Heavenly Lake of Tianshan
Tianchi, the crescent-shaped alpine lake popularly known as “Heavenly Lake,” at an altitude of 2,000 meters, allows you to escape from the prolonged desert scenery. It is one of the favorite getaways for the Urumqi locals, and you’ll find large crowds here on weekends. You can walk through the pine forests through the paths that border the lake and spot the Kazakh and Kyrgyz nomads who plant their yurts (tents) as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Farther north, in the green meadows of Nalati, the picture seems to repeat itself: yurts, horses, and snowy mountains as a backdrop. Kashgar, 1000 kilometers to the west, is the place where the north and south routes meet once again. This was the final stop of my journey China itinerary through the Chinese Silk Road. Currently, a small but modern airport receives regular flights from Urumqi.