Which is more interesting to visit, Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan? Posted on April 10, 2023 by Anonymous Which is more interesting to visit, Mongolia or Kyrgyzstan?
Depends what you're interested in.
Kyrgyzstan has more spectacular mountain landscapes, Mongolia has actual desert landscapes.
Kyrgyzstan is more accessible if you speak Russian since Russian is still a national language and the country is lodged well in the Russosphere.
If you're looking for nomads far away from civilization then Mongolia will be your choice, as Kyrgyzstan is much more densely populated.
If you're interested in Silk Road things then Kyrgyzstan is the better choice, although mogged by neighboring Uzbekistan.
Anything Genghis Khan is firmly located in Mongolia.
Pretty much this. Kyrgyzstan has more variety in terms of things to do and see.
I'm interested in all of the listed things, but have a hard time deciding which to visit (can't afford both right now), don't know if the Mongolian landscape will become boring after a while.
Would be great to hear from someone who has visited at least one of the countries.
Been to Kyrgyzstan, have friends and relatives who visited to Mongolia; as follows what I write is conjecture up to a certain point.
>for mountains, visit Kyrgyzstan, even though Mongolia has its share as well
>Mongolia is far more than just the Gobi desert, probably has more diverse landscapes, but it takes time to get to places
>you'll find regions with low population density in Kyrgyzstan, but Mongolia is basically empty
>as a consequences distances and logistics of any kind are more manageable in Kyrgyzstan, you can get from one of the country to the other one in 24 hours, whereas you may find yourself subject to a 48 hour off-road bus ride in Mongolia if you're set on really reaching some place or another
>you'll still find semi-nomadic people living in mountain yurts in Kyrgyzstan during summer, but it's far more common in Mongolia
>Kyrgyzstan is more easily done by oneself using public transport, many places in Mongolia will require hiring a driver with a vehicle or renting a vehicle and being comfortable taking it through wilderness areas while being entirely self-reliant without being able to count on help or rescue if shit hits the fan
>food is somewhat more varied in Kyrgyzstan due to the presence of agriculture, which appears to be more rare in Mongolia, lots of mutton in Mongolia apparently
>Kyrgyzstan is muslim but not overtly strict, Mongolia is buddhist; expect alcohol in both countries
>Silk Road stuff you'll find - sparsely - in Kyrgyzstan, whereas you'll still find some buddhist history in Mongolia
Most of Mongolia is currently focused on mining production, country is doubling down on it hard. As long as mineral commodities remain high we'll see Mongolia increase in developement rapidly.
I've lived in Central Asia and I've spent months in Kyrgyzstan, although the majority of time was in Osh and Bishkek, I've been to most provinces.
KG is in my opinion more interesting, both landscape and culture-wise (especially the food).
The one thing missing are the wide steppe and deserts which you can only find in Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
Plus Mongolia goes extra on anything Khan and Horde, KZ to a lesser extent, whereas in KG you'll find their that their interest in history is more focused on domestic happenings, even in their national museum.
Is Bishkek worth staying two nights to do a day trip somewhere near, or should I head to Karakul as soon as I can?
Definitely if you're interested in post-Soviet cities.
In one full day you can see most sights including one of the bazars.
I would recommend you however to head directly to Karakol from the airport and visit Bishkek on the way back, more interesting that way.
Spasiba, but I arrive in Bishkek and leave through Osh to Uzbekistan so I do not have a circular trip in Kyrgyzstan. Is the national park near Bishkek worth seeing if I have two weeks in the mountains?
How are you getting from Karakol (I assume) to Osh?
If you're not going via Naryn then you'll likely pass through Bishkek on the way to the South.
If you'll only pass Bishkek once then I'd recommend you to stay a night or two, even just to get acclimated to the local time and cuisine.
Is worth visiting, especially if you're alone because there are many transport options or tour groups going there as day trips from Bishkek.
Also nice to get used to the climate if you're arriving from somewhere farther away.
I plan to go to Osh through Naryn, maps show it is the shortest path. Will hike every few hours of driving
Where can someone find Kyrgyzstan marshrutka routes?
Guidebooks or travel blogs. While it looks like a mayor road on the map, much of it is a rather dusty gravel road with relatively low traffic and not much in the way of public transport. Villages along the road tend to be fairly small with the (sole?) exception of Kazarman. Beautiful though, the views from the Kaldamo pass which separates Jalal-Abad and Naryn provinces are top notch.
It is the shortest path on the map but most traffic goes via Bishkek both due to demand and road conditions.
Even on the main Bishkek-Osh route you'll have to rely on shared taxis or cargo vans with sleeper berths.
On the other hand, Kyrgyzstan (and Central Asia in general) work pretty well for hitch-hiking, although you should be prepared to pay your share.
How the fuck does one access Mongolia from the west halfway affordably?
By flying via a country that didn't cuck itself as a knee-jerk reaction to muh Russian invasoon.
You can easily get into Mongolia from places like Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude or even Chita.
There are also flights between Almaty/Astana and Ulanbataar.
If you're adventurous then you can take a bus from Northern Kazakhstan via Russia.
China used to be the other option but that's still not reliable or cheap enough.
fly to beijing and take the train, or fly.
If you like cities, definitely Kyrgyzstan; urban life is basically a 20th-century phenomenon in Mongolia, so you’ve got one large and several small clumps of low-budget socialist modernist architecture, but very little of historical or architectural interest, while Kyrgyzia has actual ancient urban centers, albeit also plastered over with a lot of socialist modernism. Mongolia has a whole lot of barren steppe, which can be very beautiful in places but is, as mentioned above, largely empty (except for around Soviet-era mines, where it’s just ugly).
Thanks for the answers
Eventually, how does Kazakhstan compare to the two?
Kazakhstan has it all.
Kinda random but has anyone stayed in a yurt before? They seem nice for people who prefer to live simply.
Very comfy in all seasons, even in winter as they are built in a way to be easily heated.
Wouldn't want to live in one permanently but you should definitely stay in on if you have the chance.
Peak comfy but no running water or toilet inside.
Some tourist yurts may have some kind of running water but most of the times it's either going outside to a nearby water spring or keeping some water in tanks so you don't have to go out at night.
Interested in the desert. I would go to see sahara but i dont want to deal with all the trouble all the tourists have to there. Any tips ror accomplishing that?
Are you set on the Sahara or will other deserts do the trick?
Any will do. I made that post thinking of Gobi in mongolia
The Sahara can be visited safely in Algeria.
I highly recommend 20~ish days in Mongolia with a hired motorcycle. really great adventure and pretty affordable if you are not flying in from the west.
>not flying in from the west
You mean as in coming in from China or Russia?
I guess or maybe other countries
But if only one my vote goes to Kyrgyzstan, no diss to Mongolia tho
Actually you can do both, there might be even direct flights between them.