Issyk Lake, or just Issyk - is a lake in Issyk gorge of mountain range in north-west Tian Shan. The lake is 40 kilometers east of Alma-Ata. Issyk has a very interesting and really tragic story, but everything will be explained step-by-step. According to scientists, the lake was formed about 10,000 years ago as a result of an high-scale geographical mountain slide. The indigenous people of these places have called the lake "Zhasyl-Kol," which translation means: "Azure Lake." The name "Issyk" comes from the Kazakh word Yesik, which means "door, narrow gorge." The modification of this word was made under the influence of its eminent neighbor-Issyk-Kul. Nonetheless you should not confuse these two lakes, they are on different sides of the state border between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, so, in this case, it will be very difficult to go wrong with the correct destination.
Halfway through the last century, due to the landslide, the lake went through a strong transfiguration. As a result of this natural phenomenon, Lake Issyk actually ceased to exist until 1991, when the construction of new barrage and all other kinds of hydraulic structures were completed. Today about 75% of the original water volume has been successfully restored, and now these places again bring joy to locals and tourists in the form of beautiful views, fresh mountain air and pleasantly refreshing water.
It isn't hard to get to the lake. At the Sayakhat bus station in Almaty, transport to Issyk leaves in intervals of 20 minutes. Upon arrival to the city, you will have to go by foot, as the transport does not go to the lake itself. If you are driving, you will be helped by a guide where you can choose any route you like. Drivers, however, will have to pay about 400 tenge (75 rubles) at the post before entering the territory of Ile-Alatau natural park, but this small expenditure will necessarily be worth it, the more pleasant fact that on the territory of the park there is very beautiful nature and really good road. Many tourists say that other lakes in Kazakhstan are not like this one, the atmosphere here is very warm and pleasant, you just feel like swim and enjoy life.