that necessitate trip cancellation are the passing away of a family member, emergency situations at the workplace or destination, etc. The trip cancellation insurance plan would cover most of such causes. But before you buy travel insurance, do check the terms and conditions.
Before You Travel to Kyrgyzstan - Do These
- Keep an eye on the travel advisories for Kyrgyzstan.
- Opt for travel medical insurance. Enter some basic information about the travelers and your trip, compare a variety of plans side by side, and select the one that fits your needs best.
- Maintain sufficient copies of your important travel documents.