12 Day Discover Kyrgyzstan
Air & Land
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Book By Dec 14, 2023 & Save!
|2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $600|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 5:30 PM. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 3 PM.
Passengers should select flights on Day 12 from Bishkek that depart no earlier than 5 AM.
Triple rooms cannot be accommodated on this program.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
- Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
- Round trip flights New York-Bishkek, Bishkek-New York
Other departure cities available. Please click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- 10 nights accommodations
- 3 nights Bishkek
- 1 night Son Kul Lake
- 1 night Kochkor
- 2 nights Karakol
- 2 nights Cholpon Ata
- 1 night Chon Kemin
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 29 meals: 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners (including a home hosted dinner)
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
- Active itinerary with unique cultural features
Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
- Discover the wild beauty of Ala Archa National Park
- Explore the capital city of Bishkek and visit the bustling open-air market of Osh Bazaar
- Watch an eagle hunt demonstration, one of the oldest traditions of Kyrgyz nomads
- Join a Kyrgyz family in their yurt and enjoy home-cooked lunch
- Hike around Jeti Oguz Gorge and stop at an outlook for panoramic views of the canyons
- Witness national horse games, celebrating the country's strong equestrian culture
- Have dinner with a Dungan family and learn about their Muslim Chinese heritage
- Tour the open air Petroglyph Museum, containing thousands of stones with scenes of hunting and everyday life
- Embark on an evening cruise on scenic Lake Issyk Kul
- Participate in the building of a traditional Kyrgyz yurt, which is a portable house used by nomads
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates.
Is This Trip Right for You?
This is an adventurous and active trip. Though the overall pace is moderate, the nature of the tour requires some long travel days. The drive to remote areas is over rough and bumpy unpaved roads. Walking is done over uneven surfaces, or up and down steep slopes. It is recommended to wear sturdy footwear. The altitude of 9,895 feet in Son Kul Lake may be a consideration for those who have heart conditions, or are otherwise affected by height. We suggest you check with your health-care provider before signing up for this tour. Air-conditioning is usually not available in camps, or hotels outside of Bishkek. The yurt camp in Son Kul Lake has shared bathrooms and no wifi service. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions. The tourism infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan is more limited than what you might be accustomed to from other tours. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.
Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is located in the capital city of Bishkek.Hotel Details
This budget class camp is located on the southern shore of Son-Kul Lake.Hotel Details
This superior budget class hotel is located in the town center of Kochkor.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located in the city of Karakol.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Kyrgyzstan - The peak season is during the summer where average temperatures are usually in the upper 70s in most regions. In the mountain areas it is usually cooler with average temperature in low 60s. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer, an all-weather jacket, a hat, sunscreen, and a good pair of sunglasses. It is recommended to bring flip flops or shower shoes for the shared bathroom at the traditional yurt camp. Religious sites require modest dress to enter: No shorts or short skirts, knees must be covered by long pants or a long skirt. No sleeveless tops and shoulders must be covered. It is recommended that you have a scarf and shoes that are easy to take off while visiting mosques.
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Kyrgyzstan Books: |
Speaking Soviet with an Accent: Culture and Power in Kyrgyzstan by Ali Igmen
Jamila by Chinghiz Aitmatov
The White Ship by Chinghiz Aitmatov
Life at the Edge of the Empire: Oral Histories of Soviet Kyrgyzstan by Sam Tranum
Running to the Sky (2019)
The Queen of the Mountains (2014)
The Light Thief (2010)
The Adopted Son (1998)
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|Kyrgyzstan Hotels - Air-conditioning is usually not available in Kyrgyz camps or hotels. At the traditional yurt camps, private bathroom facilities are not available. Electricity in the camp is typically limited and it is recommended to bring a flashlight. WiFi or cellular connection is not available at the camp. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Escorted Tours|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $12 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $7 per person per day, US $4 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $7 per person per day of sightseeing, US $4 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|Kyrgyzstan - Tipping is not expected but is greatly appreciated. Normal tipping is 3 to 5% in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Kyrgyzstan - The Som is the currency of Kyrgyzstan. |
|Kyrgyzstan - Visa and MasterCard are becoming widely accepted in large stores, hotels and some restaurants. Outside of Bishkek the acceptance of credit/debit cards is very limited. Vendors will only accept cash in local currency. ATMS are not available outside of larger cities. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Kyrgyzstan - Felt based products, traditional clothing and hats, silk scarves, and rugs are among the most popular items. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Kyrgyzstan - We recommend that you apply reasonable caution and common sense when traveling abroad. Always keep valuables in a safe place, maintain a low profile, stay in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone. Beware of pickpockets in public places, such as tourist destinations, train stations, and local markets. |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Kyrgyzstan - The official language is Kyrgyz. English is generally spoken in tourist areas. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Kyrgyzstan - The voltage used is 220 volts. Kyrgyz sockets are usually round, 2-pronged. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyzstan is predominantly a Muslim country. Shaking hands is generally an appropriate greeting. Refrain from public displays of affection, as this can be seen as rude. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking from sunrise to sunset. Please be respectful of this practice.
