Site Logo  Issyk Kul
There may be less to choose from, but Kyrgyzstanis are very proud to come from the land of this famous lake, this energy centre, this jewel in the vast Central Asian steppes. The second highest navigable lake in the world is in fact a salt-water lake free from significant pollution and a major tourist attraction to which people from all across the former Soviet Union flock.

The lake itself boasts some beaches at least on a par with Adriatic beaches, although so too does it have shores which let the side down a bit, a few bins might help as would a heightened sense of responsibility on the part of those who either lie on the sand or play beach volleyball, go windsurfing, sailing etc

It might be fair to say that most of the resorts round the whole lake are aimed at lower income guests, the wealthier CIS citizens probably opting for a trip to Europe, but this is not a conclusion we can reach from seeing a small portion of the coastline, and the marina in Cholpon Ata is plainly used by some of the even wealthier, itís nicely balanced and can offer something for pretty much everybody.

Issyk Kul seems to be attempting to mimic some of the European scene but only to an extent, being there is plainly not like being in Europe, but not because they have fallen so far short of the standards. Saltwater notwithstanding, this is a lake, and therefore has a special energy unlike that you would feel on the beaches of Puglia. Add too the views across the lake of snow-capped mountains, not something available to witness across from any seaside resort, so on this count the scene is thoroughly unique.

Expanses of water do admittedly lend themselves to a limited number of leisure activities, so the similarities between a holiday here and a holiday in Croatia are not limited to one or two, but the likeness can only be taken so far. Issyk Kul is a very special place, set in the mountains and alongside the steppes, a place of pilgrimage for sun worshippers, yes, but also for those who want to feel its energy.