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Issyk Kul

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The stunning Issyk Kul lake is one of the largest lakes in the world, measuring 180 kilometres in length and 60 kilometres across. It is 700 metres deep and sits in a hollow surrounded by the snow-capped peaks.

The lake lies 1,600 metres above sea level and is the second largest mountain lake in the world, after Late Titicaca in South America. Issyk Kul is also the second largest saline lake (the Caspian Sea is the largest) with no rivers flowing from it. Due to its saline water the lake never freezes.

The lake's southern shoreline is dominated by the spectacular Teskey Ala-Too range of the Tian Shan mountains, whereas to the north lie the Tian Shan range. Explorers from the 19th century marvelled at its beauty, one calling it ‘a blue emerald set in a frame of silvery mountains’.

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