There are internal connections from Bishkek to
Cholpan-Ata, Kara-Kol, Naryn and Osh. Travellers should note that
maintenance procedures for aircraft operating internally may not
conform to internationally accepted standards. Access to the Central
Tien-Shan region is via helicopter, which takes climbers up the
There is only one railway line, which runs from Bishkek to Balikchi at
the western end of Lake Issyk-Kul. Osh, in the south of the country,
can be reached by rail via Tashkent (Uzbekistan). A new North-South
railway is currently planned. Travellers are advised that robberies on
trains have been reported.
Kyrgyzstan has 28,400km
(17,400 miles) of roads. Traffic drives on the right. Bus :
There are regular bus connections to all parts of Kyrgyzstan. Buses
are crowded but they are currently the best and safest form of
internal travel in Kyrgyzstan. Visitors to the southern regions,
including Osh, should inform an Embassy (or Consulate) or tour
travelling. Taxi : Taxis can
be found in all major towns. Many are unlicensed, and fares
should be agreed in advance. As many of the street names, particularly
in the capital, have changed since independence, visitors are advised
to ask for both the old and the new names when seeking directions.
Car hire : Car hire is
not available. It is possible to hire cars with drivers for
long-distance journeys, but because of the shortage of petrol, it is
generally an expensive option. Foreigners are generally expected to
pay in US Dollars. Documentation : Licences for long-stay
residents intending to buy or import a car can be obtained from the
Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry. An International Driving
Permit and two photos are required.
There are bus and trolleybus services around the capital.
Travel times :
The following chart gives
approximate travel times from Bishkek (in hours and minutes) to
other towns in Kyrgyzstan.