Shirley (NLD): The country is so beautiful and keeps on surprising you every time

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Why Kyrgyzstan? What made you choose this country?
I read about this country when I was quite a bit younger. At the moment I thought it looked interesting and mysterious and I thought: wow, some people go there, so adventurous and cool! I wish I would do that someday. So when I was looking for an AIESEC project and encountered the Sayakat project in Kyrgyzstan I felt like I just had to go there. It’s also a country I barely knew anything about so it would be a great chance for me to get to know a completely new country and culture.

Coming to Kyrgyzstan, what were your expectations?
I had been thinking a lot about it but really I could never guess what the country would actually be like. I had heard that people are very hospitable and the country has beautiful nature so this was something I was prepared for, but everything else: a big surprise!

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Women selling the breads ‘lepeshka’ on the bazaar.

What was the first thing that grabbed you (in a positive or negative way) about Kyrgyzstan?
The diversity of people in one country! Which is positive of course.

Which places have you visited? Which place did you like the most and recommend it to visit?
Since our project was about traveling I have seen many places in Kyrgyzstan. My favorites are definitely Song-Kul, Skazka Canyon and Tulpar Kol. And in general, I just love all the different types of mountains, you can never get enough of that.

What Kyrgyz food (or drink) was your favourite and least favourite?
My favorite Kyrgyz food is Brizol, an omelet used as a wrap filled with meet, tomatoes, cucumber and cream. I also loved the flatbread, borsok and smetana. What I did not get used at all, sorry Kyrgyz people, is the national drink Kymys, fermented merry milk….

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Horse games at Sary Mogul.

Can you name the three things, that you loved about Kyrgyzstan?
The amazing mountains, all the friendly people I met and the peace and quiet of nature.

Would you recommend others to come to Kyrgyzstan? Why?
Yes, definitely! The country is so beautiful and keeps on surprising you every time. The landscapes are incredible and you can really feel relaxed in natural surroundings because nothing else is there.

What advices would you share with other travelers, who plan to visit Kyrgyzstan?
Bring hiking shoes and warm clothes! We were sometimes not prepared for the icy temperatures at night even though it was the middle of the summer.

If you had to choose one word to describe Kyrgyzstan, what would be it?

Mountains!

Shirley visited Kyrgyzstan in 2016 with project Sayakat, organised by AIESEC Kyrgyzstan.

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