STORY: Issyk-Kul means "warm lake" in Kyrgyz. The name was given because the water never freezes due to the lake's depth and natural warmth of water.
Local resident, Taalay Orozakunov, said he and his neighbours had never seen the lake freeze before.
''On January 14 the lake froze. The ice goes about 150 metres (492ft) from shore to the centre of the lake. There were huge ice-boulders but they have all broken up. In some places the ice was 1.5 metres (5ft) thick.''