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New COVID rules in Kyrgyzstan from 21st of January 2022

Hereby, Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture,
information, sports and youth policy of the Kyrgyz Republic (hereinafter -Department of Tourism), having considered the letter of 12.01.2022 No. 2 / KATO notifies that the MHSD KR (Order No. 958 dated July 16, 2021) has expanded The list according to which tourists from the following foreign countries are also may arrive on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic by land.

1. Republic of Albania
2. Republic of Bulgaria
3. Republic of Cyprus
4. Republic of North Macedonia
5. United Mexican States
6. Kingdom of Thailand
7. Romania
8. Kingdom of the Netherlands
9. State of Israel
10. Republic of Poland
11. Republic of Finland
12. Republic of Croatia
13. Kingdom of Norway
14. Czech Republic
15. Republic of Singapore
16. Kingdom of Denmark
17. Canada
18. Republic of Estonia
19. Maldives
20. Argentine Republic
21. French Republic
22. Montenegro
23. United States of America;
24. Hellenic Republic
25. Spanish Republic
26. Slovak Republic
27. Republic of Malta
28. Serbian Republic
29. Republic of San Marino
30. Bangladesh
31. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
32. Republic of Iran
33. Vietnam
34. Sultanate of Oman.

Note: Prior to this, the List included only 33 countries, now it includes
34 more countries are included, so today tourists from 67 countries
of the world can arrive in Kyrgyzstan by land vehicles:

1. Russian Federation
2. Georgia
3. Azerbaijan
4. Armenia
5. Belarus
6. Kazakhstan
7. Turkmenistan
8. Belgium
9. Austria
10. UK
11. Germany
12. Ireland
13. Iceland
14. Italy
15. Latvia
16. Lithuania
17. Liechtenstein
18. Luxembourg
19. Portugal
20. Turkey
21. Switzerland
22. Sweden
23. Qatar
24. UAE
25. PRC
26. Malaysia
27. South Korea
28. Pakistan
29. Slovenia
30. Kuwait
31. Japan
32. Uzbekistan
33. Hungary

However, the Department of Tourism informs that on June 8, 2021
by a joint order of the involved state bodies of the Kyrgyz Republic
Republic (MHSD, Department of Tourism under the IEF, MFA, PS SCNS, MTASK and Manas OJSC) approved Algorithms of actions to prevent the importation and the spread of coronavirus infection COVID-19 in relation to citizens of KR, foreign citizens and stateless persons crossing state border of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as persons committing travel on domestic flights.
In accordance with the Algorithms, citizens, including tourists and persons without citizenship, comply with the current sanitary norms and rules for territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Upon arrival on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic with you
you must have negative PCR test results, the period of which is not
exceeds 72 hours from the date of sampling analysis,


a document certifying the receipt of a vaccine against the coronavirus COVID-19 (in paper or digital format). Children from 5 years old, for their safety, parents also provide the above medical documents.

Document certifying receipt of vaccination against COVID-19 applies in case of recognition of the Kyrgyz Republic in the manner prescribed by law or on mutual principles.
In the event of a revision of the Algorithms, the Department of Tourism will notify you early.
Deputy Director K. Kenzhematova


Behind the scenes of the documentary "Gerard Depardieu: My Uzbek Dream"

After  the documentary  "Gerard Depardieu : My Uzbek Dream" was shoot, Arnaud Frilley reveals Uzbekistan, which fascinates with the beauty of its landscapes and cultural richness. Novastan was particularly interested in the role of Uzbeks in the creation of this documentary.

Within the framework of the international Festival of Asian cinema, which took place in Vesule from 1 to 8 February, Arnaud Frilley, director of the documentary "Gerard Depardieu : my Uzbek dream", was able to present his film to the general public. The film premiered in Paris in October 2020 years without film distribution.

Originally conceived in collaboration with Uzbek director Ali Khamraev, the documentary film eventually had to be thought in a different way. " From the first day, Khamrayev and Depardieu did not come to terms  on the film. Ali wanted to make a feature film, and we wanted to make a documentary. In addition, he wanted to shoot Depardieu, as in the era of the New Wave film, but Gerard did not want to shoot like 40 years ago," says Arnaud Frilley to Novastan. Unable to use Ali Khamrayev's script, Arnaud Frilley rethought it and decided to leave more space for spontaneity. The director wanted to show the audience a beautiful story telling about Gerard Depardieu's journey through Uzbekistan. The film takes the viewer to the main tourist points of the country: Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara, known for their Silk Road past, and at the same time touches on such problematic topics as the situation in Muynak, located next to what remains of the Aral Sea. Nuanced facets throughout the film, Gerard Depardieu gets acquainted with the population Uzbekistan, its culture, customs, religion and traces left by previous civilizations. Accompanied by local guides, he traveled from city to city, introducing the viewer to the little-known history of this country. This documentary highlights the tourist advantages of the country, revealing its diversity: its cultural wealth, its mythical cities and historical relics, the diversity of its landscapes. Although for some the film may seem like an advertisement for tourists, but for Arnaud Frilley this wealth is a reality. Why not show it? How long will it be possible to save this extremely fragile balance? The director refers to the numerous layers of civilizations that have taken root in Uzbekistan with its Sufi Islam, the philosophy of which is used by the authorities to create a new political model. Arnaud Frilley asks, "How many people actually practice Sufi Islam? Today, traditional Islam is much more widespread among the less educated population.

