Kyrgyzstan is a country in Central Asia, a landlocked country with mountainous terrain. It is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and southwest, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Major cities are Bishkek, Osh and Jalal-Abad.
Kyrgyzstan has been at the crossroads of several great civilizations as part of the Silk Road and other commercial and cultural routes.
Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Turkic Council, the Türksoy community and the United Nations.
The mountainous region of the Tian Shan covers over 80% of the country (Kyrgyzstan is occasionally referred to as “the Switzerland of Central Asia”, as a result), with the remainder made up of valleys and basins.
Issyk-Kul Lake, in the north-eastern Tian Shan is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan and the second largest mountain lake in the world after Titicaca. The highest peaks are in the Kakshaal-Too range, forming the Chinese border. Peak Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439 m (24,406 ft), is the highest point and is considered by geologists to be the northernmost peak over 7,000 m (22,966 ft) in the world.
Kyrgyzstan has significant deposits of metals including gold and rare-earth metals. Due to the country’s predominantly mountainous terrain, less than 8% of the land is cultivated, and this is concentrated in the northern lowlands and the fringes of the Fergana Valley.
One of the most popular tourist destination points in Kyrgyzstan are the lake Issyk-Kul and Osh region. Numerous hotels, resorts and boarding houses are located along northern shore of the Issyk Kul. The most popular beach zones are in the city of Cholpon-Ata and the settlements nearby, such as Kara-Oi (Dolinka), Bosteri and Korumdy.
Some of the most popular locations for camping are southern Osh, the area between Naryn City and the Torugart pass, and the mountains and glaciers surrounding Karakol in Issyk-Kul. Kyrgyzsstan is popular for its skiing resorts and winter sports.