You can get acquainted with the life and culture of the Kyrgyz people in the settlements located in different regions. In the country there are a few cities and large towns. They are the capital of the country and most of the regional centers. There you can see architectural masterpieces of the Soviet era and buildings of modern style as well. In an extraordinary way industrial zones, cultural facilities and residential communities are combined there. Villages located away from the city also have their advantages. They are situated in an ecologically clean regions where people are engaged in agriculture and still try to keep the traditions of the ancient times.
Bishkek from Kyrgyz language means “a stick for mixing Kumys (fermented mare’s milk)”. It is the capital and the biggest city in the country, and has a population of over 1 million by 2020. The city is very multicultural with more than 80 ethnicities living together; the main language is Russian. It is green and full of Soviet union buildings and at the same time a vibrant cultural hub with culinary diversity and nightlife. It is full of contrasts: plenty of bars are next to traditional chaikhanas, asian bazaars and modern supermarkets, people wearing traditional hats kalpak and people dressed in western manner. A lot of tourists stick around applying for visas to other Central Asian countries or for further travel around the country, thus it has become a gateway into the wider region. There are lots of places to visit nearby Bishkek such as Ala-Archa National Park via Baytik village, Burana Tower close to the city of Tokmok.There is also Sokuluk village through which you can get to The Great Silk Road and to Too-Ashu Pass. Another village of Arashan which you will have to go through to get to Chunkurchak Gorge.
City of Osh is the second largest by population and territory city located in the South of the country. It is a notable place with more than 3000 years of history. People of Osh welcomed travelers throughout time being in the crossroads of the Great Silk Road. Osh is famous for delicious food, big Jayma-bazaar, sacred Sulaiman Too mountain in the heart of the city, and its culture. One can feel how different the city and the culture is, if compared to Bishkek city. The culture has been shaped by many ethnic groups coming from Fergana Valley and beyond. Two main ethic groups are Kyrgyz and Uzbek, thus Kyrgyz language has become southern dialect. From Osh you can easily get to Alay Valley where you can find authentic villages of Sary-Tash and Sary-Mogol.
City of Talas compared to other regions of Kyrgyzstan is not visited the most. However, the city can offer many great places surrounding it. There is a memorial complex “Manas Ordo” dedicated to the hero of Epos Manas 15 killometers east of Talas city. It has an amazing museum and cemetery of the hero. You definitely visit the place to learn more about the culture of Kyrgyz people. According to the epos the hero had the main headquarters of his army in Talas Valley. It is a relatively small town with a population over thirty thousand people. As other cities in the country it is multinational. Back in time a lot of Germans, Ukrainians, Kazakhs lived. There you can find an Ortodox church. Besh-Tash National Park is located 25 kilometers south. It includes gorges Besh-Tash, Kolba, Kumush-Tag and Urmaral. The height of the reserve ranges from 1,100 to 3,500 meters above sea level.
Batken region is the most remote region of Kyrgyzstan, located at the foot of the mighty Turkestan Range. City of Batken is the smallest among other regional capitals with a population of over ten thousand. It has many places to visit such as Ai-Kul Lake, mountain Aigul-Tash with flower Aigul that blossoms during moony nights, Karavshin Gorge, remains of Kan Fortress, and Khan-I-Gut Cave.
This capital of Issyk-Kul region is one of the most visited cities in Kyrgyzstan. Karakol is indeed a tourist center of Kyrgyzstan. Every year tourists visit Karakol from all over the world and such popularity is not accidental at all. In addition to the amazing architecture and history of the city, the natural attractions around are extremely popular: huge Issyk-Kul Lake and the highest mountains of Tien Shan.Near Karakol you can visit Irdyk village to see culture of Dungas (ethnicity from immigrated from East China). As well, you should visit Jeti-Oguz and Kyzyl-Suu authentic villages.
Naryn city is located in the largest region of Kyrgyzstan which has the same name, and occupies the central part of the country. The city is an important hub for people living semi-nomadic lifestyles that have survived to this day among endless expanses and high mountains. It is also important because the city is located on the road Bishkek - Torugart. It is a very small town with a population of 30 thousand people, and has one main street. Nevertheless, Naryn is a cultural and administrative center of the Naryn region and is located in the free economic zone “Naryn”. There are head offices of state, private, and public organizations. For example, there is the Consular Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan and the Customs Department "Torugart". Not far from Naryn city you should visit At-Bashy village which means horse’s head. On the way to Kel-Suu Lake you pass through Ak-Muz village.
Jalal-Abad city is the third biggest in Kyrgyzstan with a population over 100 thousand people. It is located in perhaps the most diverse region, both culturally and geographically. It is here where the cultures of the northern and southern parts of the country come into contact, and the natural resources are so varied and surprising at the same time, so that you can hardly see everything in weeks. From Jalal-Abad you can get to Arslanbob village to walk around Walnut and fruit forests of Arslanbob and as well as Kazarman village and further go to Naryn region.