The Kanas Lake lies 150km north of Bu'erjin Town, deep in the forests and mountains of Altay. It is 1,374m above sea level, covers an area of 45sqkm and the deepest point is 188m. Surrounded by snowcapped mountains that are reflected on the water, in autumn the long bean-shaped lake presents a pretty landscape of forests in all imaginable colors. The name Kanasi Hu means “beautiful, rich and mysterious” in Mongolian and if one sees it changing the colors several times each day, he will understand why.
Best Time to Visit
Kanas is open for tour from June to October, the best time to visit is September, when in autumn it presents a picturesque landscape of forests in a riot of colors with gold, red, blue and green; and May to June, during which time the colorful blossom and green grass covers all over the land and mountains.
How to get there?
Kanasi Lake is 140km from Burqin County and 246km from Altay City. There are flights to Altay City and tourist coaches to Burqin County from Urumqi. You can enter the nature reserve by car or on horseback with local guides.
Step I - Urumqi to Bu'erjin
There is no train from Urumqi to Bu'erjin. The only means of transportation is by coach. Nianzigou Bus Station, 40minutes from Urumqi airport, has daily buses to Bu'erjin. About Y120 for sleeper, 15-16hrs journey.
Step II - Bu'erjin to Kanas, there are 2 options:
East route:Bu'erjin-> Jiadengyu (popular)
West route:Bu'erjin-> Habahe->Baihaba
Jeeps and vans are available for rent for a journey to Jiadengyu, you can share with other travelers. If you don't plan to trek, we suggest you charter a vehicle for 3 days,.
Buses back to Bu'erjin and Urumqi are available at Shenxianwan Parking Lot in the Kanas Tourist Zone.
Kanas Reserve Admission Fee:Y100
What to see
The color of the water of Kanas Lake changes several times in a day, from dark green to blue, then to grey and white. The "Treasure Light" integrates with the beautiful Kanas Lake view, the white glaciers, the green grassland, the boundless forest, and the mist in mountains, will make you feel as if you were in a fairyland.
Kanas is the only outstretched belt of Siberian tayga forest in China, the only distribution area of Siberian plants in China, the largest branch river head of Etix River——the only water system to the Arctic Ocean in China. It is also the only place in China inhabited by Chinese Mongolian—Tuwa people, and the place of the alpine glacier with the smallest altitude in China.
On the south bank of the Kanas Lake lives a Mongolian tribe called Tuwa. It is a valiant ethic minority that believes in Lamaism and has special folk customs.
Legend says that there is a huge monster in the lake that often dragged horses and camels drinking into the water before swallowing them. It is said that it is a ‘huge red fish’, the longest one measuring up to over 10 meters. During sunrises clouds and mist curl high up over the Kanas Lake and one can appreciate the sunrise standing in the Pavilion for Viewing Fish on the top of a peak. Sometimes one can see the great spectacle of a Buddha Halo with reflections of the pavilion and human figures in the halo.
It has been ranked by China National Geography as one of the six most beautiful villages in China.
It is offensive to shake water off your wet hands in public.
Protect yourselves against the elements in all seasons. Be careful about your drinking water. Boil it first.
Bring your camera as there are many very scenic spots in Turpan.
Though the 'clock time' in Xinjiang is just the same as the rest of China, in fact there is a two hour difference in longitude between Urumqi and Beijing. For this reason the daily working hours are: 10:00 - 14:00, 15:30 - 19:30
While in Urumqi, you should modify you rest and dining times to be two hours later than if you were in a city in Middle China, otherwise you might feel out of step with local life. But don't forget that bus, train and flights all adopt Beijing Time. If you booked a flight to arrive or depart Urumqi at around 08:00, then you may find it is quite dark at that time. Please keep this in mind when making reservations.
Kanas is located along the Chinese border, visitors must have a frontier permit for Burqin County. Permits can be applied for individually or through travel agencies in Urumqi for about Y5-10.
Temperature changes sharply in Kanas from 14-15 in daytime to 4-5 at night. Bring enough warm clothes with you, even in summer.
The main sights of north Xinjiang are scattered in Bu'erjin and Habahe county. We recommend the circle of Bu'erjin-Hemu-Kanas-Baihaba-Habahe-185 Tuanchang-Baishahu-Habahe-Bu'erjin.
Tuwa people, also called "Tuwa", "Dewa" or "Kukumenqiak", have a long history and were recorded in ancient literature. Some scholars hold the view that Tuwa people are offspring of the old, weak, sick and disabled soldiers left by Genghis khan when he led his troops to attack the West. But Tuwa elders said that their ancestors migrated from Siberia 500 years ago, and that they are the same ethnic group as the Tuwa people of the Tuwa Republic of Russia. Tuwa people keep their unique custom and language. Tuwa language falls into the Turkic language group, Altaic language family and is in close relation to Kazakh language. Tuwa people celebrate traditional Mongolian Aobao Festival, Zoulu Festival (Winter Festival), Spring Festival and Lantern Festival. Tuwa people believe in Buddhism. Tuwa people live in Tuwa village and Biahaba Tuwa village, Kanas, Altai. Kanas Lake and Tuwa people, integrating with each other, constitute the unique view and folk at Kanas.
Roast Whole Lamb、Shish kebab、Roast Steamed Stuffed Buns、Sin Kiang Lamb Rice、hand-pulled noodle、Nang、grilled fish and so on. Dairy food includes cow milk, goat milk, horse milk, fresh cream, buttermilk, dried and fresh curds, yogurt, and fermented milk. These are both food and drink.