Kanas Lake (also known as Kanas Nature Reserve) is actually a freshwater lake which lies in Altay ranges, in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is a must see for its intoxicating beauty.
The lake covers an area of 45.73 sq.m. (54.69 sq. yd.) and is ten times as large as the Heavenly Lake in Bogeda. It reaches an average depth of 120 m. - 393 ft. (the deepest point can be 188.5 m. - 618 ft.) and the storage capacity is 5.38 billion cubic meters.
Literally, Kanas means "beautiful, fertile and mysterious" in Mongolian language which defines clearly and accurately the enchanting scenery of Kanas Nature Reserve.
The color of the lake changes with each season, so it's also named the colored lake. The lake takes the shape of a moon and composes of six bays formed by six platform each having a beautiful legend. The lofty mountains are reflected in the boundless expanse of green water.
When spring comes, all kinds of flowers growing on the mountains bloom and send out a whiff of fragrance making a sea of flowers. Sometimes in the morning or at dawn, you'll have a chance to see the wonderful view formed by mist floating over the surface of the lake, giving you the illusion of standing in a fairyland.
As the leaves of trees change in autumn, Kanas Lake enters a golden season and dresses up like a radiant ethnic girl.
Golden yellows, orange reds and dark greens presented by a variety of trees together with the white snow on top of the mountain form a picturesque landscape and attract large numbers of tourists taking up their cameras to keep it forever.
Another famous natural wonder there is the thousand meters long dead wood embankment. This natural view is made by water in the upper reaches of the river pushing the dead wood forward to the lake and day by day the embankment of dead wood (a hundred meters wide and two thousand meters long) is formed.
However, people is fascinated not only by intoxicating scenery of the lake but also by the old tale regarding the water sprite in the lake. It's said that the huge monster is able to blow clouds and often swim to the bank to devour sheep and cattle adding a touch of mystery to the lake.
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As a matter of fact, lots of rare fishes live in this lake and that may account for the tale about the water sprite. Anyway, nobody can tell for sure and great amount of research work has been put in to solve the mystery.
After visiting the Kanas Nature Reserve, you can also choose to experience the life of Tuwa people who is supposed to be the major inhabitants there.
You may have a glass of koumiss while enjoying the music played by Su'er a kind of local wind instrument.
Wandering in their villages, especially in Hemu village which is ranked by China National Geography as one of the six most beautiful villages in China, you'll be deeply impressed by Tuwa people's simple life style and character.
The entrance ticket of Kanaz Nature Reserve is 150 RMB (25 USD)/person and if you want to take a sightseeing bus in the scenic area, you have to pay an extra of 80 RMB (13 USD). Children enjoy a 20% discount. Some other activities like bonfire camp and drifting are also organized. Note that extra expense are expected.