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KYRGYZSTAN TRAVEL BASICS

General Information

Official name Republic of Kyrgyzstan
Capital Bishkek (population 800.000)
Area 198,500 sq km. (76,600 sq miles)
Administrative subdivisions 7 regiones.
Population 5,000,000 (2002).
Population Density 22 per sq km.
Average annual growth rate of population 1,9%
Official language Russian and Kyrgyz
GDP annual growth 7,1%
Urban population 38%
Average family size 4
Major ethnic groups Kyrgyz (59,7%), Russian (16,2%), Uzbek(14,1%), Ukranian (1,7%), Tartars (1,2%), 7,1% other nationalities.
National currency Kyrgyz Som
Religion 80% Muslim, 15% Russian Ortodox Christianity, 5% other confessions
Education: 11 years (high school), 2 years college, 4-5 years University
Transportation: Highways -28,400km (17,400 miles) km. Railways - 425 km.
Legal system: Based on constitution adopted on May. 5, 1993
The head of state and government President Askar Akaev (since 1991)
Supreme legislative body Jogorku Kenesh - National Parliament
The highest juridical body Supreme Court
Ruling party There is no ruling party, but the Supreme Council is dominated by independent members loyal to the President.
Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin continental plugs are standard.
Time:
GMT + 5 (GMT + 6 from second Sunday in April to Saturday before last Sunday in September).

Weather

  The climate in Kyrgyzstan is continental with very cold winters and particularly hot summers. It averages 247 sunny days a year. Being a mountainous region Kyrgyzstan has all year round snows in the high lands. The one can expect sub-zero temperatures while in the mountains at any time. In the summer, in the mountains, the mornings are generally fine and the afternoons hazy with occasional rain. Once you are out of the mountains the temperature becomes much warmer. In the lowlands, the temperature ranges between -4°/-6°C (21-24°F) in January to 16-24°C (61-75°F) in July. In the highlands, the temperatures range from -14°/-20°C (6.8°/-4°F) in January to 8-12°C (46-54°F) in July. There are snowfalls during winter. The best times to visit (except for heli ski and winter mountaineering) are May to October.  

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