Burjin - Kanas Lake - JiadengyuJune 28, 2009
8:40 - 10:05
Burjin - Chonghu Township ( 76km )
Today is definitely our highlight for this northern Xinjiang study trip. Our destionation is Kanas Lake, or more exactly, Kanas Scenic Area, Kanas Geopark and Kanas Natural Reserve. The total distance between Burjin and Kanas lake is 160km, taking about 4 hours by drive to get there. Of course, during the 4-hour drive, we will have some stops either for a short break or sightseeing.
After breakfast, we are driving towards the first stop - Chonghu township. Chonghu is a very small towns and everything is basic. We stop there just for 20 minutes for refreshing. There are some stalls selling local touist stuff. But most of the people on the tour focus their their attecntion to the toilet there!
10:05 Chonghu Township - 11:30 Jiadengyu Tourist Base ( 70km )
From Chonghu Town, we continue to drive 70km to Jiadengyu Tourist Base. The base is offcially appointed to accommodate the tourists coming to Kanas Lake. This is an effective measure to protect Kanas Lake from being polluted since the base is still about 35km away from the lake proper.
It is quite exciting to drive from Chonghu Town to the Jiadengyu Base. On the mountainous road, we see the green pastures dotted with the kazakhstan yurts. They enviably live a carefree life among the green mountains, herding their sheep. In the Kanas Lake area, or Altay area, the main ethnic groups are Kazakhstan and Tuwa people. The Tuwa people are the descendants from a Mongolian tribe. They lives on the south bank of the Kanas Lake. Believing Lamaism, Tuwa people are a brave ethic minority with a long history. Tuwa people speak Turkish, like the language of Kazakh, and live on hunting and graze. They also have their own unique folk custom.
Jiadengyu Base is a beautiful valley itself. All the houses and hotels built on the flat slope. The flat bottom of the valley is the large green grassland dotted with many kazakhstan yurts.
We will come here for the night, so we continue to drive to the Kanas Lake.
11:30 - 13:00 Jiadengyu - Kanas Tourism Center ( Near Kanas Lake )
We continue to drive 35km from Jiadengyu to Kanas Lake. On the way, we visit Crouching Bay, Moon Bay and Celestial Bay. All the three bays are good spots for photo taking. We stop one by one to enjoy the fantastic views of three bays of the Ertix River (Irtysh River) coming directly from the Kanas Lake.
At 13:00, we reach the Kamas Tourism Center to have buffet lunch. The center is also the offcial designated place for meals and relaxing, the final stop before visiting the Kanas Lake.
14:00 - 16:40 Boating on the Kanas Lake
After lunch, we walk to the lake pier to get on the boat and start our highlight boating on Kanas Lake. The Kanas Lake (Kanasi Hu) means "beautiful, rich and mysterious" in Mongolian. The lake is nestled in the deep forests and mountains of Altay. The lake is 1,374m above sea level and covers an area of 45sqkm (10 times bigger than Tianchi on Bogda Mountain) with the deepest point of 188m.
The long bean-shaped lake reflects the surrounding snowcapped mountains. The tour guide on the boat says that the Kanas Lake in autumn is at its best with the beautiful foliage.
Legend has it that huge monsters live in the lake. They often has take away horses and camels drinking into the water by the lake and later swallow them, a similar story of "Nessie Monster".
16;40 - 18:00 Climbing the Fish View Pavilion
After finishing the boating on the Kanas Lake, we are arrange to climb up the Fish Viewing Pavilion to have a bird-eye' view of the Kanas Lake and the surrounding snowcapped mountains. The over 1000 man-made steps lead to the top of the pavilion, a perfect summit to enjoy the natural landscape under your feet.
18: 15 - 19:15 The Bird View Pavilin - Jiadunyu Tourism Base
Come down the hill and take the bus and drive 35km back to Jiadengyu Tourist Base. It is a huge accommodation center with lots of hotels and resorts. Stay at Jiadeyu Hongfu Hotel. It is a very nice villa-type hotel, a 3-4 storey hotel. It is quite a job to build a hotel on this remote valley! We are advised to save water while bathing ( electric bathing ).
The food at the hotel is not satisfactory. But no people complain about the food considering the practical condition there.
After dinner, I take a walk to the yurt area just in front of my hotel. So before my hotel, there is a big open pasture, where over 20 yurts are scattered there making a living by offering Kazakhstan food and culture to the tourists coming from the base.
I visit one Kazakhstan yurt. I even pay 5 yuan to eat the yogurt hand-made by the Kazakhstan couple. They have a cute son.
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