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There are many options for free accommodation these days; between couch-surfing, house-sitting, home and work exchange, there are many hospitality exchanges which allow travelers to keep their accommodation costs quite cheap. Where to stay in Kyrgyzstan asia accommodation for free

Though wouldn’t it be amazing if you could rock up to a regular guest house and grab a room for free? To be shown around a new destination, visit the sights, learn to cook local cuisine, without having to spend a cent?

With the hope to promote travel to Kyrgyzstan, this is exactly what Andrei Osianin is aiming to achieve. His vision is to create a “Home for Travelers” where travelers can stay and rest for free, immerse themselves into local Kyrgyzstan life, and learn more about the local culture and people. His goal is to create the first place in Central Asia where travelers from all around the world can stay for free. Cheap accommodation in Kyrgyzstan

What do you love the most about travelling?

I love the adventures and the people. Most of my journeys to date have been through mountainous areas, and it is impossible to return home without having found some form of adventure. Is travel to Kyrgyzstan safe?

Though perhaps what I am most interested in are people and their stories. Travelling provides me with the opportunity to meet many new people on my way. Each has their own unique story to tell, and each story is retained in my memory.Things to see in Kyrgyzstan things to do

What inspired you to start travelling?

Books. Books with stories about unbelievable adventures, novels about new countries and “other people”. Growing up, my house was located relatively close to high mountains. I frequently read while sitting on the house roof and staring off into these incredibly high mountains (yes, that time they seemed to me as the highest mountains in the world!).

My parents said that behind these mountains there was a country called China inhabited with completely different people, who spoke a different language, had different traditions and values. And when I was sitting on the roof with my book in hands and looking at the mountains behind which “different people” live, I was dreaming of taking myself to there to meet them and witness everything firsthand. Where to sleep in Kyrgyzstan accommodation

When I did cross these mountains for the first time, it became evident that behind these mountains there are mountains again!! Though I still wanted to cross them too. Thus, my adventures started – I went away from my home, through the Tien-Shan to the Pamir-Alay, in order to find the things I had read and dreamed before. Stay with locals in Kyrgyzstan

What inspired the idea to create a free place for travellers to stay?

This idea was inspired by our goal to create tourism in one of the most beautiful parts of our country. I really like the idea of Couchsurfing, and while taking guests from different countries, we have tried to provide them with more things than just a free place to sleep. We tried to show them the country they visited (within the limits of our possibilities, of course).

We took our guests to the mountains and visited some of the sights, walked around the city, visited the bazaars, visited orphan homes, learned to cook local meals. It was very important for me to see the guests being delighted with the nature, the culture and the people of Kyrgyzstan.

Many people do not know that our country exists. And the ending “STAN” in the name of the country holds many people off from coming here. Therefore, it is really inspiring to see the people who are enthusiastic about the experience of their journey to our country! I know that many travelers will use this place not only for the sake of free beds, they will find much more, actually.

Tell us about Home for Travellers.

Imagine you are going to an unknown country. And in that country there is a place where you are welcomed and met as a friend, where you acquaint with interesting people and local culture, where you are shown the beautiful places of this country, where you can share a certain experience and teach the locals something new. Couchsurfing in Kyrgyzstan cheap accommodation

This is the idea behind our Home for Travelers. Indeed, the Home for Travelers is a unique travel project throughout Central Asia, and we are hoping that making accommodation free will become an additional incentive to visit our country. Where should I stay in Kyrgyzstan accommodation types

What will the Home for Travellers feel like? A hotel? A hostel? Couchsurfing?

It will be a special place indeed! By type of accommodation, rooms will be structured rather like a hostel, but by the atmosphere will be like Couchsurfing. We want to cook together with travelers, to sing songs around the campfire, share experiences and stories about our travels.

Our friends from Bishkek, who write their own songs and music, offered to hold musical evenings for travelers and locals in the Home. I think this will be a great program to have on offer. And as with any home there will of course be some general rules. For instance we will be implementing a ban on smoking in premises, and a ban on any drug abuse.

Accommodation in the Home can be booked online at the project web-site, which will be created after the campaign at Indiegogo.

What kind of accommodation/rooms and amenities can travellers expect?

The house will have two types of rooms to stay – individual (for families and couples) and common rooms like dormitories in hostels. There will be a common equipped kitchen, where everyone can cook meals for oneself. There will be rooms for both work and leisure, with wi-fi provided too.

In general, we will provide everything required for comfortable stay. Great attention will be paid to arrangement of the yard, so that one can use hammocks there, relax at outdoor tables in the open air, and the grounds will be equip for tents too if this is a travelers preference. We will also have facilities for a parking lot for bikes and cars.

When do you plan to open your doors?

