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Heavenly Lake (Tianchi) Xinjiang

Heavenly Lake ( Tianchi ) nestles on the northern side of the Bogda Peak of the Tianshan Mountains, 40 kilometers in the east of Fukang County, and 120 kilometers away from Urumqi City in Northwest, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. In 1783, Ming Liang, the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Commander of Urumqi Army Commanding Zone, named the lake "Tianchi" Lake, or the Heavenly Lake. It covers the area of 3 square kilometers, 105 meters deep at the deepest point, and 40 meters deep in average, this crescent-shaped lake deserves its name, "Pearl of the Heavenly Mountain (Tianshan Mountain)." With melted snow as its source, the lake enjoys crystal water. The Bogda Peak, 5445 meters above sea level, is the highest peak of the eastern part of the Tianshan Mountains.
It is a natural alpine lake shaped like a half-moon. Surrounded by snow mountains with green spruce, the lake is like a sapphire falling from the sky, which has drawn streams of tourists.

Top Places to Visit in Heavenly Lake National Park:

1. Black Dragon Pool ( Heilongtan ) is situated at 500 meters east of Tianchi. Here, you can feel the falls have a drop of 3,000 feet as if the water of the bright galaxy had fallen down from nine days, and that is entirely fabulous.

2. West Heavenly Lake ( Xi Xiao Tianchi )

West Xiaotianchi Lake is located in the northwest of Tianchi Lake, with an elevation of 1600 meters. The environment of the scenic area is quiet and secluded, and the pond is surrounded by spruce, which is quite spectacular.

3. Temple of the West Queen

The West Queen temple built in the Yuan Dynasty, this building, rebuilt in 1999 on the site of the original Temple of the empress dowager, which is also known as "the Temple of the Queen Mother." 
Note: The sightseeing bus is near the East side of Heavenly Lake, and it takes about 1.5 hours to walk along the wooden plank road to the Temple of the West Queen on the West Bank.

4. The Horse Tooth (Maya) Mountain

Maya mountain is 4.5km southwest of Dahaizi, Tianshan Heavenly Lake, with an altitude of 3056m and a tourist area of 0.5km2. The peak is steep and upright, just like a row of horse tooth, rows of ancient glaciers carve the peak. On the north side of the mountain and the edge of the forest, there is a stone-like forest formed by weathering and water erosion of columnar eruptive rock, which is the best rock in the Tianchi scenic area made of ice sculpture.

Other Travel Information of Heavenly Lake: 

1. Kazakh Village

Located in the Heavenly Lake scenic area of Tianshan Mountain, the Kazakh style village is famous for its yurt, food, song, and dance as the temptation, attracting tourists to stop in Kazakh ethnic villages.
Here, tourists can taste or stay to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Tianshan Mountains, and experience the local Kazakh customs and features.

2. Ice and Snow Festival of Heavenly Lake

The annual "Tianshan Tianchi ice and Snow Festival" will be held from the middle of November to the end of March. At that time, tourists can enjoy the snow entertainment projects at the Tianshan ski resort. Kazakh tents in the scenic area can be used for accommodation, but most tourists will return to the city after the tour.

The Legend of Heavenly Lake

As if the natural beauty of Heavenly Lake were not enough, the legend adds a mysterious atmosphere. According to ancient Chinese legend, Yaochi is called the Lake of Heaven, which has inspired many romantic love stories. It is said that more than 3,000 years ago, the West Queen ( Xi Wang Mu ) entertained King Zhoumu of the Western Zhou Dynasty ( 11th century-771BC ) at the lake and held court feasts. Others say it was the pond for the Queen to take a bath, with the mist on the lake considered the clothes for the Queen Mother, and the lesser Heavenly Lake nearby as the basin for her to wash her feet. If there is a Yaochi in the real world, it would probably be Tianshan Tianchi Lake in Urumqi. 

