Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz Respublikasy

Area:198,500 sq km


Climate: dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Terrain: peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Kara-Darya 132 m highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Geography—note: landlocked


Population: 4,546,055 (July 1999 est.)

Ethnic groups: Kirghiz 52.4%, Russian 18%, Uzbek 12.9%, Ukrainian 2.5%, German 2.4%, other 11.8%

Religions: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%

Languages: Kirghiz (Kyrgyz)—official language, Russian—official language note: in March 1996, the Kyrgyzstani legislature amended the constitution to make Russian an official language, along with Kirghiz, in territories and work places where Russian-speaking citizens predominate

    Médecins Sans Frontières help prevent the spread of STDs in Kyrgyzstan. See the link to the MSF-website for more information on MSF's activities in Kyrgyzstan.

Route notes of the rally:

…coming from Kazakhstan.

Monday 22nd May - Day 22 — Tashkent to Bishkek 600km

This long transit section crossing both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan before arriving in Bishkek.

Tuesday 23rd May - Day 23 — Bishkek to Naryn 340km

The day starts with a one-kilometre sprint around a go-kart circuit stretched a little to accommodate the slightly larger cars of this event. Heading east towards the second highest lake in the World 'Ysys-Ko' the event winds its way over the Dolan Pass to reach Naryn.

Wednesday 24th May - Day 24 — Naryn to Kashgar 360km

This is a day to remember, an early morning start takes in the climb over the snow-covered Toragart Pass at 3800m before the descent on superb gravel roads into the border of China and Kashgar.

…moving on to China.