Official opening of the Home for Travelers is scheduled for June 1, 2016. We have not much time, but we will make it – a lot of our friends are ready to go to Kadji-Sai and cooperate with us to implement this project.

How will you stay funded if rooms will be free?

The initial project budget includes an amount for maintenance of the Home for Travelers within several years. We made this intentionally to make sure that the project will last for a long time. About a half of the initial budget will be spent for purchase of the house, its redesign and improvement.

I believe that it is important to make everything properly from the very beginning, then we will only maintain the house in good condition, and if to do this in a timely manner, there is no need to spend much money.

The Home for Travelers will also include a point of equipment rental (bicycles, tents, etc.), a small income from which will be added to the project budget. Also, while accommodation in the Home for Travelers will be free, if travelers choose to transfer a certain amount to support the project, we will of course appreciate this and the money will be contributed to the total budget for maintenance of the house. How can I stay with a local family in Kyrgyzstan

We are confident that the project will be in demand by travelers, it is structured so that they can become better acquainted with the life and culture of the local people. Can I stay in a local home in Central Asia

Tell us about Kyrgyzstan. What are people missing out on?

Kyrgyzstan is an amazing country, which I believe stands out from the rest of Central Asia. The major part (about 90%) of the country’s area is covered by mountains. The second biggest alpine lake in the World is here (Issyk-Kul), and there are many routes for travelling in different ways – hitchhiking, hiking, horseback riding, biking.

The people of Kyrgyzstan are very friendly, and they make the country so special. Hospitality is highly developed here, and travelers are highly respected. More recently, to develop the tourism in the country, a visa-free regime was implemented for citizens of almost all European countries, the USA, Canada and the CIS. This was a great decision because now most travelers throughout the world do not need a visa to visit.

Kyrgyzstan is not a rich country, and as such travelling here does not require a large amount of money. It is still possible to meet true nomads, those living deep in the mountains, as well as Lenin monuments and abandoned soviet buildings in the most unexpected places (greetings from the USSR).

I would love those who have an appetite for adventure to consider traveling to our country. Here they will find a highly unique travel experience which is very much off the beaten path.

Why did you choose Kadji-Sai specifically as the location of this home?

The nature here is very beautiful, the locals are very friendly, and the sunsets that can be seen from the small sandy hills in the east of the village – you will just fall in love with them!

The second reason is location. The village is located in the middle of the southern shore line of Lake Issyk-Kul. It is easily accessible by public transport or by taxi from Bishkek (the capital city of Kyrgyzstan). Also, location of the Home for Travelers will be convenient for those hitchhiking or traveling by bike around the Issyk-Kul.

The Salt Lake and the Fairytale Canyon (natural sightseeings) are relatively close to Kadji-Sai and through the gorge in the south of the village one can get to another small village, which locates far away from civilization and is rather interesting for travelers.

Tell us about village life. What kind of experiences will travellers have the opportunity to enjoy?

No one in Kadji-Sai is in a hurry; there is no bustling, typical for cities. I like this. When you are there, you just enjoy the life, walking in the mountains or along the lake shore, reading a book in the garden. It is very comfortable there.

The village is inhabited by people with whom you can learn a variety of skills – to ride a horse, to cook national bread (so-called lepeshka – flat bread) in tandoor furnace or some of the national dishes, to make crafts of felt – small carpets, slippers, to learn how to dry fruits and cook juices of them.

The locals can teach how to install a yurt, and you can spend a night in the yurt. You know, sleeping in a yurt, with a fire in the middle of it – is a very interesting experience! It is also quite interesting to learn driving a Soviet car. Believe me, this is not the same as taking to the wheel of any modern car. Any Soviet car should actually be won over!

Will this project be useful for villagers as well as travellers?

Of course! For example, the project budget includes the costs to build playgrounds for children in the village, and improvement of the single football field for children. We cannot build there something large, because our budget is limited, but at least we will be able to create playgrounds where children will have fun while playing.

We also plan to install waste containers in a few locations to prevent spreading of light plastic wastes everywhere throughout the village and to spend a campaign to remove plastic bags and bottles from the eastern canyon. Generally we schedule a number of events to support children and ecology of the village, and in this regard we look forward to cooperation with the local administration.

The Home for Travelers itself will also be useful for local residents, because the travelers who will stay there will be new customers for owners of local shops and the elderly, who earn money by selling fresh fruits; the locals who offer horseback excursions to the Tien-Shan mountains will also get new clients; people who earn money offering taxi services, craftsmen – all of them will benefit if more travelers will come to their village.

We also plan to prepare some offers for the people who will come to the Home for Travelers and want to stay in Kadji-Sai for some time to be volunteers.

Why is it so important for travellers to learn more about the life and culture of the country they visit?

