• 83% of the people follow Islam (Did not strike me as very religious people though)
• 74% Kyrgyz (Ethnicity)
• Kyrgyzstan, under Russian and Soviet rule was known as Kirgiziya
• Kyrgyzstan is a very mountainous country
• Temperature Range: -18C (Winter) to 28C (Summer)
• “Kyrgyz” is supposed to have been derived from the Turkic word for “forty”, about the forty clans of Manas, a legendary hero who united forty clans against the Uyghurs (Turkish people). At the time, in the 9th century AD, Uyghurs dominated much of Central Asia (including Kyrgyzstan). “-stan” is a word in the Persian language meaning “place of” or “country”.
The 40-ray sun on the flag of Kyrgyzstan is a reference to those same forty tribes.
• There are around 20 million sheep/goat/Etc. in the country.
• There are more than 2,000 mosques in the country.
• There are cars with steering wheels on the left as well as cars with steering wheels on the right. They drive on the right like in the United States.
Would have loved to have a big, glamorous, famous and World-leading nation as my 50th (Not counting India and not counting the nations my parents took me to, as a child).
To me, Myanmar, Paraguay and Kuwait were also awesome (as a tourist). I guess I dance to a different tune when compared to 90% of the “Tourists”. My life aim is big (193!), so every nation, be it DRC or Switzerland, is precious to me.
This is my latest land border crossing after:
Cambodia-Vietnam (Bus, where I got stuck between the 2 nations!)
Czech Republic – Austria (Train)*
Some more tidbits about the nation:
• Landlocked nation with Kazakhstan to North, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to South/West and China to the East.
• Has a population of just around 6.5M people.
• Lots of Indian students study here (For lower costs, compared to India). There are apparently separate hostel buildings for Indians and Pakistanis.
• Kyrgyzstani Som is roughly equal to INR.
• Very mountainous country.
• Supposed to have 85% people identify themselves as Muslims, though they do not seem to be very strict followers. E.g. Had not seen a single Burkha. Was told that South Kyrgyzstan is more strict.
(1) Got caught at Kyrgyzstan side of the border for taking a photo of the border gate. Had to delete the photos. Nearly escaped Kyrgyz jail 🙂
(2) Kyrgyzstan is way more rural than Kazakhstan (at least the Almaty area). To give you an idea, Kyrgyzstan GDP is around 8B$ whereas Kazakhstan GDP is around 170B$.