Urumqi Heaven's Lake 天池

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Heaven's Lake 天池

Heaven’s Lake, located in the Heavenly Mountain range (Tianshan), 115 km northeast of Urumqi, is possibly one of the most beautiful sights in China. The large clear water lake covered with a backdrop of tall pines littered over rolling hillside and snowcapped mountians is like a picture out of a painting.  Indian writer Vikram Seth, who studied at Nanjing University for two years, used the lake in the title of his account of his journey through Xinjiang and Tibet, "From Heaven Lake". Heaven’s lake (3km long and 1km wide) is halfway (560ft) up the mountain and is a great spot for horseriding and hiking. The lake is frequented by Buddhists who come here to praise the God of Mercy. Kazakh families stay here from May until September, while tourists also gather here everyday. Despite all this traffic, the area still remains pristine. There are no resistrictions here so everyone is free to explore the large area on their own.  The Kazakhs settle here with their entire family in hundreds of Yurts on the shores and slopes. The Yurts are houses built out of hide or canvas stretched over a wooden frame. They raise goats, sheep and horses which is their main source of income while tourism is their secondary. Many will offer horseback tours of the area and accommodation in their homes for a small fee (Approximately CNY30 including food). This is a great way to live like the locals and get a really unique experience. Yurts are made from hide or canvas stretched over a wooden frame. The interiors colorfully decorated with handcrafted rugs and tapestries. It is highly recommended that you spend a day here and a night staying in the Yurts or Shui Xin Hotel. The evening and early mornings are very peaceful. There are numerous small restaurants along the western shore serving tasty but simple dishes for about CNY20-30. A large glacier, 100 meters tall and 500 meters wide lies at the peaks of the Tianshan mountain range, surrounded by ice caves and valleys. This is the source of the Urumqi River, and although it is too cold up here for tourists, this area is one of the most important in the world for research and development Fees:  Entrance Charge: CNY 100 (Apr. to Oct.); CNY 40 (Nov. to Mar.) Cable Car: CNY 35 Barge Tour: CNY 30 Electric Bus: CNY 10
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