Extremely easy and common among the locals. However, remember that, in Kyrgyzstan, everybody is a taxi driver so if you are looking for a free ride, you will need an extra dose of patience.
Mashrutka is the way to go –
Mashrutkas are some kind of vans and mini-vans that connect all cities and towns in Kyrgyzstan.
They are extremely cheap and it’s very easy to move around with them, as you can find a station (or more) at every bazaar in absolutely every town.
You just need to get on at the station and say which city or town you want to go.
Shared local taxis –
Late in the evening, for long distances or in very remote towns, marshrutkas don’t run that often, so you will have to take a local shared taxi.
They are more expensive but, definitely, faster than marshrutkas. However, some drivers are completely nuts and may drive at over 120km per hour along narrow mountain roads.
Old women have the power –
In any bus, marshrutka or taxi you go, women can choose any seat they want, even if you arrived one hour before them. In city buses, always give up your seat to any women over 40-50 years old. If you don’t, they will tell you to stand up.
When I fell off the horse and had to stay in bed for 2 weeks, I was sitting in a marshrutka on the way to the hospital.
I could barely stand up and, when a woman entered and told me to move and I couldn’t explain why I couldn’t, I created a lot of trouble until she understood.
At 40ºC, windows are still closed –
Kyrgyz are afraid of air currents and no matter what time of the year it is, even if it’s the peak of the summer and 40ºC outside, they like to travel with the windows closed and the AC switched off.
Sometimes, you can negotiate with the men but, if there are old ladies, forget about it.
Remember to be patient –
Ninety percent of Kyrgyzstan is composed of high mountains which means that, every time you want to go from town to town, you will have to cross them, making your journey particularly slow.
In addition, in some more remote destinations, shared taxis and marshrutkas leave once they are full and, sometimes, it takes some time to fill them. Just keep in mind that traveling in Kyrgyzstan can be particularly slow.