The Natural Resources of Heavenly Lake

Situated on the northern side of Bogda Peak of Tianshan Mountains, the Heavenly Lake Nature Reserve covers 380-odd square kilometers, including 18 modern glaciers, three rivers, 18 lakes of which the Heavenly Lake is the most famed one. It is also abundant in forest and animal resources. In addition to spruce, you can also see many rare species and floras, which provide excellent opportunities for scientists to observe. In 1980, it was approved as a national nature reserve by the state.

The Geographical Position of Heavenly Lake

Tianshan Heavenly Lake, located in Fukang, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 37 kilometers away from Fukang City, and 97 kilometers away from Urumqi. The Tianshan Mountains, with a total length of 2500km, span the hinterland of Asia and are the natural boundary between Tarim Basin and the Junggar Basin. Heavenly Lake, situated at the mountainside of Bogda Peak, the highest peak in the east of Tianshan Mountain, with a plane altitude of 1928 meters.

The Climate and Weather of Heavenly Lake

Tianshan Tianchi National Park lies on the north side of the Bogda Peak and has an elevation of around 1,910 meters. The lake covers an area of 4.9 square kilometers and is famous for its beauty. It is a typical continental arid climate, with an average annual temperature of 2.55 degrees Celsius. The lake area's average temperature in July is 15.9 Celsius, while the average temperature in January falls below negative 10 degrees Celsius. Winter snowfall lasts for six to seven months, and the freezing period lasts for five months.
From April to September every year, the water level rises, and from September to April next year, the water level drops. The annual average water temperature is kept at 7.4 degrees Celsius. 
The lake is listed as the highest level scenic spot by the National Tourism Administration.

Best time to visit Heavenly Lake

a). From June to September are the best seasons for Tianshan Tianchi tourism. Among them, The Heavenly Lake National Park is an ideal summer resort. Boaters on it see the ever-changing silvery mountains soaring into the blue sky, their slopes highlighted with verdant pasture and colorful wildflowers. Fishing at dusk has its particular charm. A day in this fairyland promises restoration.
In winter, the beautiful lake is an ideal ski resorts.

b). Heavenly Lake International Ski Resort

Tianshan Tianchi international ski resort is located at the foot of the Tianchi scenic area, a famous winter resort in Xinjiang, with an altitude of 1200 meters, covering an area of 900 mu, 90 kilometers from Urumqi, 27 kilometers from Fukang and Zhundong. It has convenient transportation and a unique natural landscape.

             Annual Temperature of the Year/℃ ( High-Low )

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun.
-12/-22 -10/-22 -4/-17 15/1 19/7 25/12
July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
27/16 27/15 19/5 9/-2 -1/-12 -12/-21

How to get to Heavenly Lake

a) Self-driving

1. It takes about an hour and a half (92.4km) to drive from Urumqi to the Heavenly Lake.
2. Tianshan Heavenly Lake paved with asphalt pavement and sandstone pavement, and tourist vehicles can directly reach Haixi and Guodi pit. At the same time, sidewalks and horse roads are leading to all places. You can go to any places in a beautiful spot.

b) Reach the scenic area

Take a bus from Urumqi Beijiao Bus Station to Fukang and then transfer to another tourist bus from Fukang Bus Station to the Heavenly Lake.

c) Transportation in Heavenly Lake

Shuttle bus: The gate of the beautiful place - Heavenly Lake. It takes about 40 minutes with a single journey of about 35 km.
Electric car: About 200m from the drop off point of the shuttle bus to the Heavenly Lake.
Cruise ship: Take the cruise ship are the best ways to enjoy the magnificent landscape at Heavenly Lake.

           Opening Hours & Tickets Price

Entrance Fee Peak season: CNY 155
Off-season: CNY 105
Note: The cost of the shuttle bus is included in the ticket
Opening Hours Peak season: 9:00-20:30 (1st April - 31st October ).
Off-season: 10:00-18:00 ( 1st November - 31st March of the next year)
Boats CNY 100
Mayashan Ropeway ( 马牙山索道 ) CNY 220


1. The temperature difference between day and night in Tianchi Scenic Area. Meanwhile, visitors should bring some warm clothes.
2. Ultraviolet radiation is powerful all year round, especially in summer, tourists should bring some sunscreen products.
3. Suggested travel time: half of the day.

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