Tianshan Tianchi National Park

The lake

Tianshan Tianchi National Park (天山天池国家公园) is in Xinjiang, in North West China. It's listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Understand

Sprawling on the edge of Mount Bogda and 100 km east of Urumqi, Tianchi Lake and the surrounding Tianshan Mountains must define the word "beauty" in the Uygur language since there is no more beautiful place within the autonomous region. Tianchi runs 4.9 square km in area and 90 meters deep; a natural lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks and sky-scraping dragon spruce fed by thawing snow runoffs.

Get in

The bus from Urumqi will take you as far as the entrance to the park, but to get to Heaven Lake, you can either go by funicular or take the spectacular one hour walk up.

As to May 2011, the Funicular isn't working, and there is a free bus that takes you up to the lake.

local buses

first take 73 to the north bus station in urumqi. (which is not the name of the stop. it is not, btw, the chinese name station 'north river station road' which is more than a few stops north of the right stop) From there, a bus to Fu Kang (1 hour 15 min, 12Y) from Fu Kang there is a bus to the lake (about 30 minutes 5Y). When returning to Fu Kang from the lake, expect long delays if trying to go outside of peak times.

Fees/Permits

There is a ¥100 fee to get in the park.

See

The lake itself it spectacular, particularly at sunset when the mountains in glow red. Note the Russian dachas among the modern Chinese constructions and Kazakh yurts.

Do

Go for a horseback ride with a Kazakh guide.

Eat

In addition to a restaurant at the top of the funicular, there are a few kebab stands around the lake, mostly concentrated by the entrance

Drink

There is a karaoke hall near the entrance, though beer can also be bought from the kebab stands.

Sleep

While there is a hotel near the road of Heaven Lake, press on for yurt stays. The Kazakh families that run them will provide three meals and a night's lodging for ¥50. They will also help arrange horseback rides if you are interested.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 18, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.