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August 20, 2014

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Qiandao Lake provides beauty 1,000 times

Geographical features

Qiandao Lake (Thousand Islands Lake), located west of Hangzhou in Chun’an County, Zhejiang Province, is a first-class national scenic spot and the site of one of the largest national forest parks in China.

The lake covers an area of 978 square kilometers, with islands covering about 86 square kilometers. The lake is dotted with 1,078 large islands and more than 1,000 smaller ones, of which the most popular are Meifeng Island, Santan Island, Shenlong Island and Monkey Island. Known for its clarity and cleanliness, water from Qiandao Lake is used to produce bottled mineral water.

Embraced by green hills, Qiandao Lake boasts lush forests. The Qiandao Lake National Forest Park covers an area of 970 square kilometers, with a forest coverage rate of 83 percent. The dense forest purifies the air and provides a home to numerous species of animals and more than 1,800 kinds of plants.


The average temperature in the Qiandao Lake area is 17 degrees Celsius, while it can reach as hot as 36 degrees Celsius in late July and early August. The rainy season starts in middle of June and ends in mid-July. The best season to visit Qiandao Lake is September to November, when the temperature is mild and most days are sunny. April and May are also suitable, although you can expect a little drizzle at times.

Scenic spots

Qiandao Lake boasts six main scenic areas based on geographic location, each possessing their own unique and striking landscapes including the Stone Forest (the only stone forest in eastern China). In the Southeast Lake area, you can find Tianchi, Xianshan Island, Guihua Island and Mishan Island.

In the Central Lake area, there are Qiandao Lake Fishing Village, Meifeng Island and Wulong Scenic Area, which consists of Lock Island, Bird Island, Zhenqu Garden and Qishi Island connected by several bridges.

Lock Island, itself shaped like a giant lock, is a world of locks people have brought in, including those for happiness, wisdom and health. The first Lock Museum in China is located here, housing a huge safety lock.

The lake provides great opportunities for boating, offering “a lake within hills and a hill within lakes.” The water temperature remains about 14 degrees Celsius, cool in both summer and winter. There are two main boat trips: Line A starts at the Tourist Pier and stops at Meifeng, Monkey Island and Santan Island. Line B stops at Moonlight Island, Shenlong Island and Longshan Island.

Delicacies and local specialties

Qiandao Lake is well known for delicious freshwater fish. More than 80 species inhabit the lake. Fresh fish are usually steamed in a traditional local manner. Famous cuisines include fish with green onions, fish ball soup, wild boar strips with salt and pepper and silver-fish chowder. Fish head soup and organic fish head are also worth trying. The lake also offers fruits and nuts during all four seasons, such as persimmons, sweet jujubes and mountain walnuts.

There are various choices for souvenirs such as tea, inkstones, embroideries and pearls. Qiandao Jade Tea, formerly called Qiandao Longjing Tea, is native to the area, popular for its sweet, long-lasting scent.


Take the bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou, then take the bus to Chun’an County from Hangzhou West Bus Station. The buses connecting Hangzhou and Chun’an leave every half an hour.

There is also a direct bus line from Shanghai to Chun’an County, which departs from Shanghai South Railway Station about 8am.

Qiandao Lake is only 120 kilometers from scenic Yellow Mountain area in Anhui Province, and many tourists choose to combine these two spots in one trip.

The most convenient way is to join a one-day group tour to Qiandao Lake during a visit to Yellow Mountain. Alternatively, traveling by ship from Qiandao Lake to Yellow Mountain is a nice journey through beautiful nature.


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