Hiring the services of a guide and driver in the country isn’t expensive and well worth it for a number of reasons. Unless you speak fluent Russian, you’ll need a translator and a guide. In addition to providing standard tour guide duties, your guide will also acts as a translator and fix-it person.
A driver is often necessary given the state of the roads in many areas of the country. You have to be experienced with driving in Kyrgyzstan in order to get around easily. Sure, it’s possible for foreigners to do but it’s usually only after having spent an extended period of time in the country.
If you don’t want to hire a guide and driver to explore areas outside of Bishkek or Osh, there is another option, shared vans or private taxis. Marshrutkas are shared minibuses that are offered throughout the country traveling to every possible destination you could imagine.
They leave once they’re full but the costs are very reasonable. For example, the 6 hour drive to Karakol averages between $6-$10. If you’re willing to spend a little, but not much, more then you can hire a private car to take you just about anywhere you want to go.
To reach cities like Osh, internal flights are easy and frequent