Issyk-kul is an amazing and huge lake in Kyrgyzstan. There is 182 km from east to west and 58 km from north to south. Surrounded by paved road. Distance on both sided are equal between Balykchy and Karakol (around 220km). Northern part is more developed than southern.
West towards Bishkek
There is a check point called Titanik on the road from Balykchy to Bishkek. Accessible in half an hour by foot from roundabout in Balykchy. Wait for direct car to Bishkek.
South towards Naryn and Kasgar (CH) via Torugart pass., also towards Osh and Jalal-Abad via Suusamyr
Coming from Bishkek is a most common way.
Places to Avoid
Avoid Balykchy and Karakol at nighttime.
Accommodation and Sleep
There is a huge number of hostels, guesthouses and hotels mostly of north and less on the south.
Other Useful Info
There is friendly geologist's service cars couple times in a week from Bishkek through Barskoon Valley to their party on more than 3500 meters altitude near Kumtor golg mine. Try hitch them. Great expirience among glaciers is guarantee.