Xinjiang Kanas Scenic Area

Kanas GeoparkKanas Scenic Area is located in Burqin County of Altay City within the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and sharing borders with Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia.Kanas, which means 'rich and beauty, mysterious and enigmatical' in Mongolian, might be the most alluring resort in northern Xinjiang.Kanas Nature Reserve is one of the top attractions in Xinjiang.

What to see ?

Kanas Scenic area is the Nature Reserve th boasts a beautiful natural ecosystem formed by lakes, rivers, glaciers, forests, and grasslands.

Kanas Lake

The highlight of the Kanas 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 and the lake is like a pearl shining on Kanas Geoparkthe beautiful river. The lake is 1,375 meters high above sea level and covers an area of 45.73 sq kilometers. The color of the lake varies according to the seasons and weather. Sometimes it's blue, sometimes green, while sometimes it's as white as milk.

Eight Bays

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 Kanas Geoparkdragged into water by these monsters! 

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 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.


Wolong Bay (Crouching Dragon Bay) and Moon Bay are also attractions alluring many visitors and photographers. Kanas GeoparkVirgin forests and flowery grasslands combined with clear green water make the whole area a paradise.

Hemu Grassland

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

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 Kanas Geoparkhouses 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. 

Travel Tips

1.When to go: Because of the long winter in Kanas, the best time to visit is from June to October.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.

Kanas Geopark2. How to Get There: Kanas Lake is 140 kilometers (about 87 miles) away from Burqin County, and 246 kilometers (about 153 miles) away from Altay City. You can take a plane to Altay City or take a coach to Burqin County at Urumqi, and then rent a motorcar to get there. You can also ride horses with local guides.

3.Where to stay: If you want to spend the night around Kanas Lake, you can live with local families or in tents. You can also stay in Kanas Shanzhuang where you will find a greater variety of services and accommodation. It is recommended that you stay with local families in a Hemu Village if you want to experience a taste of the 'old days'.

4.Entrance Fee: CNY 185 (May 1 to October 15); CNY 90 (October 16 - April 30). The entrance ticket is valid for two days, meaning visitors can enter the scenic area repeatedly in two days.

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