Kyrgyzstan

Pleasant Times Around Issyk-Kul

Sometimes it’s not the places we visit that make a trip memorable; rather it’s the people we meet. Don’t get me wrong. Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk Kul, or ‘Hot Lake’ in the local tongue, is a very beautiful place. It is by volume one of the top ten biggest lakes in the world and its location within the Tian Shan mountain range makes the landscape breathtaking to say the least. The region also has a lot of history, the southern stretch being a stopover in the ancient heyday of the famous Silk Road, and the northern shoreline begin popular with holidaymakers during the Soviet era. During my three-day journey around the lake, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of sightseeing but was pleasantly surprised by the interesting people I met along the way.

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 Full name: Kyrgyz Republic

 Population: 5.496 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Bishkek

 Largest city: Bishkek

 Area: 199,951 sq.km. (77,202 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian,  Other

 Major religions: Muslim, Russian Orthodox,  Other

 Monetary unit: Kyrgyz Som

 GDP per capita: US $2,400

 Internet domain: .kg

 International dialling code: +996

 Source: CIA World Factbook