Local – There are large number of local newspapers – in Russian and Kyrgyz. Many also operate their own websites. The main newspaper is Vecherniye Bishkek (Evening Bishkek) which also has an English section covering local news on its website.
English – There are two locally produced English Language newspapers in Bishkek.
- The Times of Central Asia – which covers the whole of the region and also has articles of world news. It used to be published weekly but has recently started to be published twice a week
- The Bishkek Observer – published weekly. There are two editions (sections) one which covers local stories about Kyrgyzstan and an International one which has articles on world news
In addition, copies of The Almaty Herald – published weekly in Almaty and the Caspian Business News are often available.
Although it is possible to buy these newspapers they are usually distributed on a subscription basis and copies may be available in your hotel.
Foreign – It is possible to find some foreign newspapers available at the larger hotels – but usually a day or two old. There is an agency which can provide locally printed copies of several titles but these have to be ordered specially in advance.
Some of the cafes and bars frequented by foreigners have collections of newspapers available for people to read … but they tend to be old editions left by people recently arrived.
TV and Radio – There are several local TV and radio channels – in Russian and Kyrgyz. There are occasional programmes in English. In Bishkek there is a cable TV company, which offers a package of channels including English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Korean, Chinese and Japanese channels in addition to the local ones. Some places have satellite reception – but basically, if you come to the Kyrgyz Republic – don’t expect to spend much time watching TV.
Books – There are many bookshops in Bishkek and some in the larger towns – Nearly all the books will be in Russian or Kyrgyz. There are some books available in English about the country – but not many in other languages. If you want reading material for leisure, (novels) then need to bring them with you … there are very few books in English in the bookshops. Most that you will find are language books – maybe some simplified readers. Some of the cafes/bars frequented by foreigners in Bishkek offer a Book Swap scheme – you leave a book, you can take a book. The choice of material is, of course, limited to the tastes of previous travelers.
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The postal service can be fairly haphazard … you will almost certainly arrive home well before your postcards do – unless you are literally following in the footsteps of Marco…Read more »