Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

All about Kyrgyzstan.
LifeBehindBars
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:14 pm
x 23
x 8

Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by LifeBehindBars »

Hello,

First timer to Central Asia. Traveling from New Zealand.
Arriving in to Bishkek early August and have transport arranged to take myself and my Bicycle through to Karakol - I plan to ride The Tian Shan Traverse back to Bishkek.....maybe some other loose plans, but nothing definite yet.

I have a few questions:-
1) Is it best to bring USD or Euro with me to exchange, or can I rely on ATM's on arrival for local currency. Being a Kiwi, I don't really want to go through 2 currencies to get the local currency, so hoping that ATM will be fine??

2) I'd like to pick up a Local SIM card for my time in Kyrgyzstan - is there a preferred Telco that is easy to set up with good coverage?

3) How easy is it to buy prescription medication across the counter in Kyrgyzstan? When traveling in developing countries I like to pick up a broad spectrum antibiotic to use if / when I get sick (I usually buy Ciprofloxacin to cover all the nasties)

Thanks in advance if you can help me out.
Cheers,
Steve.
0 x

trikolka
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:26 pm
x 8
x 55

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by trikolka »

you will find ATM in cities (Bishkek, Osh, Karakol, Naryn, Kotchkor,...), but take some € or $ for change in case you need cash when you stay in a region where ATM are rare. ATM are not frequent in villages.

Prepaid SIM card are easy to buy. As far as I remember, Megacom and Beeline have a decent coverage, but no matter which one you choose, you will have large areas without coverage in Tian Shan and Pamir.

About basic medication : I had an emergency little dental surgery while I was in Karakol, and I easily found the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic tablets that the dentist had prescribed for me. But don't wait to be in remote areas to buy what you may need.

Which road or track do you intend to ride in Tian Shan ?
Last edited by trikolka on Tue Jul 04, 2023 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
0 x
http://blog.zamir.fr : Siberia, Caucasus, Kazakhstan
http://blog.khushomaded.fr : cycling Silk Road from Iran to Kyrgyzstan

LifeBehindBars
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:14 pm
x 23
x 8

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by LifeBehindBars »

^^ Thanks for the reply trikolka - much appreciated!
I don't intend to have a prescription when buying the medication.....in many places around the world I have bought these medications across the counter without the prescription.

I plan to Cycle to following route: - https://bikepacking.com/routes/tian-sha ... yrgyzstan/

I'm hoping that I don't require any of the permits to ride this route?
0 x

trikolka
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:26 pm
x 8
x 55

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by trikolka »

LifeBehindBars wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2023 3:00 am
I plan to Cycle to following route: - https://bikepacking.com/routes/tian-sha ... yrgyzstan/
I'm hoping that I don't require any of the permits to ride this route?
this route does not require border zone permit.
1 x
http://blog.zamir.fr : Siberia, Caucasus, Kazakhstan
http://blog.khushomaded.fr : cycling Silk Road from Iran to Kyrgyzstan

LifeBehindBars
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:14 pm
x 23
x 8

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by LifeBehindBars »

trikolka wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2023 5:57 am
LifeBehindBars wrote:
Tue Jul 04, 2023 3:00 am
I plan to Cycle to following route: - https://bikepacking.com/routes/tian-sha ... yrgyzstan/
I'm hoping that I don't require any of the permits to ride this route?
this route does not require border zone permit.
OK - thank you once again :) - good to know!

1 more question....do you know if I can buy camping gas (Propane / Butane Canisters) in Karakol? - My transport is collecting me from the Airport at Bishkek and driving directly through to Karakol, so I wont have any time in Bishkek on arrival.

Thanks once again for your help!
0 x

trikolka
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:26 pm
x 8
x 55

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by trikolka »

in Karakol, you will probaby find gas canisters there :
https://www.arista.travel/about
It is a hostel + yurt camp + camping + tour operator (trekking)
1 x
http://blog.zamir.fr : Siberia, Caucasus, Kazakhstan
http://blog.khushomaded.fr : cycling Silk Road from Iran to Kyrgyzstan

LifeBehindBars
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:14 pm
x 23
x 8

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by LifeBehindBars »

trikolka wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2023 11:04 pm
in Karakol, you will probaby find gas canisters there :
https://www.arista.travel/about
It is a hostel + yurt camp + camping + tour operator (trekking)
Thank you again trikolka - much appreciated.
I have contacted them via their site and asked the question.

It also looks like this sports store in Karakol has gas canisters for sale: - https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sport ... &entry=ttu

I have also read that the CBT Tourist Office in Naryn sells Gas which is good to know :)
0 x

truttmannmartina
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2023 8:32 am

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by truttmannmartina »

We made the experience that it is very difficult to get money at the ATM if your card has a six-digit PIN. Four digit PIN is no problem (we tried three different credit cards and numerous ATMs, all without avail).
0 x

LifeBehindBars
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:14 pm
x 23
x 8

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by LifeBehindBars »

truttmannmartina wrote:
Fri Jul 14, 2023 12:21 pm
We made the experience that it is very difficult to get money at the ATM if your card has a six-digit PIN. Four digit PIN is no problem (we tried three different credit cards and numerous ATMs, all without avail).
Thanks for your input!

Thankfully, all my cards are 4 digit pin numbers. I'll take 3 cards with me and keep them all separate from each other.

I have some Euro and a few USD Cash which I'll also take with me, but being from NZ, going through 2 currencies to get the local currency is not ideal so I will be using ATM as much as I can.

Cheers.
0 x

LifeBehindBars
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2023 2:14 pm
x 23
x 8

Re: Take USD or use ATM on arrival / SIM Card (which one) / Prescription Medications.

Post by LifeBehindBars »

trikolka wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2023 11:04 pm
in Karakol, you will probaby find gas canisters there :
https://www.arista.travel/about
It is a hostel + yurt camp + camping + tour operator (trekking)
Can confirm (reply to email) that they do sell Gas (butane / propane) canisters for camping :)
1 x

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
  • Prescription medicines
    by Keiker62 » » in General
    2 Replies
    1543 Views
    Last post by Keiker62
  • Medications in Turkmenistan
    by reneeineastbay » » in Turkmenistan
    2 Replies
    2186 Views
    Last post by Kaz1983
  • My anti epileptic medications
    by Kaz1983 » » in Kazakhstan
    2 Replies
    1121 Views
    Last post by sebhoff
  • Long Term Travel While Taking Prescription Medication
    by Davro12345 » » in General
    5 Replies
    2836 Views
    Last post by Wadegot
  • SIM card sizes available
    by mockar » » in Kyrgyzstan
    1 Replies
    1592 Views
    Last post by steven