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Kyrgyz Republic: Heart of Central Asia (Odyssey Kyrgyz Republic) Paperback – 1 Mar 2008

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Odyssey Publications,Hong Kong; 3rd edition edition (1 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9622177913
  • ISBN-13: 978-9622177918
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Rowan Stewart's passion for Central Asia began in 1992, when she spent six months in the region as a tour guide, and deepened as an independent traveller. In 1993, she bicycled 1,120 miles along the Karakorum Highway from near Urumqi, China to Islamabad, Pakistan. In recent years she has made several trips to Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring countries in former Soviet Central Asia and has spent three years working for the region in the tourist industry. She lives in Bristol. Susie Weldon is an experienced journalist who has worked for newspapers in England and Hong Kong. Over the past 15 years, she has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia. She lives near Bristol.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laszlo Wagner on 1 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Just like the guide to Uzbekistan by the same publisher, this guide to Kyrgyzstan is almost perfect. It contains a lot of detail on places to visit throughout the country, accompanied by lots of interesting background info, beautiful, inspiring photographs while at the same time providing the important practical details like accommodation (with contact details and actual prices) and transport as well as permits. Outlines trekking possibilities, too.
It is far more detailed than the much slimmer Kyrgyzstan chapter in Lonely Planet's Central Asia guide, though you must bear in mind that it was published in 2008 so of course some practical details, notably prices, will have changed by the time you get there. If that worries you, buy the PDF version of the Kyrgyzstan chapter from LP too, but overall, I think this book is the one to get!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Loren Gerlach on 13 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
The authors clearly love Kyrgyzstan, and their anecdotes will make you eager to go and find out why. However the persistent lack of accurate, detailed directions will frustrate the hell out of you when you do. The maps in the book are highly inadequate and the text directions are generally vague and often wildly inaccurate. Luckily as a fluent Russian speaker, when I was lost (which happened several times a day) I was able to ask locals for directions -- forget about using this book to get anywhere outside the capital if you don't speak Russian. But the country is very sparsely populated and when I did on occasion find someone of whom to ask directions, they were often as vague and inaccurate as the authors of this book.

If you have a year to wander every inch of the country as the authors did, then you are likely to find these diversions as charming as they did. But if you only have a few weeks, it's really quite annoying. Use this book as a travelogue, but seek elsewhere for a useful travel guide.
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By Pompey 54 on 3 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is quite a comprehensive guide to a fascinating country. However, it already needs a new edition, even though it's only from 2008. For example, Cholpon Ata is already much more developed and awash with Kazakh and Russian tourists, and has a whole new cultural theme park beside the lake. The Chinese are pouring money into the roads which makes travel times ( in places) much faster. However, there is a lot of useful info here and it's worth buying. Good on the history and cultural background.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CA ALEXANDER on 18 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved the Odyssey guidebook for Uzbekistan, so I bought this book with high hopes. unfortunately, as well as inaccuracies, the style of the history section was written with the earnest nationalistic fervour of Borat's cultural learnings for make benefit glorious nation of Kyrgyzstan. How further editions might deal with 2010's outbreak of ethnic violence and ongoing discrimination of non-Kyrgyz minorities in the South, would be interesting.
For a more balanced, and useful guidebook stick to the Lonely Planet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
An Excellent Guide to Kyrgyzstan! 28 May 2011
By Laszlo Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just like the guide to Uzbekistan by the same publisher, this guide to Kyrgyzstan is almost perfect. It contains a lot of detail on places to visit throughout the country, accompanied by lots of interesting background info, beautiful, inspiring photographs while at the same time providing the important practical details like accommodation (with contact details and actual prices) and transport as well as permits. Outlines trekking possibilities, too.
It far more detailed than the much slimmer Kyrgyzstan chapter in Lonely Planet's Central Asia guide, though you must bear in mind that it was published in 2008 so of course some practical details, notably prices, will have changed by the time you get there. If that worries you, buy the PDF version of the Kyrgyzstan chapter from LP too, but overall, I think this book is the one to get!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A travelogue, not a travel guide 28 July 2010
By Loren Gerlach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The authors clearly love Kyrgyzstan, and their anecdotes will make you eager to go and find out why. However the persistent lack of accurate, detailed directions will frustrate the hell out of you when you do. The maps in the book are highly inadequate and the text directions are generally vague and often wildly inaccurate. Luckily as a fluent Russian speaker, when I was lost (which happened several times a day) I was able to ask locals for directions -- forget about using this book to get anywhere outside the capital if you don't speak Russian. But the country is very sparsely populated and when I did on occasion find someone of whom to ask directions, they were often as vague and inaccurate as the authors of this book.

If you have a year to wander every inch of the country as the authors did, then you are likely to find these diversions as charming as they did. But if you only have a few weeks, it's really quite annoying. Use this book as a travelogue, but seek elsewhere for a useful travel guide.
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