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Hotels of Issyk Kul
A hotel on Issyk Kul is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Issyk Kul hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Issyk Kul are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Issyk Kul hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Issyk Kul hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Issyk Kul have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels on Issyk Kul
An upscale full service hotel facility on Issyk Kul that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Issyk Kul hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels on Issyk Kul
Full service Issyk Kul hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels on Issyk Kul
Boutique hotels of Issyk Kul are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Issyk Kul boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Issyk Kul may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels on Issyk Kul
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Issyk Kul travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Issyk Kul focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels on Issyk Kul
Small to medium-sized Issyk Kul hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Issyk Kul traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Issyk Kul hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs on Issyk Kul
A bed and breakfast on Issyk Kul is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Issyk Kul bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Issyk Kul B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels on Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Issyk Kul hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Issyk Kul
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Issyk Kul hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Issyk Kul lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs on Issyk Kul
Issyk Kul timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Issyk Kul often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Issyk Kul on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels on Issyk Kul
A Issyk Kul motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Issyk Kul for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Issyk Kul motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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This article is about the Kyrgyz lake. For the Kyrgyz region, see Issyk-Kul Region. For the Kyrgyz airport, see Issyk-Kul International Airport.
From space, September 1992
/ 42.417; 77.250 / 42.417; 77.250
15,844 square kilometres (6,117 sq mi)
178 kilometres (111 mi)
60.1 kilometres (37.3 mi)
6,236 square kilometres (2,408 sq mi)
278.4 metres (913 ft)
668 metres (2,192 ft)
1,738 cubic kilometres (417 cu mi)
669 kilometres (416 mi)
1,607 metres (5,272 ft)
Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
Issyk-Kul (also Ysyk Köl, Issyk-Kol: Kyrgyz: Ысык-Көл, Isıq-Köl/Ysyk-Köl, ىسىق-كۅل, [ɯsɯqkœl]; Russian: Иссык-Куль) is an endorheic lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. It is the tenth largest lake in the world by volume (though not in surface area), and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. Issyk-Kul means "warm lake" in the Kyrgyz language; although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes.
The lake is a Ramsar site of globally significant biodiversity (Ramsar Site RDB Code 2KG001) and forms part of the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve.
Issyk Kul: Geography
Southern shore of Issyk-Kul Lake
Map of Kyrgyzstan showing Issyk-Kul in the north
Issyk-Kul Lake is 182 kilometres (113 mi) long, up to 60 kilometres (37 mi) wide, and its area is 6,236 square kilometres (2,408 sq mi). It is second largest mountain lake in the world behind Lake Titicaca in South America. It is at an altitude of 1,607 metres (5,272 ft), and reaches 668 metres (2,192 ft) in depth.
About 118 rivers and streams flow into the lake; the largest are the Djyrgalan and Tyup. It is fed by springs, including many hot springs, and snow melt. The lake has no current outlet, but some hydrologists hypothesize that, deep underground, lake water filters into the Chu River. The bottom of the lake contains the mineral monohydrocalcite: one of the few known lacustrine deposits.
The lake's southern shore is dominated by the ruggedly beautiful Teskey Ala-Too Range of the Tian Shan mountains. The Kungey Alatau of the Tian Shan runs parallel to the north shore.
The lake water's salinity is approx. 0.6%- compared to 3.5% salinity of typical seawater- and, although the lake level is still currently some 8 metres (26 ft) higher than in medieval times, its level now drops by approximately 5 cm per year due to water diversion.
Administratively, the lake and the adjacent land are within Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan.
Issyk Kul: Tourism
During the Soviet era, the lake became a popular vacation resort, with numerous sanatoria, boarding houses and vacation homes along its northern shore, many concentrated in and around the town of Cholpon-Ata. These fell on hard times after the break-up of the USSR, but now hotel complexes are being refurbished and simple private bed-and-breakfast pensions are being established for a new generation of health and leisure visitors.
