Wander around Osh Bazaar

Traditional eastern market in bishkek selling everything from spices to dishwashers

Buy cheap Chinese goods in Dordoi Bazaar

The largest market in central asia, situated 20 minutes north of bishkek

Swim, sail and sunbathe in Issyk Kul

The world's second biggest high altitude mountain lake

Stay in a yurt near Tash Rabat

Ruins of a caravansarai in naryn oblast

Live like a nomad in Son Kul

High altitude mountain lake less visited than issyk kul and ideal for seeing traditional semi-nomadic kyrgyz life in action

Hike or climb in Altyn Arashan

A secluded valley a 2 hour jeep ride from karakol

Kyrgyzstan's greatest export is its people departing for Russia, Kazakhstan, and even Europe for better opportunities. There are few opportunities for foreigners, except with development organizations, that generally hire off-shore. There are also few opportunities to teach European languages, as many Kyrgyz that studied abroad have returned with near fluency and will charge much less than you.

If you wish to volunteer, there is a very active and diverse NGO community that would appreciate your assistance.

If you come to Kyrgyzstan on a 30 day tourist visa, you will not be able to extend your visa. If you come to work or volunteer you should apply for a longer term visa. Also, Americans and Europeans on long term visas must register with OVIR. Information on this process is available on the websites of the US Embassy. It is an easy, inexpensive, straight-forward process not fraught with corruption or delays in most cases.

For those who are interested in learning Kyrgyz or Russian languages - there are universities you can go and there is a private school called the London School. The London School in Bishkek offers pretty cheap individual lessons for about $4/hour and home stay/cultural programs.