Zhetysu or several other spellings including Semirechye (Russian Семиречье) is a historic Silk Road region, located just west of the Tianshan mountain range which forms the border between China and Central Asia. The region is now divided between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan; its main cities are Almaty and Bishkek. The name is Kazakh for "seven waters", referring to seven rivers which all flow north to Lake Balkash.

In 2014, UNESCO added "Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor" to their World Heritage List. This is a 5000-km (about 3300 miles) stretch from Chang'an (now called Xi'an) in central China to Zhetysu.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, September 03, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.