Because it makes their journey be real and true. Any journey is not only new kilometers, it is also new people and related situations; it is their history and traditions, their joys and experiences.

I think it’s great – during the visit to a new country to live at least one day as the locals live, to become a part of their life and culture.

How can people join this travel revolution and become involved?

Absolutely anyone can join the project, and we really appreciate every and all assistance. If you believe in the project, you can donate to our crowdfunding campaign which will be open until January 7 2016.

Though you can also help us spread the word! We would love if you would share the idea of the Home for Travelers through your blogs and social networking sites. I believe that the more people learn about our project, the more people will want to support the campaign of the Home for Travelers at Indiegogo. And we have some fabulous perks!

The crowdfunding campaign for the Home for Travelers will start at Indiegogo on Monday, December 7, 2015, and it will last 30 days. We tried to provide maximum of information on the idea at the page of the Home for Travelers – why we do this, who will create it, what perks are prepares for supporters, etc.

The campaign goal is reasonably high, so we need the support of as many people as possible to make this succeed, which is why everybody’s assistance is important. The travel community is large and we hope that travelers will like the idea of the Home for Travelers and we can  bring it to life together!

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Andrei was born in Bishkek, and began travelling throughout Kyrgyzstan from an early age. Mountains have always tempted him to explore, and from the age of seventeen he began to learn  the routes of the Tien-Shan by himself. He had his first long voyage through mountains of Asia at the age of eighteen.

At 20, Andrei decided to dedicate himself to develop various social projects throughout his country, and devoted five and a half years to working with orphan homes and homes for elderly. After social work he began to engage in tourism and arranged private tours in Kyrgyzstan while working as snowboarding instructor.

He has been a participant of Couchsurfing for several years. His main aim is to help discover and learn about the nature and culture of Kyrgyzstan.

Follow him on Facebook, Couchsurfing and Trover.

 

    22 Comments

  1. What an amazing idea, and certainly a great way to promote tourism. I’ve wanted to visit Kyrgyzstan for a long time, and it’s looking like it might happen next year, so I shall be following along with the project :)

    • You’ll have an amazing time in Kyrgyzstan Anastasia! And now you have a free place to sleep! Definitely look at visiting Andrei at the Home for Travelers while you’re there – fabulous way to guarantee an immersive experience and a memorable stay.

      Travel safe :)

  2. What an extraordinary project, and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend. In graduate school, several of my classmates were from Kyrgyzstan. Such warm, welcoming people and what a beautiful country. I can’t wait to visit.

    • Hope you have the chance to visit in 2016 Jessie :) So fabulous that you already have many contacts in Kyrgyzstan. Perfect excuse to plan a trip to visit old friends!

  3. What a fantastic idea! Having a “local” experience is always wonderful while travelling, and this should be no exception.

    • Thats what I love about this project so much – that they’re planning to take local immersion to a completely different level of what is normally offered by hotels and hostels. That’s what makes a travel experience memorable after all!

  4. Kyrgyzstan – it’s amazing country, and I believe that all together we can creat Home for Travelers here!

    • Absolutely Andrei – hopefully we can all come together and donate to help you in reaching your target!

  5. I’ve never been to Kyrgyzstan but I”d love to make it there one day.

    • I hope you do have the chance to Jennifer – especially now that you have a free place to stay! :)

  6. Kyrgyzstan sounds like our kind of place! Lots of nature, culture, and off the beaten path. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re welcome Mary :) Hope you can get there soon!

  7. Brilliant! Free accommodations will certainly provide that extra incentive for adventurous travelers.

    • Hopefully! It’s a brilliant initiative to promote tourism :)

  8. So neat to read about this in more depth, as I just heard about this place last week. I may be very pregnant, but this idea is making me want to hop on a flight to Kyrgyzstan right now!

    • Hey, no reason why you can’t travel off the beaten path while pregnant! Or even if you delay a few months and give your beautiful bub a welcome gift of a trip to Kyrgyzstan :D!

  9. Ok, seriously, where was this place when we were travelling through Central Asia?! Kyrgyzstan truly is outSTANding, it’s the easiest of the Stans to travel to, the people are friendly and hospitable and the landscapes are surreal. This sounds like an incredible project :)

    • I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed your time in Kyrgyzstan! Maybe this is a fab opportunity for a return trip!

  10. Hey Meg, the Indigogo didn’t go so well. Do you know if they went through with this?

    • Hey Jub, thanks for checking in. I will follow up and see if I can find out for you. Andrei’s email address if you want to reach him too is andrei.osianin@gmail.com :)

  11. “Stan” means land. Land of Kyrgyz. As well as many former Soviet Union countries have “stan” at the and: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and many other “stans”

    • Thanks Peter! Cool to know :)

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