Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan
Issyk Kul is a lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains of 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. 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 and forms part of the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve. It was the site of an ancient metropolis 2,500 years ago, and archaeological excavations are ongoing.