Friday, 13 April 2018

The Gorgeous Heavenly Lake, Xinjiang China

Tianchi is an alpine lake in Xinjiang, Northwest China, its 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 a 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 its 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 with 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 lakes slopes highlighted with verdant pasture and flamboyant wild flowers, fishing at dusk has its own special charm. A decade ago, the lake area was increased 158 km² to 548 km², to increase the tourism. The lake is accessible by Provincial Highway 111 from Fukang. From Mid-June till September, the lake has high season and there will be 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 obvious difference in temperature in day and in night in Xinjiang and 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 on the list of Bogda Nature Preserve of Man and the Biosphere by the UNESCO. There are many interesting spots around the lake; there are more than ten ancient temples. Moreover, they are many valuable herb medicines grow on Mt. Heavenly. The mountain is also called treasure bowl, due to more than 20 kinds of animals, 40 different kind of birds and over 100 kind of insects can be find here.

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