Kanas Nature Reserve
Kanas Nature Reserve, also known as Xinjiang Kanas National Geopark, is located in Burqin County of Altay City within the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and shares borders with Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The scenic area boasts a beautiful natural ecosystem formed by lakes, rivers, glaciers, forests, and grasslands.
Kanas Lake in Kanas Nature Reserve
Kanas, which means 'rich and beauty, mysterious and enigmatical' in Mongolian, might be the most alluring resort in northern Xinjiang. The highlight of the Nature Reserve would probably be Kanas Lake. Originating from the Kanas Glacier in Altay Mountain, the Kanas River runs through the mountains for about 125 kilometers (77.7 miles) and the lake is like a pearl shining on the beautiful river. The China Kanas Lake is 1,375 meters (4,511 ft) high above sea level and covers an area of 45.73 sq kilometers (11,300 acres). With Kanas Lake weather and seasons changing, the color of the lake also varies. Sometimes it's blue, sometimes green, while sometimes it's as white as milk.
|Bird's Eye View of Kanas Lake|
Six Bays along Kanas Lake
There are six bays along the lake and each of them holds a marvelous tale. A 'roche moutonnee', bedrock corroded by glaciers, can be found in the first bay. It looks like a sleeping sheep appreciating the beautiful lake and welcoming visitors from outside world. The second bay is the deepest point of the lake and also the place where monsters are often 'spotted'. It is said that some local livestock have been dragged into water by the Kanas Lake monster! The third bay is a nature platform for enjoying the marvelous lake, the fourth bay holds a lovely isle covered by trees, and a hill of magpies exists in the fifth bay. The sixth bay, which is at the end of the lake, is admired as a natural wonder by all visitors. Gathered here is a 2,000-meter-long (about 6,562 ft) bank of dead trees. No one can explain why these trees did not float downriver, but people say that it is because even the trees don't want to leave the beautiful lake. There is a pavilion named Fish Watching Pavilion on the other bank of the lake. Because it is located on a hill, visitors can look down on the beautiful scenery of the whole area.
|Horse and Camel Trekking|
Wolong Bay & Moon Bay
Besides Kanas Lake, Wolong Bay (Crouching Dragon Bay) and Moon Bay are also attractions alluring many visitors and photographers. Virgin forests and flowery grasslands combined with clear green water make the whole area a paradise.
At the intersection of Kanas River and Hemu River lies the Hemu Grassland. It has been divided into two parts by the Hemu River running from northeast to southwest. Rare animals such as red deer, marmot and snowcocks live peacefully with cows and sheep.
Hemu Village is one of the three residences of the Tuva Mongol in China. The Tuva Mongol is believed to be the offspring of the troops of Genghis Khan when he crusaded west. The Tuva Mongol of Hemu Village lives in frame houses half-buried in the ground to resist the chillness of winter. They believe in Buddhism and have well preserved the traditional beliefs of their tribe. Religious and traditional festivals are always jolly and busy, while the landscape tempts every visitor come back to experience the wildness of nature. Apart from the ancient Tuva Mongol, visitors also can enjoy the local customs and life with the hospitable Kazakh families in Hemu Grassland.
There are also many other attractions in the Kanas Nature Reserve. Yaze Lake (Duck Swamp Lake), Double Lake, White Lake and Friendship Peak Glacier are also amazing. Visitors can fully enjoy the harmony of nature and human as well as the splendid scenery of the nature reserve.
|Have a Cruise on Kanas Lake|
As the site is located along the border of China, you have to apply for a Frontier Permit for Burqin County. It costs CNY 50 for each visitor.
It is recommended that you stay with local families in Hemu Village if you want to experience a taste of the 'old days'.
How to get to Kanas Nature Reserve
2. From Urumqi to Kanas Lake, visitors need to take a bus from Nianzigou Bus Station to Burqin County, and then transfer to a regular bus to Jiadengyu or hire a local car to the entrance.
|May - Oct. 15:||Oct. 16 - Apr.:|
Kanas Scenic Area
|The entrance ticket is valid for two days, meaning visitors can enter the scenic area repeatedly in two days.|
|Combo Ticket for Kanas, Hemu Village, and Baihaba Village||CNY 195||CNY 100|
|The ticket is valid for three days.|
|Opening Hours||8:30 - 19:30 (only for reference)|
Shuttle Bus Charge
|Jiadengyu Transfer Center to Kanas Village Transfer Center||CNY 50 for round trip|
|Kanas Village Transfer Center to Kanas New Village||CNY 5 for round trip|
|Jiadengyu Transfer Center to Guanyu Terrace Transfer Center||CNY 20 for round trip|
|Jiadengyu Transfer Center to Hemu Village Transfer Center||CNY 50 for round trip|
|Hemu Village Transfer Center to Hemu Village Service Area||CNY 45 for round trip|
|Kanas Village Transfer Center to Baihaba Village Transfer Center||CNY 45 for round trip|
|Through Ticket for all shuttle buses (valid for 3 days)||CNY 180|
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You can cross the border from Takeshiken port , south east of Altay city ,about 300kms . can not cross from Kanas area .
Good luck !
Ablajan Jilil ( Urumqi guide / driver )
Is it difficult to find the accommodation when arrive there?
Please advise. Thank you.
Is it still crowded from 8-15 oct? What's the likelihood of roads sealed on these dates? Is it better to visit in sept or after Golden week
I heard it might snow in Oct. Is it still a better option to visit 8-15 oct or in sept?
Not sure if foliage is still present.
it will not crowded after October holiday , Sep will gets super crowded and its most expensive time in the year ( hotels ) . so you arrive to Urumqi and start to drive to Kanas lake first .
i Just came back from Kanas lake , i am a guide -cum- driver based in Urumqi . i did find any accommodations in Jiadengyu which can accept foreigners . so we stayed inside lake area , even they ask me next time i have to ask them several days / weeks before if they still could accept foreigners . availabe time of this year as its off season . actually yurt can not accept foreignners .
Good luck !
Yurts / geusthouses not
In December, can I get a car to the village of Hemu?