Time zone: GMT + 5 (GMT + 6 during the summer)
Telephone services: Country Code: 7 ( 3312 for Bishkek).
Outgoing Code: International calls can be made from telephone offices, via an operator service
Emergency telephone numbers: All services – 03
Tourist information: State Committee for Tourism and Sport, Togolok Moldo 17, 720033 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Tel: (3312) 220 657 Fax: (3312) 212 845.
Passport information: Valid passport required by all and must be valid for 1 year after period of stay. Requirements may be subject to short-term change. Contact the relevant authority before departure.
Visa information: As requirements are liable to change visitors are advised to contact the Kyrgyz embassy in Brussels
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended.
Other Health Risks: Rabies, Diphtheria. Hepatitis A and Tick-borne encephalitis. Consult your doctor before travelling.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. It may be difficult to obtain a balanced diet and it may therefore be wise to take vitamin supplements.
Currency: 1 Som = 100 Tyn.
Exchange: All bills are normally settled in tax. Due to the shortage of change travellers advised to take small notes. NOTE: The import and export of foreign currency is prohibited.
Credit cards are accepted in some of the large hotels in the capital. Take US Dollars in cash in preference to traveller’s cheques.
ATM availability: Unavailable.
Cost of living: Very inexpensive.
Languages: Kyrghz and Russian. English may be spoken by those involved with tourism
Weather: Continental climate with little rain. Heavy snowfalls can be expected in the winter
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Round 2 pin continental plugs are standard.
Post: Anything from 2 weeks to 2 months.
Transport: ROAD: Travel by road is difficult because of the terrain. BUS: There are regular services to many parts of the country but they often crowded. TAXI: Can be found in all major towns. Many are unlicensed and fares should be agreed in advance. Many street names have changed so it is wise to ask for directions with the old and new street names. DOCUMENTATION: IDP is required and 2 photos.
Special information: Mugging and theft is increasing in cities as well as rural areas some thought to be committed by uniformed police. Exercise caution at all times and keep valuable items out of sight. Do not walk at night. Carry your passport or a photocopy of it with you at all times. Failure to do so may result in arrest. Do not travel in unofficial taxis. Visitors to Southern Kyrgyzstan, including Osh, should take particular care and register with the British Honorary Consul (Tel: 3312 660869) before travelling to this area.