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Tianshan Tianchi Lake

Tianshan Tianchi Lake is a world natural heritage, national AAAAA tourist attraction, National Geopark, national key scenic spot, national civilized scenic spot, international man and nature Biosphere Reserve, China’s best tourist destination, China’s top ten scenic spots with the best resource protection, and China’s top ten charming leisure tourism lakes. Tianshan Tianchi, known as “yaochi”(lake in the heaven) in ancient times, is located in Fukang City, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is located on the hillside of the northern slope of Bogda peak. It is a natural scenic area centered on high mountains and lakes, 97 kilometers away from Urumqi. The planning area of the scenic area is 548 square kilometers. It is divided into 8 major scenic spots, 15 landscape groups and 38 scenic spots. It is a typical mountain natural landscape in arid areas of Northwest China.

To the southeast of Tianchi is the majestic Bogda peak (Mongolian “Bogda” means “ the divine mountain), with an altitude of 5445 meters. There are two peaks connected on the left and right sides of the main peak. Looking into the distance, three peaks rise together, towering into the clouds, like a pen holder. The glaciers and snow on the top of the peak are shining with white silver light, which forms an interesting contrast with the clear water of Tianchi Lake, forming the natural landscape of Gaoshan lake. On the hillside around Tianchi, there are many Picea like pagodas, which are famous scenic trees. Dark green spruce forest, tall and straight, neat, very imposing, shows a unique mountain scenery. Clear lake water, snow capped peaks and verdant tall and straight pine tree forest constitute the charming scenery of Tianchi Lake.

The name of “Tianchi” comes from the Lingshan Tianchi Canal Cutting Inscription, which was written by Mingliang, the Urumqi Generalissimo in the 48th year of Qianlong Reign Period(1783). There are many poets and litterateur in the past like Chen Yun-he write for Tianchi Lake to praise it. It is said that more than 3000 years ago, Emperor Mu sang a song with the Queen of the West on the Bank of Tianchi Lake, and left many good stories, which made Tianchi win the reputation of “yaochi”.

The climate is a typical continental arid climate, the annual average temperature is 2.55 ℃, the highest average temperature in July is 15.9 ℃, and the lowest average temperature in January is – 12.4 ℃. The snowfall period in winter is 6-7 months, the ice period is 5 months, and the ice thickness of lake water is more than 1 meter. Tianchi water is divided into abundant water period and normal water period in a year. The pool water rose from April to September every year, and decreased from September to April of the next year. The active water level of Tianchi is between 10-13m, and the annual average water temperature is maintained at 7.4 ℃.

After the 1950s, the people’s Government specially allocated funds for the construction of Panshan highway directly to Tianchi Lake, and built unique viewing pavilions, hotels, restaurants and other tourism facilities along the lake, opening this famous tourist attraction to Chinese and foreign tourists. In 1982, the State Council listed Tianshan Tianchi as the first batch of national key scenic spots. Tianchi is 90 kilometers away from Urumqi. Visitors get on the bus from Urumqi in the early morning and enter the mountain pass after two hours’ eastbound travel. Then, the car circled up the mountain road. The scenery on the road was sometimes cliffs, strange shaped stones, sometimes quiet woods and winding rivers, fragrant flowers, singing birds. When you get to the deep mountain and high valley, on the right side of the road, there is a small round pool with tens of meters round and clear and exquisite. On the side of the pool, there is a waterfall several meters high, with water splashing everywhere. Here is the commonly known “small Tianchi”. When you circle up the mountain and climb the broad ridge, the Tianchi is suddenly in front of you. At this point, visitors will be amazed by the wonderful scenery of the lake and mountains.

Tianchi is not only a summer resort to receive Chinese and foreign tourists in summer, but also an ideal Alpine skating rink in winter. Every time the lake freezes, ice sports athletes from Xinjiang or other provinces gather here to train and compete in the broad lake, bathed in bright sunshine and fresh air. The mountains surrounding the Tianchi Lake are also the “treasure mountain” with rich resources. There are cattle and sheep fat pasture, dense forest farm, artificial breeding deer garden. Snow lotus and snow chicken grow on the snow line. Roe deer live in the pine forest. Mushrooms grow everywhere. In addition, there are codonopsis pilosula, astragalus membranaceus, fritillaria and other traditional Chinese medicine. There are rare birds and animals in the mountains and valleys, fish and water birds in the lake area, modern glaciers at the top of the peaks, and various minerals such as copper, iron, mica and so on are buried under the mountains. The rich resources and unique natural landscape in Tianchi area are more attractive to the biological, geological and geographical workers who are keen on field investigation. Tianchi is indeed an indispensable place for people to visit Xinjiang.

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