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Kanas Nature Reserve

As one of the most popular scenic areas in Xinjiang, here, you can not only enjoy the magnificent mountains and lakes, but also visit the snow-capped icebergs. Kanas Scenic Area is situated in the middle of Altai Mountains, near the norther tip of Xinjiang , and the province’s borders with Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia.
In Mongolian, Kanas means "beautiful, rich and mysterious". It is famous for the beautiful scenery of Kanas Lake and its surrounding snow mountains, grasslands and birch forests. It is known as "Eastern Switzerland, and a paradise for photographer".
What to visit in Kanas scenic area
As I mentioned that in this beautiful, rich and mysterious lake, you can not only enjoy the magnificent mountains and lakes, but also visit the snow-capped icebergs. When you travel to the Kanas lake, you can see some floras such as spruces and firs which are planted around the Siberian Larch primitive forests. The sunny slopes are covered by dense grasses and the different plant communities have distinct layers.
In Kanas scenic area, you can also board a 600-metres-high observation Guanyu platform (at the foot of the mountain, there are sightseeing buses to reach and the sightseeing bus tickets is 120 RMB (round trip)), it is the best place where you can overlook the whole Kanas Lake, as well as the distant green hills and snow ridges wrapped in silver. In addition, you can also take a cruise ship (120 RMB/Person) and the whole cruise ship will takes about 2 hours to visit.
There are many Tuva villages in the scenic area, in the Tuva village you will see many lovely Tuva cottage, which is available for tourists to stay in.
When is the best time to Kanas?
It is an important question that pops up in the mind of every tourists who is planning the Kanas travel in the future. Among them, Every June, September and January are the best time to travel to Kanas.
In June, mountains are full of flowers, red peony and willow orchids are everywhere. At this time, Kanas is the sea of flowers and the world of flowers.
Colorful wildflowers, together with blue sky and white clouds, snow peaks and clear water, wooden house and jungle, constitute the story of Kanas spring.
September is the best time to enjoy the magnificent autumn landscape in Kanas, and it is also the best time for photography, the high bright blue sky and colourful trees covering all mountains.
Every September, Kanas will turn into a golden fairy tale world. The changeable lakes, Tuva villages far from the disturbing public, I can imagine how many people will be addicted to this beautiful land in northern Xinjiang.
In winter, everything in Kanas has turned into a world of ice and snow, a magnificent snowfield, a glittering birch forest haze, a snow-covered ice lake, a smoky Baihaba and other beautiful views, which have formed the absolute beauty of Kanas. In addition, we can also appreciate the unique folk customs of the Tuva people, who are known as "Forest people" and "tribes in the clouds".
Travel strategies of Kanas
Some tourists will start from Kanas Lake and hike to Hemu Village (1-2 days), which has become a paradise route for outdoor enthusiasts in China. Compared with the humanistic landscape of the other villages, Kanas Lake is fascinated by mysterious lake monsters, changing colours of the lakes and dazzling natural landscape.
Traffic information:
If you are going to visit Kanas, you need to arrive at Jiadengyu Gate Ticket Station, to buy the scenic tickets plus the sightseeing bus tickets, and then take the sightseeing bus to the scenic area for visit. The buses in scenic areas run for about 10 minutes and stop at various scenic spots, so at that time, you can get on and off at any scenic spots.
The Mythology of Kanas Lake Monster:
Kanas Lake has many ancient legends, the most famous of which is the "Lake Monster". In recent decades, tourists and scientists have witnessed "giant weird fish". Some people say it is Hucho Taimen and others think it is prehistoric creatures.
In order to protect the natural environment of the scenic area, many hotels near the lake have been closed, however, there are some high-grade villas in the scenic area, but the price is quite expensive. Moreover, if you would like to get up early and see the beautiful morning fog in Shenxian Bay, so it is the best options to get accommodation in the scenic spots.
Foods and Drinks:
The scenic spots are located in remote border areas with the sparsely populated and high logistics costs, so the prices of the food in the scenic areas are very expensive, and it is necessary to bring some snacks and drinks. The diet in the scenic area is mostly Muslim, with more beef and mutton and less vegetables, and some tourists may not be used to it.
Travel tips of Kanas
1. Xinjiang has a dry climate and strong ultraviolet radiation, travelers should bring some sunscreen products and moisture cream.
2. Kanas is situated in the inland area of high latitude, the temperature is difference between day and night, tourists should prepare some warm clothes.
3. Kanas Scenic Area is located on the border between China and Kazakhstan and there are many sparsely populated places and the mobile phone signal in scenic area is quite terrible, considering the safety, it is not recommended to explore in non-scenic areas alone.
4. There is a time difference of two hours between Xinjiang and the eastern part of the country, so it is quite normal to have dinner at eight or nine o'clock in the evening.
The admission fees of Kanas: 275 RMB
sightseeing bus tickets: 120 RMB (round trip)
Opening time:
Peak season: 1st March to 14th November ( 8.30 AM to 8.00 PM )
Off season: 15th November to 30th April ( 8.30 AM to 7.30 PM )
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