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Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Looking like a Western backpacker will put you in the center of the attention of our best friends, the lovely taxi drivers. If you want to avoid taxis stopping for you all 20 seconds, better take a Maschrutka (Sowjet minibus) out of the city and start hitching outside.

Hitchhiking out

North to Kazakhstan

The main road towards the border from Bishkek runs north from the Alamedin Bazaar, but nearly all drivers stopping along this road are going only to local villages and, what is more, demand money. An easy option is to take a a cheap shared taxi from the Eastern Bus Station to Korday, the Kazakh town on the border. The shared taxi will drop you off before the border, which you can then cross on foot. From Korday, you can easily hitch on to Shymkent or Almaty, or to other directions in Kazakhstan through those cities.

East to Issyk-kul lake

The main road towards the Issyk-kul lake from Bishkek runs east from the Alamedin Bazaar. To hitch out of Bishkek take any Maschrutka (Price 10 Som, what is about 15 Euro Cent) to the Eastern Bus Station, often called Stari Voksal. From there take Maschrutka 355 to Kant (Kyrgyz: Кант) for 20 Som, walk outside of town and start hitching.


The city does not exactly have the reputation to be the most exciting capital on this planet, but if you travel in Central Asia there is a high chance you will find yourself here for some days because some visas (like China or Tajikistan) are easier to obtain than in neighbour countries. Please ignore the offers for accomidation in the internet, there are a lot of cheap guesthouses around the city. Recieving a spontanous invitation from locals on the street is less likely than in the countryside. When it is hot in summer you can bargain to sleep outside. Sleeping in parks might be possible, but Bishkek has a very limited number of street lights. As the number of suspicious people is less limited check your spot carefully. There are also some 24 hours internet cafes and restaurants, where you will not recieve complainments if you order one coffee and spend there some hours with your head on the table. Staff is mostly friendly and if not very lazy, so you will be in peace.

Nomadwiki & Trashwiki

Check Nomadwiki for info on accommodation, showers etc. or Trashwiki for dumpsters...and share your wisdom :)