Tianchi Lake (or Heavenly Lake) is situated on Tianshan national park territory, about 2 hours from Urumqi. This sky-blue lake is surrounded by dense forest, valleys and rocky mountains.
A long time ago, this lake was known as Yaochi Lake (or Jade Lake). According to the legends, the goddess-mother had a garden with the peaches of immortality. During the time of Qing dynasty it got the name “Tianchi” and was treated as a mirror for heaven and a lake for gods.
Glaciers and eternal snow on the mountains peaks around the lake sparkle with silver, reflecting in the bright-crystal water of the lake and create a magical and peaceful view.
Come here during the summer when nature is full of bright colors and it’s not so cold. Or come during winter when the lake is frozen so you can walk on it. It’s an unusual feeling – walking on the ice and knowing that 100 meters of water are under your feet. The sky is blue and serene there, and the snow is crystal white. In winter, you can ski or snowboard. You can also walk around the lake, ride the horses, go up to the top of the mountain and take photos of the lake from above. On the park territory buses and the paths are clearly highlighted.
In the mountains around Tianchi, there are different sorts of white lotus, mushrooms, herbals in summer; there are wild rare animals and birds in the valleys, many waterfowls on the lakeside. It makes Tianchi magically beautiful.
In summer you can have a dinner and spend the night in a Kazakh yurt. You can spend a nice evening near a bonfire, admiring the bright stars on serene sky. The food provided by Kazakh hosts is delicious and nourishing; night's lodging and dinner in yurt is much more authentic than in the hotel. You can have a fine rest there.
It is important to know that it’s cold near the lake even in summer. So you must have warm clothes and if you are going to spend night there you should also take a warm sleeping-bag or a blanket. Remember that the lake is situated in 2000 meters above sea level and some people may feel worse being at high altitudes.
You can reach Tianchi lake by bus. Firstly to get to Urumqi bus station and get a bus to Fukan town, the price for a bus is 15 RMB. In Fukan you can take a bus right to Tianshan reserve, the price for a bus is 20 RMB. The entrance to reserve costs 140 RMB including the bus right to the lake.
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