Trip on China-built roads to Kyrgyz Issyk-Kul Lake
A Chinese road builder in Kyrgyzstan is helping transforming the country's transportation network and connecting it to neighboring countries. It has boosted tourism in the region as a whole. Join us for a road trip to the iconic Lake Issyk-Kul.
The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is repairing nearly 70 streets and roads in Bishkek. Since 2001, the Chinese firm has repaired and built roads, bridges and tunnels as long as 1,300 kilometers, including some connecting China and other Central Asian countries. From west to east, north to south, the company has helped transform the country's transportation network.
"Through the finished China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan road, and the North-South Road we're building here, we helped connect this country to China in the east, Tajikistan in the South, Uzbekistan in the West, (which) significantly boosted local economy and offered major routes for international transports," says Peng Xiaojun, deputy manager of the company's Kyrgyz office.
One road it repaired connects the capital Bishkek to the country's most popular tourist attraction, Issyk-Kul Lake, also known as the "Pearl of Central Asia." Ahead, one can drive to China, and reach the Torugart Pass in Xinjiang in about seven hours.
The Issyk-Kul Lake is the second largest mountain lake in the world. Its name means "warm lake" because it never freezes despite its high altitude in the Tian Shan Mountains.
The lake is connected to China not only via roads, but also in history. It was visited by a Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang in the 7th century. You might have heard about "Journey to the West" and its main character Monkey King. It's a classic Chinese novel and legendary story inspired by Xuan Zang.
According to some accounts, the great poet Li Bai, who lived during China's Tang Dynasty 1,300 years ago, was born nearby, in a place called Suyab. That was a major city on the ancient Silk Road. Some travel agencies are promoting trips under the Belt and Road Initiative to the lake.
(Cover: Workers of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) helps repair the road connecting the capital Bishkek to the country's most popular tourist attraction, Issyk-Kul Lake. /Xinhua Photo)