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Tian Chi 天池 Travel Guide

Tian Chi Overview

Tian Chi or “Heavenly Lake” is only a couple of hours from downtown Urumqi but a world away in terms of climate and geography. As you drive up to an altitude of 2,000 meters gone are the deserts which are swiftly replaced by Alpine scenery. Han and Uyghur dominated Urumqi is replaced by Central Asian Kazak nomads. The lake is currently being developed for tourism big time which has affected some of the beauty. Still, it’s proximity to Urumqi cannot be beaten and it is an ideal stop for those without much time in the area.

Best Months to Visit Tian Chi

tainchi when to go

Best Reason to Visit Tian Chi

Contrast to Urumqi. Walk as far along the lake so you can to escape mass tourism and enjoy the alpine peace. Spending overnight in a Kazak yurt is a must.

Top Attractions in Tian Chi

The lake itself is the chief attraction and the further you can get from the tourist town at the access end the better. Fortunately there are well marked paths along the lake sure and most day trippers don’t venture more than kilometre along them so before the long crowds are gone and you are left with nature, the occasional Kazak yurt and, of course, strategically placed Chinese pavilion. It is also worth climbing up the steep hills that surround the lake for views and peace and quiet. You will come across Kazak yurt camps but people are friendly and it can be hard to remember you are still in China rather than over the border in Kazakstan.

Weather Averages for Tian Chi

tianchi weather averages

Our Top Tian Chi Travel Tip

Although slightly spoilt by tourism the closeness to Urumqi makes the lake a good day or overnight trip.

Hand Picked Tian Chi Hotels

If you overnight here as opposed to visiting as a day trip from Urumqi, the best experience comes from staying in a Kazak yurt although it may not lead to the best night of sleep!

Explore More of China

Click the boxes below to explore further styles of destination in China.

By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.

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