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Moving to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: Many expats are attracted to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan due to its low cost of living, vibrant culture, and stunning natural scenery. The city is also known for its friendly locals and its vibrant nightlife. Before moving to Bishkek, it is important to be aware of the language barrier, as most locals speak Russian or Kyrgyz. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local customs and laws, as well as the availability of medical care and other services. Finally, it is important to research the job market and housing options before making the move.

What do I need to know before moving to Bishkek?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Bishkek, they said:

"I recommend living in the city of Bishkek. Everything is in walking distance and there are nice parks," remarked another expat who made the move to Bishkek.

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What should I pack when moving to Bishkek?

We asked people living in Bishkek to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"I wish I had brought more of: my favorite beauty/toiletry items, non-perishable food/sauce mixes, coffee I wish I had left at home: my good shoes, pasta (there is plenty over here), skirts," added another expat who made the move to Bishkek.

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What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Bishkek?

We asked people in Bishkek if they could share any humorous cultural blunders they commited. For new expats, keep in mind that these incidents are an inevitable part of expat life. Learning to laugh about them is the key!:

"If I have, no one has told me. I learned that you shouldn't sit cross legged if you're a woman. Don't clean the table with a napkin or sit on the corner of a table because it will mean that you are not going to get married," replied a member in Bishkek.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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