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Heavenly Lake

Heavenly Lake

Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), aka Jade Pool, is a visiting card of Xinjiang travel. It's located in Fukang City, Changji Prefecture, Xinjiang, on the north side of the Bogda Peak, about 110km away from Urumqi City. Nestled inside the mountains, the Heavenly Lake is surrounded by primitive forests, wetland meadows, snow-capped peaks, and deep valleys, forming a magnificent landscape.

Name: Tianshan Tianchi (Heavenly Lake of the Celestial Mountain)
Location: Fukang City, 110km from Urumqi
Entrance Tickets: 95 RMB/Pax during peak seasons, 45 RMB/Pax during low seasons
Time Needed: 4-5 Hours
Best Time to Visit: Summer and Autumn
What to Expect: Natural Lakes, Waterfalls, Forests, Peaks, Meadows, Valleys, Ethnic Culture

Highlights of the Tianchi Scenic Area

Fabulous Lake Scenery

There are three lakes in the Tianchi Scenic Area. The main lake, also called Sky Mirror, is a must-see. Lake SceneryIt’s a semilune lake with an area of about 4 square kilometers. The water is so cool and clear that much cold-water scaleless fish are bred here. On its east side is the Eastern Tianchi, which is also called Black Dragon Pool. Below the pool is an unfathomable cliff where the waterfall rushes down like a long rainbow. On the west side is the Western Tianchi, which is also named Goddess Pool. It's shaped like a full moon and surrounded by pines. Beside the pool is a  ten-meter high waterfall flowing down like a silver belt. There is a pavilion built where you can enjoy the scenery. These three lakes are not far from one another. Plank roads are built to connect them.

Unique Kazak Culture

To get to Heavenly Lake, you must pass through the Kazak Folk Customs Park, Kazak Tentwhere you can have a close look at the Kazak costumes, food culture, and ethnic handicraft. The tents that Kazak people live in are similar to Mongolian yurts, except that their tops are round and have skylights. Locals call such tents the "White House." In the park, you can pay to take photos with Kazak girls, wear ethnic clothes, or visit their homes. If you wish to buy souvenirs, ethnic snacks, handmade embroideries, and dairy products are good choices.

Stone Gate

Stone Gate is a natural mountain pass into the Tianchi Scenic Area, with a width of about 100m on both sides. On both sides of the gate are two stone cliffs, and the cutting riverbed in between forms a stone canyon. The towering cliffs look like two opening door planks. Inside the gate, Sangong River rushes through with big splashing waves.

Three Sky-Supporting Boulders

About 4 kilometers away from the Heavenly Lake, Denggan Mountain rises Three Giant Bouldersabruptly among canyons. Its major peak has three giant stalagmites standing on the top. According to mythology, the stones came from Queen Mother of the West during her suppressing demons. Legend has it that one day when the Queen Mother came out of the Heavenly Lake. She saw the lake water became black, and the sky was pressing down. She knew it was caused by the evil snakefish. To handle the situation quickly, Queen Mother of the West threw one of her shoes into the lake to catch the snakefish. Then, she set up a huge boulder on the west side of the lake and spit it into three pieces with her hairpin. Therefore, the sky was supported, and the crisis abated. In the Qing Dynasty, a Taoist mater set up a long pole beside the boulders and hung a red light on the pole. Therefore, the mountain was called Light Pole Mountain (Denggan Mountain), and the three boulders were called Three Sky-Supporting Boulders.

Iron RodIron Rod

There is a lush, leafy, and proud elm tree on the shore the Tianchi Lake. It's the only elm around and a tree with the highest altitude. It's said that during the suppressing of the snakefish, Queen Mother of the West's hairpin was dropped here and became an elm. Since then, no matter how hard the water level fluctuated, it never reached the sacred tree. Thus, people call the elm an Iron Pod.

Spruce Forest

On the west bank of the Heavenly Lake, there is a vast forest of spruce trees. Spruce ForestThey have been here for over 40 million years. The lush and towering spruces make the lake exceptionally green and enjoyable. It's estimated that spruce has an annual water storage capacity of 2.5 tons, regulating the regional climate and conserving water. Therefore, the forest is a powerful army guarding the mountains. If you visit in winter, you will see a different yet more charming scene of snow forest.

Magnificent Sunrise

When the sun rises above the mountains, the first light of the morning lights up the surrounding hills and put golden clothes on the forests. The lake began its process of changing from dark to bright. A new day is coming.

Meadow Prarie

The charm of the Heavenly Lake Scenic Area lies not just in water and forests Meadow Prariebut in grasslands. On the north slope of the Bogda Peak is the subalpine meadow steppe. Due to the high altitude and strong ultraviolet rays, the plants are particularly beautiful, including the felwort, Fleabane, edelweiss, geranium wilfordii, serpent grass, and more. There are also many beautiful animals like graceful choughs, dexterous little marmots, brave and arrogant vulture, clumsy brown bears, and occasionally snow chickens and snow leopards.

Travel Guide

Best Time to Visit: Mid-May to Mid-October. From mid-November to late March, the Tianshan Tianchi Ice and Snow Festival is held. The ski resort and other snow and ice sports are available for you.
Opening Hours: 9:30 - 18:30
Location: Fukang City, Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Changji, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang
How to get there: It takes 2 hours to get there from downtown Urumqi if you take the bus. By car, it’s a 1.5h drive away.

Tickets Fee

High Seasons (April - October): 155 RMB/Pax (including entrance ticket and round-way shuttle bus).Skiing nearby Heavenly Lake
Low Seasons (November - Next March): 105 RMB/Pax (including entrance ticket and round-way shuttle bus).
Gaily-painted Pleasure-Boat: 95 RMB/Pax
Speed Boat: 95 RMB/Pax
Pleasure Boat: 80 RMB/Pax
Maya Mountain: 100 RMB/Pax for the tour bus and 220 RMB/Pax for the cable car
Kazak Folk Custom Park: 75 RMB/Pax
Ancestral Temple of Queen Mother of the West: 25 RMB/Pax
Fushou Temple: 20 RMB/Pax.

Restaurants Recommended in the Heavenly Lake

1.Amir Restaurant: noodles served with soy sauce, roasted meat, Xinjiang Foodroasted Baozi, boiled mutton, oily rice, roasted lamb, and Amir naan.
2.Kazak Folk Customs Park: roast whole lamb, yogurt, milky tea, boiled mutton, oily rice, smoked horse meat, etc.
3.Yaxy’s Restaurant: boiled mutton, roast whole lamb, buttered naan, roasted Baozi, and mutton entrails soup.

4.Fast Food in the Ticket Hall: Chinese food, meals for tour groups and individuals.

Recommended Itineraries

8-day Xinjiang Tour to Urumqi, Turpan and Kashgar

15-Day Silk Road and Xinjiang Tour

11 Days China Silk Road Trip