Last month a list of China’s most beautiful scenery was published. Among the categories were rankings of the country’s most beautiful lakes. Qinghai Lake, Hangzhou’s West and Qiandao Lakes moved up to occupy the top three spots.
Qinghai Lake 青海湖
1. Qinghai Lake 青海湖 (Xining City, Qinghai)
The vast and beautiful Qinghai Lake is often known by its Mongol name, Koko Nor. It is the largest inland saltwater lake in China and sits approximately 150km (193 miles) from Xining, 3,200 meters (10,500ft) above sea level.
The water of the lake reaches 28.71 m. (77.79 feet) at the deepest point. The color of the water changes with the time of day and the time of year, and varies with the water depth as well, which has earned it the nickname 'Seven-Colored Lake'. Where the water is most still, it reflects the deep lush greens of the mountain like a mirror, but at the mouth of one of the tributary rivers, the water appears to be yellow, as a result of the teeming fish swimming close to the surface. It is this abundant supply of fish that attracts huge numbers of birds to the lake, which in turn bring ornithologists and nature enthusiasts.
West Lake 西湖
2. West Lake 西湖 (Hangzhou, Zhejiang)
West Lake won more than five million votes in a recent netizen poll, just slightly less than first place finisher Qinghai Lake.
Qiandao Lake 千岛湖
3. Qiandao Lake 千岛湖 (Hangzhou, Zhejiang)
Two of the top three lakes in China are located in Hangzhou. The local tourism bureau says that Hangzhou is a city famous for its lovely waters: in addition to Qiandao Lake there is also the well-known West Lake and the Grand Canal. Much of Hangzhou’s tourism revolves around these lakes and it has become a popular vacation spot for both Chinese and foreigners.
Nam Co Lake 纳木错湖
4. Nam Co Lake 纳木错湖 (Dangxiong County, Tibet)
Nam Co, which means “heavenly lake” in Tibetan, is not only the holy land in the eyes of believers, but also a popular draw for tourists to the region. Last year Nam Co was named “the Most Beautiful Place in China”, awarded the standing as China's five most beautiful lakes, and won the peoples’ hearts with her sacred purity.
Lugu Lake 泸沽湖
5. Lugu Lake 泸沽湖 (at the boundary of Sichuan and Yunan)
Ching-po Lake 镜泊湖
6. Ching-po Lake 镜泊湖 (Mudanjiang in Heilongjiang)
Kanas Lake 喀纳斯湖
7. Kanas Lake 喀纳斯湖 (Altay Mountains, Xinjiang)
Kanas Lake is the highlight of any visit to Kanas nature reserve. Cool water from Kanas Glacier winds its way 125 kilometers through mountains until it pools at this spectacular spot on the Kanas River. The color of the water varies a great deal according to the season, the weather and the depth of the water: sometimes it appears a deep sky blue, at others it' s a lush forest green, but sometimes it can appear as white as milk. The lake covers 4,570 hectares (11,293 acres) so the lakeside is vast.
Yuncheng Saline Lake 运城盐湖
8. Yuncheng Saline Lake 运城盐湖 (Yuncheng, Shanxi)
East Lake of Wuhan 武汉东湖
9. East Lake of Wuhan 武汉东湖 (Wuhan, Hubei)
The East Lake in Wuhan is actually, and unbelievably, five times the size of West Lake in Hangzhou. It’s located in Wuchang, one of the suburbs of Wuhan. Wuhan itself is carved by the river into three sections: Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankou. The East Lake park lies on the southern bank of the long fabled Yangtze River. The area around Wuhan itself is surrounded by green mountains thick with foliage and layered farms with rice paddies.
Taiping Lake 太平湖
10. Taiping Lake 太平湖 (Huangshan Mountain, Anhui)
Read the original in Chinese here
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