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Tuesday 24th October
Kyrgyzstan Information - Page 1
Geography
The Kyrgyz Republic is in Central Asia and is bordered by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China.

Bishkek is the capital city. Osh is Kyrgyzstan's second largest city.

The country's terrain is mountainous with mountain valleys. The Naryn is the longest river.

Kyrgyzstan's climate is continental; variations in temperature are influenced by elevation. Summers are hot and dry and winters are cold.

Environment
Kyrgyzstan is well known for the beauty of its natural environment. Dominated by the Pamir-Alai and Tien Shan mountain ranges, the country has many glaciers, lakes, rivers and forests.

The State Forest Service is responsible for the protection of the country's forests including those in Natural National Parks and State Reserves. State Natural National Parks include those of Ala-Archa, Besh-Tash, Chon-Kemin, Karakol, Kara-Shoro and Kyrgyz-Ata. State Reserves are Besh-Aral State Reserve, the Issyk-Kul State Reserve, the Karatal-Japyryk State Reserve, the Naryn State Reserve, Sary-Chelek State Reserve and the Sarychat-Ertash State Reserve.

The Sary-Chelek State Reserve is famous for its natural walnut-fruit forests. Spruce and birch are among other trees growing in Kyrgyzstan.

Wildlife includes the golden eagle, deer, mountain goat, brown bear, wild boar, lynx and the endangered snow leopard.

Architecture
The Tash Rabat Caravan Saray is a stone fortress on one of the branches of the Silk Road, a trade route between Europe and China. The fortress dates from the fifteenth century and may have been a resting place for travellers.

Other famous architectural monuments in Kyrgyzstan include the tenth century Burana Tower outside Tomok and the Uzgen Mausoleums and Tower.

Population
Kyrgyzstan's population was estimated at 5,431,747 in 2009.

Languages
Kyrgyz and Russian are both official languages.

Religion
Three-quarters of Kyrgyzstanis are Muslim and a fifth are Russian Orthodox.

Food
Food in Kyrgyzstan includes breads, soups and stews. Noodles and meat dumplings are popular and smoked horsemeat sausage is often served. Pilav or "plov" is a staple dish of rice, mutton and turnips or carrots.

Meat is traditionally the most important component of Kyrgyzstani cuisine and meat dishes are usually prepared with savoury seasonings and vegetables. Meat is boiled, stewed and grilled; shashlik is mutton cooked over a grill on skewers.

Yoghurt and milk products are part of the diet.

Tea (black and green) is usually served without milk. Fermented milk and bozo, made from fermented grain, are traditional drinks. Vodka is a favourite alcoholic drink and beer and wine are available.

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