Roaming Kyrgyzstan


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Unlimited data and texting work when you arrive. Find out more. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Roaming Kyrgyzstan , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jun 16, Christine rated it really liked it Shelves: travel , myth-and-lore-asia , women-writers.

Before I start the review, I should point out that I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway, and I am not, sadly, going to Kyrgyzstan any time soon so I cannot speak to how accurate Jacobson's hotel descriptions are. I entered the Goodreads giveaway for this book because I like the "watch' books by Sergei Lukyanenko. While most of the action takes place in Russia, sometimes the books take place in former USSR countries.

I also knew someone who was born in the neighboring country of Kazakhstan. The book was better than I thought it was going to be. Jacobson's guide is very detailed. This was nice because while I knew what Koumiss was it's fermented mare's milk , I didn't know what Lagman noodles with broth, meat, peppers and tomatoes or Jarma fermented corn or wheat with kefir were though I've seen the words in other books.

There is also a sweet called Sumalak which only women can make, and the wheat used it in has to ferment and sprout. In the same section, Jacobson also lists common traditions of the country.

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What is very clear throughout the whole book is Jacobson's love for the country. While her language in both the vignettes is never flowerily or overtly poetic, it's simplicity speaks far better.


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Take for instance part of her description of Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve: "The mountain air is so sweet from the dew, flowers, and herbs that breathing it is like drinking juice, with a different taste in each spot". It almost sounds corny, but it's not because there is such an earnest love for what she is writing about. It makes a vast difference from the guide I read for my trip to Toronto. That guide was written by a native who said, constantly, that she loved her city.

Sadly, her writing didn't show that. Jacobson's love for Kyrgyzstan is on every page. The vignettes make up a small part of the guide, and the bulk of the book is too help tourists. She includes phone numbers and descriptions of places to visit in stay. At times, these descriptions are funny, for instance she describes one guesthouse as having "the feeling of a remodeled kindergarten".

Jacobson also tells you the legends and tales behind the landmarks. This is done outside of the vignettes.

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She also has clear helpful advice from telling the reader that cash is a must in some areas to stating it is best to visit an animal bazaar early to avoid the drunks. The only time I have seen something similar in a guide book was in a book detailing the pilgrim trail in the Netherlands which told readers not to take photos of the scantily clad women who stood in windows in Amsterdam.

To take such photos, the book pointed out, you risked getting beaten up by a pimp. She also points out which guides she herself used as well as a homestay owner who is uncomfortable with non-married couples. The vignettes themselves are interesting. Each one does a good job of capturing the person or the place. I never wanted to visit Kyrgyzstan before, but after reading this book, I do.

Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Roaming Kyrgyzstan 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. Knowing the language is also a distinct advantage.

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This book is certainly different, indeed I found it refreshingly different, for not only did it allow us a virtual trip round a relatively unknown country, to me certainly , but it offered the innocent tourist an opportunity to go there with confidence, armed with Jessica's book. I live in a popular tourist centre in Canada and so the requisite touristy spots, hotels, motels and numerous campsite brochures and guides are available in spades.

Oh, that all tourist organizations could take a leaf out of this book, even to including some anecdotal sections, how much more enjoyable visiting such tourist spots would be, because the acquired knowledge that could be gained.

I really enjoyed, like other reviewers note, the anecdotal pages scattered throughout the book. These offer unique insight to various aspects of Kyrgyz society and culture.


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Just one small downside, to an otherwise great read, are the maps provided. If this book is ever updated I might suggest clearer maps be considered to help readers find many of the places that are mentioned.

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Kyrgyzstan's boundaries, a former republic of the U. Politically, Kyrgyzstan is somewhat of a minor mess, though relatively stable at the moment minor compared to nations in its proximity and Jacobson assures the reader she always felt safe and no crimes against the author were reported -- and she lived in Kyrgyzstan for two-and-a-half years. Geographically, Kyrgyzstan is mostly mountainous. The average elevation of the country lies over 3, feet.

Peaks regularly rise higher than any in the Andes and almost as high as the highest Himalayan summits. Rivers galore.

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Lots of lakes, including the nation's largest, Issyk-Kul, which means "hot lake" in Kyrgyz. It's the ninth largest lake, volume-wise, in the world, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, and even at an elevation of 5, feet, no part of the lake ever freezes. I would have liked to have seen a picture of Lake Issyk-Kul in the book minor complaint , but my California-centric-minds-eye imagines something sublime like the non-developed parts of Lake Tahoe. What I especially enjoyed in "Roaming Kyrgyzstan" were the personal anecdotes from Jacobson interspersed as colorful vignettes of native knowledge throughout the text.

Jacobson, after all, has a lot of native knowledge of Kyrgyzstan to bestow, having lived almost three years of her l. Related Searches. A Hopeful Single Life.

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