Stunning untouched nature: Lake Issyk Kul – the second largest alpine lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America, is fringed with beaches and framed by snowy peaks.
Silk road landmarks: Tash Rabat - Central Asia's most evocative Silk Road caravanserai; City of Osh - an ancient Silk Road bazaar town on the edge of the Fergana Valley.
Authentic experiences: overnight in a yurt or community-tourism homestay to gain an insight into life after the USSR; drink koumys (fermented mare's milk), sold along country roads in spring and summer.
Mouthwatering local food: top foods to try include shashlik, plov, nan bread and organic exotic fruits.
Interesting facts: for 12 years, the country was unique in the world in hosting both US and Russian military bases. This came to an end in 2014.