If you are wondering what clothes to take with you, bear in mind that Kyrgyzstan is subject to an extreme continental-type climate. Temperatures can reach more than 45°C in summer! You will therefore need light clothing to enable you to cope with the heat. In winter, temperatures can get as low as -30°C. So you will obviously need sufficiently warm clothing to protect you from the cold. And no matter what the conditions, you will need long-sleeved tops and long trousers to cover your arms and legs when visiting religious sites. If you are planning to go hiking in Kyrgyzstan, don’t forget to take suitable equipment with you, especially a good pair of walking shoes/boots. Be particularly careful not to forget to take anything you need with you as you may well have some difficulty getting hold of things once there.
Pack long pants or skirts and shirts with long sleeves and high necklines. Shoes should be comfortable and provide support for walking on dry, sandy ground. Shoes should also be easy to slip on and off as they must be taken off before entering many of the country’s religious sites. A hat and sunglasses will help protect you from the sun during the summer months, while a light jacket will protect you from the breeze during the cooler months of the year.
This advice also applies to your first aid kit. In addition to the usual plasters, bandages, ointments etc., you should also seriously consider taking something to treat travellers’ diarrhoea. Plenty of visitors to the country have their trip ruined due to this condition. Depending on the conditions, you may well need mosquito repellent and a good sun-cream no matter what the time of year. For hiking purposes, consider taking something to treat mountain sickness and plasters/dressings for blisters.
If you want to have photos/videos to show people when you come back, you will not only need a camera or camcorder but also enough memory cards to store the pictures/footage you take. In order to withdraw cash, you will need an internationally accepted credit card (e.g. Visa, Mastercard or American Express). You will also need a passport in order to enter the country.
Contrary to popular belief, Kyrgyzstan is actually quite liberal. Although most of its population is Muslim, this country isn’t officially a Muslim country and many cultures and religions coexist and are welcome here. Kyrgyz people consider their homeland to be secular and modern, and there are no strict rules here about how women should dress.
However while visiting religious places such as mosques and mausoleums, it is recommended not to wear clothes exposing any part of the body. It is advisable to wear clothes covering your upper and lower part of the body.