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|Kyrgyzstan - Kyrgyz cuisine is based mainly of meats and dairy with few vegetables. It is recommended to eat pasteurized cheese and fully cooked meats. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been bottled and filtered. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Kyrgyzstan|
Jan 1: New Year
Feb 23: Defender of Fatherland Day
Mar 8: International Woman's Day
Mar 21: Nowruz
Apr 10: Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)
May 9: Victory Day
Jun 17: Kurman Ait
Aug 31: Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic
Sep 2: Independence Day of the Kyrgyz Republic (observed)
Nov 7: Days of History and Memory of Ancestors
Feedback: 1. Excellent design of the overall trip in terms of sequence of the places visited and timing of the daily events with 9 am daily starting time. We started in Tashkent and reached a crescendo at Samarkand. 2. Very inclusive of important historical places. 3. Flexible additions of a few places illuminated at night. 4. Ilkhom was extremely well informed, courteous, helpful, caring and fun to be with. He welcomed us in our national language of Urdu/Hindi at the airport and maintained its usage during the tour. He is an asset to Gate 1. 5. Restaurants and visits to markets were memorable. 6. The meals were really good when polov, sheesh kabob and mid-eastern cuisine was served. 7. The Komil Banquet Hotel in Bukhara was exceptional. 8. Transportation between cities was comfortable, safe and timely. 9. Unlimited supply of water was appreciated. 10. We received value for the money.Devendra M.
If I could , I would rate Davron as not just excellent, but Extraordinary. It was not only his ability to impart information but his style of doing so which communicated his command of the material and his desire to 'teach'. His response to questions , at times, difficult ones, demonstrated his ability to answer the question and communicate the context in which the answer was being generated. A difficult and refined line to walk. Given the physical restraints of some of the party, he handled this with delicacy so as to make the individuals involved and the group as a whole feel as though everyone's needs were being addressed. As my partner and I have stayed on an extra week he had been generously forthcoming in terms of assistance and information. I guess on a scale of 1-5 I would rate him a 10.Gertrude L.
First of all huge kudos to G1 for adding Uzbekistan as a tour destination - I have waited a while to take this trip Discover Uzbekistan, as had originally booked it during the pandemic - and was it worth the wait! My 48th G1 trip and this one was the road less traveled for sure. It exceeded expectations in every way - Uzbekistan was super clean - not a speck of litter anywhere, lovely, friendly people, surprisingly modern, sophisticated cities in Tashkent the capitol and Samarkand. The Silk Road cities were remarkable and it felt so privileged to see them - photos do not do justice to the splendor of the sites - just magnificent. Hotels were lovely and each perfect for the location. Included meals were plentiful and delicious - loved the national dish of plov! The drivers in Tashkent and Abdulavale for the rest of the trip from our pick up in Urgench were helpful, kind and skillful and our tour manager throughout Timur was above and beyond excellent - kind, funny, perfect English, so knowledgeable and an engaging storyteller, supremely organized and just a sweet and nice man - one of the very best tour managers I have ever experienced. We had a small group of six and it felt so personal and the group got along well and enjoyed the spirit of adventure! We explored Uzbekistan by plane, train and automobile and on reflection it was one of the most incredible journeys I have ever taken. Excited to see that tours to another Stan, Kyrgyzstan, has just been added for 2024. Again kudos to G1 for providing us with this gateway to Central Asia and for the chance to explore off the beaten path destinations. I can't wait for more!Lorraine P.
Our Uzbekistan Trip was great. All credit goes to MS Hellen, our tour director from Uzbekistan. She took care of every need of ours .The best tour Director we ever had for long time.Jashbhai P.
Our recent trip to Uzbekistan was amazing (April 2022). Our guide Murafkhan or Mark as many of us called him, was outstanding. He honestly made the trip- with his knowledge, friendliness, humor, and organizational skills. He went beyond to help all of us when necessary. He suggested restaurants and ate with us on our nights on our own. Our tour ended Friday but my husband and I stayed an extra day and Maruf insisted on accompanying us on Saturday to show us more of his beautiful city of Tashkent. We invited him and his fiancé to supper with us. And then returned to our hotel at midnight to see us off at the airport. You have hired a gem. A great ambassador for the beautiful country of Uzbekistan. A fantastic trip.Susan M.
