Travel Plan to Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

I love travel. The passion to travel to the most nature places was strengthened during my last visit to Daocheng.

Some readers complained that I didn’t give the Chinese name for the wonderful place. This is the complete address in Chinese

I remember the journey started with a simple note:

I will be away from the Internetized world for the next 8 days. From 6:00 AM tomorrow, I will be on my way to Daocheng, the lost Shangrila in China.

Source: I am on My Trip to Daocheng, the lost Shangrila:

When I wrote the entry, I didn’t realize how amazing the trip would be and the memeraizable journey ahead. After I returned to civilized world eight days later, I brought 200+ ditigal pictures, 100+ traditional film pictures and a long story.


The passion drives me to plan for my trip to Kanas Lake

Now, I am planning my travel schedule of this Oct holiday again. My eyes focus on the most northwest part of China – Kanas Lake – the “beautiful and misterious” lake, according to the Mongolian name. I marked the location of Kanas in the China map below:


Credit: Map borrowed from

Kanas pictures

My friends Tang sent the following pictures to me via email. It is so beautiful, isn’t it?








Resouces for Kanas

With the help of A tour Guide for China Hikers, I created the draft version of the route map:


Go to Kanas

Here is my draft plan:

  1. Shanghai -> Urumqi via China Eastern Airlines (standard price: 2550 RMB. After discount, it may only need 1650 RMB)
  2. Urumqi -> Burqin via buses (120 RMB)
  3. Burqin -> Jadenyu by renting a car (300 RMB)

If anyone has been there, please advice. Thanks.

Update: July 1, 2003

Detailed Kanas Plan is released.

SARS Update

As always, I will have to update you about the SARS situation in Shanghai. With the eighth imported SARS cases, which is a train attendant from Guangzhou, the city got seriously alerted. Most of the passengers in the same train have been found and quarantined, but there are still two persons missing. Today, 9 new cases were reported all over China. All new cases were found in Beijing.

Update: July 31, 2007

Isaac Mao finally visited Kanas, and took great photos from the lake. He posted his short travelogue: A wonderful view from my Kanas Lake memory.

Let me steal one photo from his blog:


Credit: Isaac Mao

34 thoughts on “Travel Plan to Kanas Lake, Xinjiang

  1. WOW! I am so inspired by your trip! I hope you can take another trip like this one some time. I am living here in Minnesota, USA and I am so much in love with Asia, IE Japan and China, Korea. I beleive that there is a strong relationship between all of these countries even though most people will say that it isn’t the case.

    I love the pictures! Did you hike there? Are there any roads to the park? How much is the trip in US dollars so I can get an idea.

    Thanks for sharing your trip there.

  2. Not yet. I will go there at the end of this Sept. I believe the trip will cost about 6000 RMB at most, which is about 700 USD – including 4000 RMB of air fare from Shanghai to Urumqi.

  3. I would like to tour to Tianjin state, as i am living at pakistan and i have some finanicial constraints so it is difficult to have a flight to beijing directly and tianjin after then.

    plz guide me if i reached Kasghar through silk road then how i will reach to tianjin.

    what will be the exact route.

    what will be the visa procedures

    what will be the exact cost till kasghar (Only traveling cost fare) then to tianjin

    plz guide and help

  4. Hi Arshad,

    It is not easy to get from the skil road to Beijing/Tianjin. If you do want me to design a route, it may costs a week. There is train from Urumqi in Xinjiang to Beijing.

    I am not sure about the visa procedure. You can consult the Chinese Consult in your country.

    The travel cost should be around 1000 RMB only for travel – that is about 200RMB.

    Good luck!

  5. plan change

    jswang and wendy could no longer join the trekking Travel Plan to Kanas Lake, Xinjiang.. will keep the plan, just called a relative who stayed in Altai for two years to get his help….

  6. i see eric’s article on run’s website, and i have asked my boyfriend to get those articles from Eric.

    Just got it when i was going back. I will see it tomorrow. rly helpful things. :)

    sori for not joining you guys last night, maybe next time :)

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  8. Thank you very much for showing us around China. We really appreciate you going above and beyond to make sure we have a pleasant stay. Hopefully we can keep in touch and meet again someday. I have a picture of Steve, you and I that I will e-mil you when I get back to the States. We wish you the very best!

  9. Hi, Jian Shuo,

    I walked the trail from Hemu to Kanas last September.

    Yes, I did it all on foot, in two days.

    I think I can offer you a lot more information in detail.



    P.S. My trip in 2004 took me through Yunan, Sichuan, Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Xinjiang. All in all, I spent 6 months on the road. You can check out some of the pictures I took during the trip.

  10. it is very interesting information,very useful for other people.we also have some information about southern china,yunnan,if you have time please visit our website

  11. I am from Baku/Azerbaijan and I am lover of Altai. What is a possible way for me to travel to Kanas? Are the any tourist company organizing travel to Kanas?

    kind regards,


  12. Hi! When is the best time to visit Kanas Lake?

    I am deciding between 16 Oct-21 Oct 06 and 21 Oct-28 Oct,06 not sure which stretch is a better option. The later week I have longer time to hange around but not sure whether it is too late to see any scenery.

    Btw, I am not able to see any photos in Eric’s forum – Has he withdrawn his photos from the forum?

    Please advise. Thanks.

  13. I think it should be better if you can go to there in first option, because you should have more chance to see the changing color of the leaf. I’ve just go to visit there for 4 days, April this year, in the time that Kanas still not open. Anyway , it is a very very wonderful place. Hope you have a nice trip there.. good luck. ^_^

  14. stunning scenery. really hope to join the trip with u folks. i heard a lot about the legendary giant red fish inhabitating in this myterious lake. wondering when to catch a glimpse of this.

  15. hi… anyone can share when is the best time to visit kanas lake? I plan to visit kanas lake this Oct and was informed by tour operator that Oct is too cold and road are closed due to snow.

    I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thanks.

  16. Oct is not completely not possible – early Oct is the last chance to go there, because after that, the snow will cover the whole area until spring of the next year. Before Oct, say, Sept is said to be the best place. Good luck, YYFoo!

  17. Jian Shuo,

    thanks for the info. appreciate it. Will plan for it next Sept during the Muslim new year holidays.

    Will settle for Kasghar, korla and maybe the Daocheng this Oct.


  18. Jian Shuo,

    changed of plan. we decided to go to Kanas this Oct 18. Hopefully still got some colors of autumn left.

  19. Hi Jian Shuo,

    don’t know if you made your 4 days trek in Kanas Lake area. Hope yes. If yes, how was the trail ? Can it be done without guide (GPS needed ?)



  20. jian shou, i finally made it to kanas lake. the scenery there is amazing, however the fish viewing pavilion is under renovation. they are building another structure beside the pavilion. look like a pagoda.

  21. Dear Friends

    When i saw all those picture, I change my plan to kanas lake instead of london, pls advice me if I will go there on july

    Thx a lots


  22. Hello Friends,

    I love to travel. Would appreciate if Jian Shuo or YYFoo can share your experience in DaoCheng. Do you go on your way or with a guided tour. Looking forward to hear from you. Thks and Happy Lunar New Year :)

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