The city of Karakol (formerly Przhevalsk, after the Russian explorer Przhevalsky who died there) is the administrative seat of Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyzstan. It is near the east tip of the lake and is a good base for excursions into the surrounding area. Its small old core contains an impressive wooden mosque, built without metal nails by the Dungan people, and a wooden Orthodox church that was used as a stable during Soviet times (see state atheism).
Issyk Kul: History
Nestorian tombstone with inscriptions in Uyghur, found in Issyk-Kul, dated 1312
Issyk-Kul Lake was a stopover on the Silk Road, a land route for travelers from the Far East to Europe. Many historians believe that the lake was the point of origin for the Black Death that plagued Europe and Asia during the early and mid-14th century. The lake's status as a byway for travelers allowed the plague to spread across these continents via medieval merchants who unknowingly carried infested vermin along with them.
On the beach at Koshkol'
The lake level is some 8 metres (26 ft) higher than in medieval times. Divers have found the remains of submerged settlements in shallow areas around the lake. In December 2007, a report was released by a team of Kyrgyz historians, led by Vladimir Ploskikh, vice president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, that archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 2500-year-old advanced civilization at the bottom of the Lake. The data and artifacts obtained suggest that the ancient city was a metropolis in its time. The discovery consisted of formidable walls, some stretching for 500 metres (1,600 ft) and traces of a large city with an area of several square kilometers. Other findings included Scythian burial mounds eroded over the centuries by waves, and numerous well-preserved artifacts, including bronze battleaxes, arrowheads, self-sharpening daggers, objects discarded by smiths, casting molds, and a faceted gold bar that was a monetary unit of the time.
Articles identified as the world's oldest extant coins were also found underwater with gold wire rings used as small change and a large hexahedral goldpiece. Also found was a bronze cauldron with a level of craftsmanship that is today achieved by using an inert gas environment.
In 1916 the monastery at Issyk Kul was attacked by Kyrgyz rebels, and seven monks were killed.
Issyk Kul beach (2002)
Issyk Kul: Environment
Issyk Kul: Specially protected areas
The first nature reserve in Kyrgyzstan, Issyk-Kul State Reserve was established in 1948 to protect unique nature landscapes and waterfowl at Issyk Kul. In 1975, it was acknowledged as a Ramsar site. Biosphere Reserve Issyk Kul covered by UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves was established in year 2000 within the administrative borders of Issyk-Kul Region.
Issyk Kul: Fish
The lake contains highly endemic fish biodiversity, and some of the species, including four endemics, are seriously endangered. In recent years catches of all species of fish have declined markedly, due to a combination of over-fishing, heavy predation by two of the introduced species, and the cessation of lake restocking with juvenile fish from hatcheries. At least four commercially targeted endemic fish species are sufficiently threatened to be included in the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic: Schmidt's dace (Leuciscus schmidti), Issyk-Kul dace (Leuciscus bergi), marinka (Schizothorax issyk-kuli), and sheer or naked osman (Diptychus dybovskii). Seven other endemic species are almost certainly threatened as by-catch or are indirectly impacted by fishing activity and changes to the structure and balance of the lake's fish population.
Sevan trout, a fish endemic to Lake Sevan in Armenia, was introduced into Issyk-Kul in the 1970s. While this fish is an endangered species in its "home" lake, it has a much better chance to survive in Lake Issyk-Kul where it has ravaged the indigenous species.
Issyk Kul: Creation legend
In pre-Islamic legend, the king of the Ossounes had donkey's ears. He would hide them, and order each of his barbers killed to hide his secret. One barber yelled the secret into a well, but he did not cover the well afterwards. The well water rose and flooded the kingdom. The kingdom is today under the waters of Issyk-Kul. This is how the lake was formed, according to the legend. Other legends say that four drowned cities lie at the bottom of the lake. Substantial archaeological finds indicating the presence of an advanced civilization in ancient times have been made in shallow waters of the lake.
