Why are westerners not familiar with Kyrgyz culture

Is it easier for a Westerner to get a Chinese tourist visa in Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan?

In addition to what you said, the procedures for Chinese visas have been quite volatile over time. So check the sources for updates and try your luck.

The best information I've found is on the excellent Caravanistan China Visa website. There you will find a section with the latest information on obtaining visas on the go not only from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan but also from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and pretty much every other country on this part of the planet. There is also a forum for Almaty (Kazakhstan) where you can read and post the latest updates, and here for Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Make sure you read to the last page.

In the Almaty forum you will find the following entry from May 2016

The Chinese visa sounds difficult from Bishkek and Almaty. It seems that the rules have changed again since February 2016.

On the next page in the same forum is the report from two French people from May 2016 indicating that it is possible to obtain a "business" visa from an agent in Bishkek. Cost at least $ 150 for the "invitation letter" and time required unclear by the post office. (You then convert the business visa to something else once in China, as described in Caravanistan. The point is to get in. Details for the agent in the forum). As it seems like they issue the visa, you have to fly, i.e. not overland (if you already have a visa from home or elsewhere, the land borders are open, unlike some travel agencies, see above on the Caravanistan page) . .

Having only seen the stans from over 30,000 meters above the ground, I cannot make a comparison but summarize what is said in the sources. If you actually want to go there, check these out yourself and have a backup plan or two handy. As of today, it definitely seems easier to get the visa from home if possible.