Issyk Kul - the pearl of the Tien Shan
Issyk Kul (also Ysyk Köl, Issyk-Kol: Kyrgyz: Ысык - Көл [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 and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea. Although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes; hence its name, which means "hot lake" in the Kyrgyz language. The lake is a Ramsar site of globally significant biodiversity (Ramsar Site RDB Code 2KG001) and forms part of the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve. It was the site of an ancient metropolis 2500 years ago, and archaeological excavations are ongoing.