Hot Spot

ROAD TRIP When the workweek is over, Bishkek's better-heeled hit the road for the twisty four-hour drive to Issyk-Kul, a 170 km-long lake in the mountains of northeastern Kyrgyzstan. In Soviet times, despite being the site of secret torpedo tests, Issyk-Kul was a famed R. and R. spot for party cadres in search of pampering at the area's plush hotels and sanitoriums.

Although this summer's visitors included former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Issyk-Kul now draws a more mixed crowd. "The best kebabs in Central Asia, then the discos and, in the morning, the beach" is how...

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