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Sometimes called the Switzerland of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country with mountainous terrain. Its history goes back over 2000 years and due to its high mountains, it has mostly preserved ancient culture away from the cities. Kyrgyzstan became independent in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan has significant deposits of metals including gold and other minerals. Only 8% of the land is cultivated, and this is concentrated in the northern lowlands and the fringes of the Fergana Valley. Kyrgyzstan is the land of majestic mountains and gives you the opportunity to get to know about the true nomadic lifestyle. It has pristine valleys and crystal clear mountain lakes. One of the most popular is Lake Issyk Kul. Other popular places are Naryn City, Tougart Pass, Karakul and Cholpon Ata. It also allows you to taste the real nomadic lifestyle as a large part still practice a semi nomadic lifestyle. Lake Issyk-kul in the North East is the second largest lake in the world after Lake Titicaca. Amazing scenery with mountains as high as 7440 meters (Jengish Chokusu) and great locals.