The independence of the country was marked by the searching of spiritual alternative

of Soviet ideology. In this context, Sufism was declared an "exceptional heritage", political leaders wanted to find an alternative to the aggressiveness and terrorism that political Islam seemed to be approaching. In addition, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan, since coming to power in 2016, has made important changes to the new model of society - the "new" Uzbekistan. This development strategy includes various directions, such as reforms in the spiritual and educational spheres aimed at developing a more enlightened society.


Nuts from Arslanbob

Arslanbob (Kyrgyz: Арстанбап; Russian: Арсланбоб; Uzbek: Arslanbob) is a village, valley, mountain range, and a large wild walnut forest in the Jalal-Abad Region of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan's first known export to Europe was the Arslanbob walnut. Two waterfalls are located in the area which attract tourists, expats and pilgrims, skiers and other whole year round.
 The population of Arslanbob is from 15 to 25 thousand of people (depending on source). Most of the population are Uzbek, and less than 5% is Kyrgyz, Russian, Tatar, Tajik, Chechen etc… 
 Arslanbob is named after an 11th-century figure, Arslanbob-Ata (alternate: Arstanbap-Ata). He may have been of Arab descent as in that language, Arslan translates to "lion" and bab to "gate", while in Turkic languages, ata means "father of". ergo "father of the lion gate". 'Bob', used as a suffix, is a traditional practice used in the Arslanbob which denotes "a traveler and explorer. 
 According to legend, Alexander the Great took the walnuts from the forest of Arslanbob, and these formed the European plantations. For this reason, the walnut is known as the Greek nut in Russian. Scientific research however shows that the walnut forests around Arslanbob are probably around 1000 years old, and were planted. This corresponds with another local story, that says the forest was planted under the leadership of Arystanbop, who founded the village in his name, and died around 1120 CE.

 The walnut forest is within the 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) forest situated between the Fergana and Chatkal Mountains. The walnut forest is located at altitudes varying between 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) and 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level on the Fergana range's south-facing slopes. At 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres), the Arslanbob woodland is the largest walnut grove on Earth.
 Behind the village of Arslanbob are the Babash-Ata Mountains. There are two waterfalls nearby. One measures 80 metres (260 ft) high and has a slippery scree slope; it is situated in a cliff face north of the village. Another, to the east, is 23 metres (75 ft) in height and has two prayer caves, one of which is known as the Cave of the 40 Angels.

A legend has it that a disciple of Prophet Mohamed, on a voyage in search of a heavenly place on earth, found such a place in a scenic valley in Kyrgyzstan. However, as the place lacked any kind of vegetation, he appraised Prophet Mohamed of the situation. The Prophet Mohamed then sent him seeds of many trees to plant there which included walnut. The disciple, Arslanbob, then went up a mountain and scattered the seeds which grew into a garden of trees which he tended. Because of this association with the Prophet Mohamed, Muslims consider this place as sacred. According to local legend, it is said that Arslanbob-Ata's wife "betrayed" him to his enemies which resulted in his death. It is also stated that his footprints, hand prints and bloodstains are also seen here.
Other legends include that Alexander the Great planted the first walnut trees in Arslanbob; and that he carried several sacks of walnuts with him which he had used to pay boatmen to ferry his troops.
Another legend attributes walnut distribution to the Silk Road
The economic activity of the town centres around the walnut. In the walnut season, which lasts for one month during September, the villagers of Arslanbob and other neighbouring villages engage themselves in collecting the nut. For this purpose, they hire a small plot of land for a fee on a five-year lease from the Forest Department. They collect the nuts, fruits and the wood. It is also an occasion of social rejoicing. Walnuts are priced high as they are a source of "oil, protein, anti-oxidants and omega 3 fatty acids». The walnut has served as barter trade in exchange for essential services. The barter practice is still observed in some cases in the villages here to pay fees to the teacher or to travel by bus.

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