Issyk Kul (also known as Ysyk Köl or Issyk-Kol) is a large alpine lake (the world's second largest) located in northeast Kyrgyzstan 140km east of Bishkek at 1607m of altitude. The lake measures 174km from east to west and up to 60km from north to south. It is surrounded by mountain ranges which are over 4000m high: the Teskey Ala-Too range of the Tian Shan mountains in the south and the Kungey Alatau of the Tian Shan in the north, which forms the border to Kazakhstan. The Issyk Kul lake is a tourist magnet, due to its beaches and coastal areas and the beautiful side valleys which lead into the Tianshan mountains.
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