Blue oasis of Central Asia
Looking across the blue waters of Lake Kapchagay in the Republic of Kazakhstan, we see the Alatau range extending from the Tian Shan Mountains. In the clear blue skies of mid-summer its peaks are still graced with white snow banks. This lake is located some 80 km north of the old capital of Almaty. By car it is a trip of about two hours. Here we spend a holiday on the shores of this lake in the center of Central Asia.
A modern day oasis on the old Silk Road route
Far across the lake's waters rises the Alatau mountain range, snowcapped even in mid-summer
This restaurant makes use of the traditional tent home construction of the nomadic herders of the region
The old "Silk Road" trade route connecting China and the Mediterranean was actually made up of a number of routes, including the sea routes. One of the land routes began in Dunhuang at the western edge of China and followed the north side of the Tian Shan Mountains along the valley of the Ili River. The old capital of Almaty in today's Republic of Kazakhstan once prospered as a mid-way point on the Silk Road that was an oasis to the traders plying to old caravan route. On this summer morning the mountains we see from our hotel window are snowcapped. It is a quiet morning in Almaty, one of Central Asia's largest cities situated at the foot of the Aratau range of the Tian Shan Mountains that stretches from China through Kirghiz with peaks reaching elevations of 5, 000 meters.
It is about 80 km north from the city to our destination, Lake Kapchagay. Even on the four-lane highway it is a trip that takes nearly two hours by car. There is little variety in the scenery we see from the car window along the way. Once you leave the city Almaty with its verdant greenery, we find ourselves in an arid countryside. After a while we come across roadside stands where farmers sell their watermelons and other fruits and others selling beach mats and fishing gear. The scenery remains flat and arid but we realize that we are approaching the water.
When we arrive at Lake Kapchagay and look across it and see an expanse of blue water. The lake is actually a reservoir created by a dam on the Ili River that flows down from China's Uighur region.
Cool breezes from the mountains
This resort on Lake Kapchagay has a boat mooring facility as well
Here in Central Asia today you will see people enjoying leisure boating, personal watercraft riding and sailing