Issyk Kul: Russian Navy test site
During the Soviet period, the Soviet Navy operated an extensive facility at the lake's east end, where submarine and torpedo technology was evaluated. In March 2008, Kyrgyz newspapers reported that 866 hectares (2,140 acres) around the Karabulan Peninsula on the lake would be leased for an indefinite period to the Russian Navy, which is planning to establish new naval testing facilities as part of the 2007 bilateral Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation, Mutual Help, and Protection of Secret Materials. The Russian military will pay $4.5 million annually to lease the area. India also plans to invest in the facility to test all types of torpedoes such as heavy weight torpedoes and those that have thermal navigation system. Another advantage that works for the testing center is that the torpedoes fired can also be recovered allowing scientists to make physical verification of a torpedo structure for further study. India is also planning to use the torpedo test facility to test the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle being developed by NSTL. For this India has proposed to engage local companies with know-how in torpedo technology to further co-develop the facility.
Issyk Kul at sundown (2002)
Issyk Kul: Lakeside towns
Towns and some villages around the lake, listed clockwise from the lake's western tip:
Balykchy (the railhead at the western end of the lake)
Cholpon-Ata (the capital of the north shore)
Karakol (the provincial capital near the eastern end of the lake, formerly named Przhevalsk)
Issyk Kul: See also
Issyk Kul: References
Savvaitova, K.; Petr, T. (December 1992), "Lake Issyk-kul, Kirgizia", International Journal of Salt Lake Research, 1 (2): 21–46, doi:10.1007/BF02904361
Hofer, Markus; Peeters, Frank; Aeschbach-Hertig, Werner; Brennwald, Matthias; Holocher, Johannes; Livingstone, David M.; Romanovski, Vladimir; Kipfer, Rolf (11 July 2002), "Rapid deep-water renewal in Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan) indicated by transient tracers" (PDF), Limnology and Oceanography, 4 (47): 1210–1216, doi:10.4319/lo.2002.47.4.1210
Kodayev, G.V. (1973), "Морфометрия озера Иссык-Куль" [Morphometry of Lake Issyk Kul], News of the All-Union Geographic Society (Izvestiya VGO) (in Russian)
Nihoul, Jacques C.J.; Zavialov, Peter O.; Micklin, Philip P. (2012). Dying and Dead Seas Climatic Versus Anthropic Causes. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 21. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
International Lake Environment Committee Foundation
V.V.Romanovsky, "Water level variations and water balance of Lake Issyk Kul", in Jean Klerkx, Beishen Imanackunov (2002), p.52
Sapozhnikov, D. G.; A. I. Tsvetkov (1959). "[Precipitation of hydrous calcium carbonate on the bottom of Lake Issyk-Kul]". Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR. 24: l3l–133.
The Silk Route - Channel 4
ANI (2007-12-28). "Archaeologists discover remains of 2500-year-old advanced civilization in Russia". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 2008-01-01.
"Advanced Russian civilization found". The Times Of India. Archived from the original on December 31, 2007.
Lukashov, Nikolai. Ancient Civilization Discovered at the Bottom of Lake Issyk-Kul in the Kyrgyz Mountains. Ria Novosti. December 27, 2007. Accessed on: July 24, 2008.
Islam in the Russian Federation and the Post Soviet Republics: a Historical perspective by Spyros Plakoudas, p. 10
Specially protected nature areas in Kyrgyzstan.
Kommersant-Vlast, 'Vys Rossiya Armia', 2005
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 12, No. 51, Part I, 14 March 2008
India to develop state of the art torpedo testing centre in Kyrgyzstan Date Published: September 18, 2011. Times of India
Issyk Kul: External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Issyk Kul.
Guide to Issyk-Kul from the Spektator Magazine
World Lake Database entry for Issyk-Kul Lake
The Issyk-Kul Hollow at Natural Heritage Protection Fund
Remains of ancient civilization discovered on the bottom of Issyk-Kul Lake
Jean Klerkx, Beishen Imanackunov (eds.): "Lake Issyk-Kul: Its Natural Environment". Springer, 2002. Buy book ISBN 1-4020-0900-3. (Searchable text on Google Books)
Lakes of Kyrgyzstan
Kapka Tash Lake
Song Kol Lake
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