7 Nov 2014 | From Tamara of Kyrgyzstan
The postcard shows children playing on a swing erected in Bishkek for a tourism fair - an industry that holds much untapped potential.
Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions. Landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan can be best defined unspoilt mountainscapes, glaciers, high-altitude lakes, and summer pastures. Its capital and largest city, Bishkek, is a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks surrounding interior courtyards and, especially outside the city centre, thousands of smaller privately built houses.
Kyrgyzstan's history spans over 2,000 years and encompasses a wide variety of cultures and empires, including Persian, Mongol, Russian, and Soviet. The Kyrgyz are descendants of tribes from the Tuvan region of Russia, which migrated to the area now known as Kyrgyzstan in the 13th century, during the rise of the Mongol empire. Kyrgyzstan changed dramatically as industrialization took over and brought factories, mines, and universities. It has now the most liberal tourist visa policy in Central Asia and one of the more progressive post-Soviet governments in the region.