Note : It is not
advised at present to travel to the south and west of Osh or the
Ferghana Valley. For further information, visitors should seek
AIR : The national airline is Kyrgyzstan Airlines (R8), which
operates direct flights to Bishkek from Germany, India, Russian
Federation and Turkey (Istanbul). BA operates a direct flight from
London to Bishkek. British Mediterranean (a franchise partner of
British Airways) operates services three times a week from London to
Bishkek. Turkish Airlines also flies to Bishkek from London, with a
stopover in Istanbul. In addition, there is a number of direct flights
from Europe to Almaty, in neighbouring Kazakhstan. The connection from
there to Kyrgyzstan is via frequent bus services to Bishkek (travel
time - 4 hours). Other European airlines flying direct to Almaty
include Lufthansa (five weekly flights from Frankfurt/M) and KLM (from
Amsterdam). There are also direct flights to Bishkek from Moscow and
St Petersburg (Russian Federation) and from Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
Approximate flight times : From London to Bishkek is 9 hours.
From London to Almaty (Kazakhstan) is 6 hours 30 minutes; from
Istanbul to Almaty is 5 hours 30 minutes and from Frankfurt/M to
Almaty is 7 hours.
International airports : Bishkek Manas Airport (FRU) is 30km
(19 miles) north of Bishkek. There is a minibus shuttle service to the
city centre when the airport is open (travel time - 60 minutes). Taxis
are available. Airport facilities include left luggage, creche, bars,
24-hour restaurant, chemist, bank (Mon-Fri 0800-1630) and bureau de
change (24 hours).
Departure Tax : US$10.
RAIL : There are rail connections with the Russian Federation
(travel time to Moscow is 3 days) and with other Central Asian
republics. However, tourists are advised that robberies on trains have
ROAD : The main international road links are with Kazakhstan
and there is presently one crossing point into China; visitors should
note that the Chinese authorities normally require proof of an
invitation by a Chinese tour operator as a condition of entry. There
are regular bus links from Bishkek to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) (travel
time - 10-12 hours) and Almaty (Kazakhstan) (travel time - 6 hours);
services leave the long-distance (zapadni) bus station in Bishkek.
There is also a direct service to Osh from Tashkent (Uzbekistan) via
the Fergana Valley, but road conditions are very poor on this route
(see also Uzbekistan section). Generally, roads can be affected by
landslides (especially during spring in the mountain areas), while
winter may cause hazardous conditions on a number of roads (especially
on mountain passes, some of which may be closed during certain
periods); visitors should also note that garage services are very