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Kyrgyz Republic: Heart of Central Asia (Odyssey Kyrgyz Republic) Paperback – 1 Mar 2008
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Stunningly illustrated with a clear overview of historical, cultural and social aspects, this third edition of Odyssey's popular guide to Kyrgyzstan provides fresh information on both southwestern Issyk Kul and northeast Naryn provinces as well as expanded Jalalabad province, Osh and Talas sections (including trekking by foot or horseback in the Chatkal valley to Sary Chelek). Whether exploring grass-roots accommodation of local nomadic families or mountainous adventures in the mighty Tien Shan range, this guide offers unparalleled insight into Kyrgyzstan's tremendous scenic beauty and diversity.It covers: historical and contemporary aspects of this fascinating, little-known land; new areas for trekking and mountaineering; and, sights and activities in each area to appeal to all interests. It includes: a practical Kyrgyz- and Russian-language guide with Cyrillic alphabet; essential tips for accommodation; useful websites; and, outstanding colour photography.
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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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!
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.
For a more balanced, and useful guidebook stick to the Lonely Planet.
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