Kyrgyzstan – Entry through the Osh Border

by budgettravelnotes on June 13, 2010

We crossed the border at Osh into Kyrgyzstan on 18th May, by which point Kyrgyzstan had been taken off the British Foreign Office ‘don’t travel’ list.  This wasn’t a huge concern apart from the insurance aspect of it – if something did happen and the insurance had to be used it would effectively invalidate the policy.  For situations like this I think the Foreign Office can be a bit heavy handed as I reckon the risks to foreigners were very low and only likely to be a potential issue around Osh, Jalal-Abad and Bishkek anyway.

The border crossing was very straightforward for us – a quick ‘salam ailekum’ to the soldier, shake of his hand and we were through to the checkpoint.  For some bizarre reason which I don’t understand we had to swap cars just before this point, even though our driver wasn’t coming through the border with us.  We had been in the same car all the way from Tashkent.

Unlike what most people report, our registrations for out nightly accommodation weren’t checked which was a bit of a surprise to us as the border guards had little else to do – the border was still closed to locals apart from exceptional circumstances.  After about twenty repeated pronunciations of our names, and finding out that we weren’t married we had passed out of Uzbekistan.

After walking the 50m through no mans land the Kyrgyz border guard had to be shouted over from his game of chess – that’s how busy the crossing was when we were there!

We were met at the other side by Daniar from Osh Guesthouse who took us to his apartment (the guesthouse), which was in a soviet style apartment block.

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