What Kyrgyzstan is Really Like: A 10-Year Old Tells All

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Ever wondered what Kyrgyzstan is like? This Central Asian country remains a land of mystery for many travellers. Find out more about the landscape, architecture, and its people.

I’d like to ask you to join me in welcoming author, Gerda. She’s making her writing debut at the age of 10 and is a Kyrgyz-Canadian who shares her fascinating perspective on what Kyrgyzstan has to offer tourists and what could be improved. Any comments in italics are mine. I’ll let her take it away from here.

Hello, my name is Gerda. I’m a Kyrgyz-Canadian and am 10 years old. I live in Kyrgyzstan now, but when I was little, I immigrated to Canada and lived there for over six years. Then when I was 8, I returned to the country where I was born.


Gerda is a 10-year old Kyrgz-Canadian
Meet Gerda, a 10-year Kyrgyz-Canadian currently living in Kyrgyzstan.

I was shocked to see the differences between Canada and Kyrgyzstan. The country needs help. My dream is for it to develop and have things that other countries have. For example;  skyscrapers, beautiful buildings, hotel, technology, condos, parks and more. I want these things so that tourists will be inspired and tell others to visit.

While I would like to change some things, I don’t want to change everything.  Kyrgyzstan has a beautiful landscape. I’m afraid that it may lose it because many people litter and don’t care about the environment.


The Natural Beauty of Kyrgyzstan

Tian-Shan mountains dominate the landscape in Kyrgyzstan.
The Tien Shan Mountains cover 80% of the country.

I like that it’s a gorgeous country. From far away you can see the beautiful Tien Shan Mountains and wild birds flying high in the sky. When you drive to Naryn (a region in the central part of the country), you can see the streams coming from the mountains and the green hills. See 24 Stunning Photos That Will Make You Want to Travel to Kyrgyzstan.

Some people even camp there. I love the smell of the evergreens and how their scent moves with the wind. You can feel the environment surrounding you and even see wild animals, including the shy snow leopard if you’re lucky. Keep your eyes open for free-roaming camels in winter!

Kyrgyzstan is a nature lover's paradise with mountains and glacier-fed streams.
You’ll find glacier-fed streams and rivers all over the country.

You can climb a mountain for a great view. It will be one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen and seem like something straight from a movie.  I know it because I’ve experienced the beauty of this country and want everyone to see the beautiful forests from the mountains. If we litter the environment, we will destroy the wilderness. I don’t want Kyrgyzstan to lose its most precious gift.

When tourists come here, I want them to be amazed by Kyrgyzstan. It has the potential to become better and a more popular destination for tourists. Kyrgyzstan is a very small country, and not many people know about it. How will we encourage people to visit?


How Kyrgyzstan Could Improve

If we try to make Kyrgyzstan a better place, then tourists will want to come and visit and encourage others to visit as well. The main tourism attraction of Kyrgyzstan is the incredible landscape; that will leave visitors amazed by its beauty. When more tourists visit Kyrgyzstan, it will have more opportunities.

I have visited many places including New York City. It’s a small city (geography-wise), but everybody has heard of it. That’s because NYC made good choices. It’s my wish for Kyrgyzstan to be like that.

Osh Bazaar in Bishkek.
The Osh Bazaar in Bishkek is a busy place. Photo courtesy of neiljson on Flickr.

I also want Kyrgyz people to be nicer and more polite. For example saying ‘please, thank you, sorry, excuse me, and bless you.’ This is particularly the case in the bazaars. People should stop pushing other people. Another issue is that the aisles are very narrow for both people to shop and for the vendor’s carts to pass. The carts are frequently blocking the way which is a problem. What if a person’s foot gets rolled over? Safety is important to everybody.

I also would like if there were more fun places to go to like shopping centers and fun activities that everyone could do like ice skating, to be as fun and exciting as other countries, like Canada.

unfinished building outside of Bishkek
Never finished building outside of Bishkek. By Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Many people take it too easy. For example, they start building apartments, but because they take it too easy on themselves it gets cold and they can’t keep working on it over winter. Then the house, apartment or building just sits there. When it gets warm again, they either want to start from scratch or the workers don’t want to build it anymore. Sometimes I see very old houses in Bishkek. I would appreciate if the government offered to rebuild these apartments and then give it away to a family in need. I want Kyrgyzstan to have beautiful buildings.

Inside a yurt with traditional Kyrgyz women at the World Nomad Games.
The World Nomad Games is a perfect place to experience Kyrgyz culture.


Final Thoughts on Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a unique country because it has its own culture (the World Nomad Games are a fantastic way to experience Kyrgyz culture), but I just think it would be better if we change some things.

If we want more tourists to come to Kyrgyzstan, then we need to produce a nice commercial for the whole world to see. It will be expensive, but we can get the money back through tourist dollars.

I don’t want to judge Kyrgyzstan; I want to offer what I can do to make it an exciting and fun place for both locals and tourists.

I think it’s safe to say with forward innovative thinkers like Gerda; Kyrgyzstan has a bright future. what Kyrgyzstan is really like and what if has to offer both locals and tourists

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About Author

Gerda is a 10-year old Kyrgyz-Canadian who moved back to Kyrgyzstan two years ago after living in Canada.


January 17, 2017
"What if a person’s foot gets rolled over?" This line totally cracks me up. Awesome idea, Laurel!
January 18, 2017
@Stephen - Agreed, Gerda, has thought of everything :)
January 22, 2017
Interesting perspective ... hope she gets to affect change in the years ahead!
January 24, 2017
@Edward - Me too! Her mother is incredibly smart and a fantastic role model so she's off to a great start.
February 2, 2017
Kyrgyzstan is small country, but receptive peoples is amazing. Nice pics in the trip.
February 9, 2017
Amazing Job from Gerda` s part I am so proud of her and we miss her dearly here in Canada.
February 10, 2017
@Indranie - Agreed, Gerda did a wonderful job. I can see why you miss her. I haven't met her, but have met her mom and she's a wonderful lady.

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