The Heavenly beauty of Tianchi Lake

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, November 26, 2015
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The Tianshan Mountains and Tianchi Lake scenic area is among the landmark destinations in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The Tianchi Lake, also known as the Heavenly Lake, is located on the northern side of the Bogeda Peak in the Tianshan Mountains. It is an alpine drift lake at an altitude of 1,980 meters and it is about 100 meters at the deepest point, with glistening glaciers on the mountain peaks nearby when the sun is shining.

The crescent-shaped Tianchi Lake is full of crystal clear water. The lake is surrounded by many rugged and forested valleys that lead down to the lake from closely surrounding peaks. Luscious, green plots of grass stretch out in all directions and the lake stands out as the "Pearl of Tianshan Mountains."

The Tianchi Lake is 3.3 kilometers long and 1km wide on average. The lake stores 160 million cubic meters of water all the year round. The lake freezes up in late October and thaws in early May. In the meantime, the lake's surface is covered with 1m thick ice.

In summer, the temperature stays at around 20 degrees Celsius. It is a pleasant and comfortable place.

The deep waters of Tianchi Lake lap up against the mountains forming a picturesque scene. Summer is the best time to come here as the temperature is just right. During summer, the boats go back and forth, blown by a cool breeze, full of the fresh mountain air.

The Tianchi Lake is also a good alpine skating rink in winter. Coming from a glacier, the water of the Tianchi Lake is pure and the ice surface is smooth. With a gentle breeze blowing most of the time, it is an ideal place for skating competitions. Besides, it is a great place for hiking and horseback riding.

There is a hiking trail that goes around the lake. People can go for strolls on the mountain paths, hike or ride a horse up to the glacier plains where the scenery is simply stunning. If the sky is clear, you can enjoy the stunning celestial display and maybe campfires or meals.

If you like nature and ethnic culture, it is the place to go. One can find economical accommodations and meals in the Kazakh yurts. Some of the yurts are beautiful inside with lots of brightly colored and decorated rugs, quilts and wall hangings. Do not miss the traditional Kazakh food, which are high in protein, dairy-rich and are known for serving big portions of boiled or broiled meat.

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