HomeAsiaTianchi Lake – A Crescent Shaped Heavenly Lake
Tianchi Lake – A Crescent Shaped Heavenly Lake
Tianchi Lake is an alpine lake in Xinjiang, Northwest China. It means Heavenly Lake and can refer to several lakes in mainland China and Taiwan. This Tianchi lies about 30KM south of Fukang and 45km east of Ürümqi. It is an alpine drift lake shaped in the Quaternary Glacier period. The lake is classified as the highest level scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
This crescent-shaped water area deserves its name, Pearl of Heavenly Mountain with melted snow as the source, enjoys crystal water. Besides the lake, one of the most visited spots in the Tianchi Scenic Zone is Mount Bogda, whose spectacular natural features include glaciers and canyons, winding brooks and falls, and dense forests and meadows.
In the previous centuries, the lake was known as Yaochi. The Tianchi Lake covering area is 4.9 square kilometers. The surface of the lake itself is at an altitude of about 2,000 meters or about 6,600 feet, and it is about 100 meters at the deepest point. In summer, the lake is an ideal place to see changing silvery mountains soaring into the blue sky. The lake’s slopes are highlighted with verdant pasture and flamboyant wildflowers, fishing at dusk has it’s own special charm.
A decade ago, the lake area was increased from 158 km² to 548 km², to increase tourism. The lake is accessible by Provincial Highway 111 from Fukang. From Mid-June till September, the lake has a high season and there will be a sea of local/global people. There will be long queues everywhere, particularly transports to the summit.
The Heavenly Lake is surrounded by various rugged and forested valleys that lead down to the lake from closely surrounding peaks that reach about 2,400 meters. There is a hiking trail that goes around it. Moreover, there’s an obvious difference in temperature in the day and at the night in Xinjiang, and the temperature in some scenic spots is maybe lower due to the high elevation or weather change.
Thus, it is still essential to take along a coat or woolen sweater to keep warm in summer. In 1982 Heavenly Lake and Heavenly Mountain Scenic Area became one of the first national-level scenic spots and in 1990 it was added to the list of Bogda Nature Preserve of Man and the Biosphere by UNESCO.
There are many interesting spots around the lake; there are more than ten ancient temples. Moreover, they are many valuable herb medicines grown on Mt. Heavenly. The mountain is also called the treasure bowl, due to more than 20 kinds of animals, 40 different kinds of birds and over 100 kinds of insects can be found here.