First, I would like to congratulate Gate1 in selecting Uzbekistan as a destination. It is a superb country and offers fantastic sightseeing opportunities. While seemingly off the beaten path as most, even seasoned, tourists don't make it there, it is of course anything but given that the Silk Road traverses the country. Typically I don't get around to writing feedback after trips, but I feel inspired to do so after this one. I also want to let Gate1 know that our tour guide, Marufkhan , was really excellent! I have taken 5 tours with Gate 1 already and believe all our guides were good (especially Anil in Thailand and Leo in Peru). I also have taken many other tours with other companies, multinational and local, and those also featured competent and agreeable guides. Nonetheless, I would say Marufkhan is among the very best I've had. In addition to his superb management, I really appreciated his erudition and enthusiasm in providing us sophisticated and detailed explanations about the sites we were seeing. Moreover, he was extremely attentive to our needs. I should mention we were only a group of three friends form Canada. Unfortunately, other friends of ours (4 from past gate 1 tours) backed out due to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Apparently, so did the rest of the originally-reserved group. Thus, he only had the 3 of us to cater to. While that might appear straightforward, other guides might not have felt the desire to be so attentive, perhaps preferring to have their own well-deserved time especially in evenings. Marufkhan also facilitated quick visits to places not on the itinerary, such as a greenhouse and a Sandovar, knowing we had an interest in civil engineering and irrigation. Upon our return to Tashkent, he ensured that we were well taken care of until our departures even though the tour was technically over and we were no longer his responsibility. Naturally, we reflected all of this in our tips (which he most definitely earned). Thanks for providing a venue for this feedback.Andrew C.
It was wonderful! We loved every bit of it! Great tour manager ( Ya), great local guides, great itinerary and great accommodations and wonderful foods. We couldn't be happier with our tour. Thanks for your help in arranging this Gate 1.Mary Beth & Tom B. Burlington, VT
Our trip with Gate 1 through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam was excellent. The accommodations were great and our tour guide was outstanding.Ralph G. Jacksonville, FL
Fantastic!!! This was our first Discovery Tour. Although we have taken 18 Gate 1 trips and were very satisfied, this trip exceeded all expectations. The guides, the sights, the hotels, and the food were all first rate. We will certainly be promoting this tour to other people!Cathy S. Kutztown, PA
Very good trip; excellent guide; beautiful monuments; decent hotels. fascinating country with wonderful people.Barry R. Deerfield Beach, FL
Fascinating. I am used to good guides with Gate 1. That being said, our guide was without a doubt, the most knowledgeable I've ever had. His talks covered, not only the history of the country and detailed information on what we were seeing but he also gave us in depth information on the economic and social issues of Uzbekistan.The entire tour ran smoothly thanks to the tour director and his aid "Gill", from the Istanbul office, with whom we had the pleasure of his assistance on our Armenia/Georgia tour.Theodore W. Greenville, NC
Trip was EXCELLENT!! I have had many wonderful trips with Gate 1 and this trip, without a doubt, was the VERY BEST! Thanks to Gate 1 for providing such an outstanding travel experience in Uzbekistan! It couldn't have been better. Looking forward to traveling with you again!Linda F. Salt Lake City, UT
The trip was one of the best of my long list . I am very happy to have learned about and seen these four Uzbekistan cities, full of history, deeds, bravery, courage, and architectural beauty. My eyes had a banquet! I am very happy to be Gate 1 customer for so many years. As time goes bye, Gate 1 improves, and improves. More reasonable prices, and a great value. Looking forward to filling out the survey.Antonio M. Chicago, IL
We had a wonderful trip to Georgia, Armenia and Greece. Thanks for all your efforts on your behalf. The Discovery Tour to Armenia and Georgia was FANTASTIC! It was one of the best tours we have experienced through Gate 1. The hotel in Yerevan was wonderful. Whoever at Gate 1 made that choice of hotel picked a winner. The breakfasts were exceptional and the food in general at the hotel was great. The hotel itself was top notch with wonderful facilities. (They even had a grand piano in the lobby which they allowed me to play any time I wished.) The hotel had one of the greatest locations ever, situated on the main square of Yerevan across from the nightly dancing waters concerts. This was our 31st trip with Gate 1 and everything was perfect. Special commendation goes to our tour director Aykut , who was one of the best we ever had. Georgia was also a wonderful surprise. Although the Mercure was a business hotel without the appointments of the hotel in Yerevan, it had a wonderful location and was comfortable and clean. We cannot say enough about the restaurants and wineries that were selected by Gate 1 for meals. Each one rivaled the other as to their beautiful locations and/or terrific menus. Whoever made the arrangements for restaurants and wineries for this Discovery Tour should be commended. As usual, my husband is already planning our trip for next year.Stephanie B. Arlington Heights, IL
Wow! We felt incredibly spoiled on this Armenia/Georgia trip. The arrival accommodations at the Marriott in Yerevan were exquisite and all of our guides were super. Sayed, our Tour Manager was great. Ana, our local Yerevan guide couldn't have been more knowledgeable. Shan was warm and welcoming and Sophia in Georgia serenaded us with her beautiful voice everywhere we traveled. A very special group indeed. That was only the beginning. Every day we had sumptuous meals al fresco in beautiful wineries, waterside resorts, mountain hamlets, and in the shadow of mysterious monasteries. This team of guides and the care they took with us went far beyond duty. Armenia and Georgia are two of the best-kept secrets in Eastern Europe with gorgeous mountain scenery, medieval history and flowing wine under the shadow of Mount Ararat and the Caucasus Range. It was a sheer delight to visit such wonderful and enchanting countries and we look forward to visiting these gems again soon. Great job Gate 1.Carol L. Littleton, CO