ISSYK KUL LAKE
Issyk-Kul Lake is the pride of the Kyrgyz people. Located 1,609 m above sea level, Issyk-Kul is the second largest alpine lake in the world (after Titicaca Lake in South America). The lake has a total area of 6.300 sq. km. The lake is salty because more than 180 rivers flow into it, but not a single one flows out. The lake is located in the Issyk-Kul Howe, surrounded by the Kungei Ala Too and Terskey Ala Too mountain ranges.
SARY CHELEK LAKE
Located in the unique Sary-Chelek Biosphere Nature Reserve, Sary-Chelek Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, its rocky slopes rising dramatically from the water. This blue lake in the necklace of the snowy mountains is the largest among the seven lakes of the nature reserve. (1,873 m; 7 km long; 1 km wide and 234 m deep).
SON KUL LAKE
The altitude of the lake is 3,016 m above sea level. Its total area is 275 sq km. This fresh-water lake is full of fish lake herring, which was brought here by Kyrgyz ichthyologists in 1968. This lake is a wonderful place for summer pastures. That is why you can still find a lot of yurts around the lake, accompanied by their herds of yaks, sheep, and horses, and if you are lucky, you will glimpse camels, trodding through the hills like long ago, in the times of Silk Road. Today this lake is a place where it is possible to stay in yurts, like nomads do, to watch the Kyrgyz herding their cattle and making national dishes and handicrafts such as felt carpets .
Between the Northern and Southern branches of the glacier lies the mysterious Merzbacher Lake, which form every summer and then, sometime in August, burst through the ice banks and the waters flow into the Enilchek River. In reality, only part of the lake drains the lake, which is 6 kilometers long and one kilometer wide, is in fact divided into two by a bridge of ice and whilst the lower half empties regularly, the upper part is always full of water. Also, the lakes empty twice a year once in the summer and once in the winter but most people only know about the August event.
Tian Shan, meaning Heavenly Mountains, is a mountain system in Central Asia, extending nearly 1500 arcing miles across Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang Province, China. It is extended further north by the Bogda Mountains, and further still by the Altai Mountains along China's northern border.
The highest peaks of Tian Shan are concentrated in a remote cluster, located on the borders of Kyrgyzstan, China, and Kazakhstan. Of these congregating giants, Pik Pobeda (7,439 m.) is highest. East of this central group, the mountains rise only to 5700m., but are well glaciated. West of this central group, the mountains break into several lower ranges and the Tian Shan is a relatively minor range when it merges into the Pamirs.
The most accessible of Tien Shan's peaks is located in the western portion of the range. Though significantly smaller than Pobeda and its neighbors, Pik Talgar (4938 m.) is a nonetheless impressive summit that towers over the Kazakh city of Alma Ata.
Heavy rain and snowfall on the range create a mountain environment that contrasts dramatically with the arid desert terrain of the southern foothills. On the lower slopes, there are flowery meadows and lush juniper and spruce forests. On the upper slopes, there are enormous glaciers, two of which are 45 miles long.
Kyrgyz Republic covers only the most northern part of Pamir - the northern slopes of the Zaalaiskii Ridge and northern part of Pamir-Alai. These are the mountains which separate Tien-Shan and Pamir, and which include Turkestan and Alai Range. The climate of Pamir is sharply continental, which is like in Tien-Shan but differs from the latter by a comparatively stable weather, less humidity and larger quantity of solar days. The densest cloudiness is in March and April like in Tien-Shan, and less cloudy sky is in August and September.
About 35 km south west of Karakol city is a lush valley with striking red sandstone rock formations (the «seven bulls» from which the valley takes its name). As you approach the valley, you pass another rock formation which resembles a «broken heart» and legend says that this is the heart of a beautiful woman who died of a broken heart after two suitors killed each other fighting over her. These two rock formations have become symbols of the Issyk-Kul region and are favorite images for photographs and paintings.
Arslanbob is an elevated oasis, a vast tract of blossoming woodland and home to the largest walnut grove on earth (11, 000 hectares) and part of the even larger (60, 000 hectare) walnut forest that extends between the spurs of the Fergana and Chatkal ranges.
Ala-Archa river gorge is one of the most beautiful places in the Kyrgyz Republic situated just in 30 km from Bishkek. It's a unique natural zone. This natural park takes territory of about 20.000 hectares' and includes all the Kyrgyzstan landscape climatic zones: from subalpine delighting visitors with the beauty of its fir and birch forests and to high-mountain covered with eternal snows and glaciers.
The Altyn-Arashan (Golden Spa) is located 35 km away from Karakol city at the altitude of 2,400 meters above sea level. Water from the thermal springs found here has been known about since ancient times.
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