Trans Eurasia travel

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Bishkek has by far the widest range of places selling souvenirs, although traditional crafts like shyrdaks may also be bought in the provinces in places like Naryn, Kochkor, Tamchy and Bokonbaevo, where there may be both better quality and lower prices on offer because they are being sold direct from the manufacturer.

Shyrdaks are by far the most popular souvenirs bought by Western visitors, along with unstitched ala-kiyiz, but most souvenir shops usually have a range of other traditional goods on sale that include items like felt slippers, miniature yurts, ceramics, hand embroidery, kurak patchwork, wooden objects, leather items and musical instruments like komuz or temir komuz.

The exportation of antiques (which here means over 30 years old) requires a special export certificate that can be time-consuming to obtain. Many of the Bishkek tour agencies are able to provide the necessary paperwork given reasonable notice. Some of the more upmarket souvenir showrooms will automatically provide the certificate and include the cost of it into the price.