Sport and Activities

Hiking and trekking : Kyrgyzstanís reputation as a trekking and climbing destination has improved considerably in recent years and a growing number of tour operators now offer walking, mountaineering and heli-skiing tours throughout Kyrgyzstan and the neighbouring republics; these companies can also arrange entry formalities for border crossings into China and other CIS countries where visas may be required. Mountaineering camps are available: the Ala-Archa camp, 40km (25 miles) from Bishkek, offers over 160 routes and is the base for attempts to climb the Kyrgyz range (highest point: 4876m/15,997ft). In the south, the Pamir camp offers opportunities on the peaks of the Pamir Mountains.

Horesriding : The national sports reflect the importance of the horse in Kyrgyz culture. Ulak Tartysh is a team game in which the two mounted teams attempt to deliver the carcass of a goat weighing 30-40kg over the oppositionís goal line. Players are allowed to wrestle the goat from an opponent, but physical assault is frowned upon. Each game is 15 minutes long. Aht Chabysh are horse races held over distances varying between 4 and 50km (2.5-31 miles). Competitors under 13 years of age are barred from entering. Udarysh is a competition on horseback in which two riders or two teams of riders attempt to wrestle each other, and frequently their mounts, to the ground.

Other : Increasingly, sports such as football, skiing and swimming are also popular.

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Information provided by Kyrgystan Tourism Board.


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