Where to stay in Kyrgyzstan
Hotels in Kyrgyzstan can be hard to find outside Bishkek and major cities like Osh, Jalal-Abad, Karakol and Naryn. While the capital has a decent range of large four-star establishments and smaller boutique affairs some provincial towns often only have time-worn survivors from the Soviet period.
A few people let out rooms to guests and in the more tourist-friendly parts of the country you may be approached by people offering rooms when you disembark at a bus station.
Various private companies run a number of camps for mountaineers attempting to climb the many peaks in Kyrgyzstan's mountains.
Turbazas, or 'tourist bases', are an alternative to hotel accommodation. For a relatively modest price, visitors have access to basic bungalow accommodation and three meals a day.
Yurt camps exist in some parts of the country, most notably around Lake Issyk-Kul and Lake Song-Kul. These give visitors the opportunity to stay in an authentic Kyrgyz felt tent and to experience nomadic life at first hand. These usually need to be booked in advance although it is sometimes possible to just turn up.
Homestays: The Community Based Tourism organisation (www.cbtkyrgyzstan.kg) can arrange accommodation in smaller towns and villages throughout the country; you can either book this in advance in Bishkek or allow the local representative to arrange accommodation on arrival. Homestay accommodation of this kind can usually provide meals on demand, the standard of which is often excellent and good value.
Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, the sanatoria on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul (originally built by cooperatives and trade unions for fatigued workers) have started to take in tourists, but the the rather formal atmosphere and regimented activities may not be to everyone's taste.