Kyrgyzstan is one of the remaining places on our planet where nature is untouched: especially the territory around the Issyk-kul Lake, which is surrounded by the impressive Tian Shan mountain scenery of which the majority of mountains reach an altitude of at least 7000 m above sea level. Saturated and green in the valley while surrounded by snow-covered mountains.  

There are ethnic Kyrgyz people living in the mountains like nomads in a so-called Yurt, which is something between a house and a tent and it is being moved from one place to the other. Years ago, this traditional way of living became the basis of a quite successful development of eco-tourism, which today is increasingly a source of income for many Kyrgyz people. They are very close to nature in their daily life. Shamanism, a traditional way of healing is as popular as herbology. The influence of China and their Siberian origin has also contributed to that.

Besides the rural area there are regional centres, larger cities accommodating smaller businesses. Kyrgyzstan was considered as being amongst the poorest countries in the former Soviet Union and until today the economy is not developing. This might also be one of the reasons why ethnic clashes emerged and unrest broke out in 2010, especially in the Osh region. Until today, many different ethnic groups live in Kyrgyzstan of which a major part is Muslims. 


© Waltraud Gehrig & Natalia Holl