Budget and Shopping in Kyrgystan

dsc_0095Prices in Kyrgyzstan are roughly on par with Uzbekistan, making it one of the cheaper Central Asian countries to travel in. Wild camping opportunities are plentiful for those on a budget and most towns have an aging but extremely cheap Soviet-era hotel (no breakfast and sometimes no running water).

On the other hand, temptation to splurge comes from a growing number of homestays – B&B accomodation with local families – and opportunities to sleep in a yurt or go trekking in the mountains. Internet access is also relatively expensive and many cafes charge for traffic in addition to the time used.

We had an average spend of about 18 euros a day in Kyrgyzstan for the two of us, including a few homestays and meals out in cafes. On a strict budget, we probably could have brought this down to about 12 euros a day but we wanted to sample the homestays and cooking of the region.

Some typical costs in June 2008 are listed below, when $1 U.S. bought around 36 Som:

Baltika beer – 35 Som
Flight to Bangkok from Almaty – $600 U.S.
Kilogram of tomatoes – 45 Som
Kilogram of onions – 25 Som
Litre of Coca-Cola – 25-30 Som
Room in a Soviet hotel – 100-200 Som per person
Room in a homestay – 300-500 Som per person
Round of bread – 8-10 Som
One hour internet access – 30-50 Som (plus traffic charges)
One month visa extension in Bishkek – 1,055 Som