Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

The Silk Road Sights

Heavenly Lake (Tiānchí)

  • Body Of Water/Waterfall
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 01/01/2015

Fodor's Review

After a three-hour ride from Ürümqi you'll reach what it quite possibly the prettiest lake in China, surrounded by snow-sprinkled mountains. The water is crystal clear with a sapphire tint. In summer, white flowers dot the hillsides. Unfortunately, tourism is leaving its ugly footprint. The lake's southern shore is crowded with tour groups posing for snapshots with Mount Bogda in the background. To better appreciate the lake's natural beauty, arrive before the hordes, or stay until after the last bus has departed.

Kazakh families still set up traditional felt tents along the shores of Heavenly Lake from early May to late October, bringing their horses, sheep, and cashmere goats. The Kazakh people have a long history as horse breeders and are known to be skilled riders.

From Ürümqi, day-tour buses to Heavenly Lake leave at 9 am from a small street beside the north gate of People's Park (Heilongjiang Lu near Gongyuan Bei Ji). Expect to pay around Y25 each way after bargaining plus the Y100 entrance fee to the lake. You'll have from about noon to 6 pm to explore the lake, arriving back in the city at 8 pm. Tickets—usually available up until the bus leaves—can be purchased near the buses.

Sight Information


Ürümqi, China

Sight Details:

  • Apr.–Oct., Y100; Nov.–Mar., Y40

Updated 01/01/2015


What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in The Silk Road

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.