Carrying passports is important to remember, guess like in Germany they require a legit ID.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is necessary that foreigners carry with them at all times when they outside their place of residence (e. g. their hotel),
to carry passports, or other documents verifying their identity.
If a police patrol stop someone in order to identify their identity —
they only have to show their documents. It is not necessary to show the contents
of bags and pockets. They have no right to search you: do not allow this.
Refuse to pay any money if asked (refuse even to show your wallet as sometimes you may get it back lacking some of what was previously in it!) and simply show your passport and your hotel card. Police who have no business to do so may occasionally stop people in the street. If this happens please write down the number of the policeman — they should be wearing a badge. You can ask to see their documents — hold out your hand and say «documents». There are also know cases where people have been stopped by persons dressed as policemen (or in some cases in track suits) who were not in fact policemen (but who had some apparently genuine documents). Happily it is not a usual occurrence.
I would like to stress again that such problems are rare, but do sometimes happen.
Warning to women travelers on acess to mosques!
Remember that even though you are all covered up from head to toe, non muslim women will not be granted access to mosques in Kyrghyzstan!!! So don't even bother trying, you will be kicked away and if even you belong to the gentle sex you won't even be shown any grace, it happened to me in Osh at the Rabat Abdullah Khan Mosque.
Especially in Bishkek on marshrutkas, keep a good eye on your bags because pickpockets can steal your wallet or other valuables in the blink of an eye, even if they happen to be on the inside of your jacket - just make sure your jacket is zipped up if you carry money or documents this way.
Some of our friends mistakenly crossed the boundry chain (infact the chain was broken that time) when the police men stopped them and talked very harshly, and they don't know even a single english word. Fortunately our Kyrgyz hosts reached in time and the matter was sattled.
The cops in Kyrgyzstan, especially those around the busstation in Bishkek, seem to have a sideline suckering tourists. With the excuse of running a check, they'll take you into an office and demand to see your money, claiming to be looking for counterfeit bills. Then they'll try to palm your cash.
When a cop asks to check your luggage or money, volunteer to show what you have right there in the open and flat out refuse to be taken into an office. You'll be amazed how fast they'll leave you alone once they notice you can't be fooled.
1. Quite a high crime rate in big cities, just as everywhere.
2. If you are hiking in Kyrgyzstan, check the weather situation carefully before departure - otherwise you may encounter some natural disasters.
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