Why Visit Qiandao Lake?
Qiandao Lake (千岛湖), known as the Xin’an River Reservoir, is an artificial lake completed in 1960 to hold up the upper reaches of the Xin’an River for the construction of the Xin 'an River Hydropower Station in Chun 'an County, about 129km west from Hangzhou. The water quality of Qiandaohu ranked top among great rivers and lakes in China, which is praised as “The Best Water in China”.
Thousand Island Lake Scenic Area has a good ecological environment, with 448 square kilometers of forest area and forest coverage rate is as high as 81%, forest coverage on islands reaches 93%. In 2010, the scenic spot was rated as a national AAAAA level scenic spot. Thousand Islets Lake in Hangzhou (杭州千岛湖), Kingston Thousand Island Lake (金斯顿千岛湖) in Canada and New Xiandao Lake (新仙岛湖) in Huangshiyang, Hubei, are known as the "Top 3 Thousand Island Lakes in the World".
Thousand Island Lake China, famous for the deep water, fresh and tender fish and sweet mountain spring water. The 1,078 islands stand out like jadeite on a jade plate. Looking down below from the air, small islets are like pellets of snails, large islets are like blue glaze made reel. The scenery of Qiandao Lake is not only as exquisite as Guilin mountains and rivers, but also as magnificent as the tremendous momentum of Dongting Lake.
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Top Attractions at Qiandao Lake
Qiandao Lake is mainly divided into six areas: Southeast Lake Area, Central Lake Area, Northwest Lake Area, Southwest Lake Area, Northeast Lake Area, and Fuxi Stone Forest. However, the Qiandao Lake we are talking about now mainly refers to the Central Lake Area, Southeast Lake Area and surrounding attractions with rural themes. As other areas are not fully developed, they can only be visited by private car. Each area needs at least a day to explore.
The Central Lake Area
Natural scenery and cultural sites complement each other. It is the most popular lake area in Thousand-island Lake Scenic Spot.
Meifeng Isand (梅峰) is the best place to climb on the top and have a panoramic view of the lake area. If you don’t like climbing, you can take the cable car at the foot of the mountain. There are two viewing platforms on the mountain peak, one on the east and one on the west. All essences of the scenery can be appreciated at the West Viewing Deck. Walking from the top to the bottom of the island, the scenery is excellent. You can personally experience the artistic conception of blue mountains, green water and golden belt emerged. Looking across Qiandao Lake, the islands are like plum blossoms floating on the water. The small islands dotted in front of you are like stars in the Milky Way. “The true face of Lushan is lost to your sight if you are not climbing to the top of Meifeng Peak.”
Longshan Isand (龙山岛) was originally a mountain. There are some historical relics on the island, such as Hai Rui Memorial Temple and Ninggu Bell Tower. You may appreciate the Chinese cursive of the letter “寿(which means longevity in English)” in the temple. Climbing up the stairs from Hai Rui Temple, along the way, there are birds and flowers, lush forests, about 500-level stone steps can reach Ninggu Bell Tower. There is an iron bell from the Ming Dynasty built in the building. Visitors can hit the clock if interested and overlook the lakes and mountains. Qiandaohu Town can be seen across the water, and you can enjoy the rare beauty of the world.
Moonlight Island (月光岛) is connected by four small islands and three bridges. Leaving boats and walking on the bridge to tour the lake is a specialty here. After landing on the island, you will find that this is the island with the theme of love. The Yuelao Statue sits in the garden next to the lake, which looks like he is reading the marriage for the visitors, and doing match-making works. Carp in a pond at the Yule Bridge compete for food from tourists; Locks are ubiquitous in the Love Garden (Qingyuan). There are said to be 160,000 locks on the island, the largest of which is a dragon lock in the Guinness Book.
Yule Island (渔乐岛) is a veritable "Entertainment Island". From the moment you set foot on the island, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that all the facilities on the island are in the shape of fish. There are also eye-catching shows and recreational facilities on the island. Water activities such as jet skis, bumper boats, floating on the water, banana boats, etc. will fully satisfy your every needs. There is also a giant pot on Yule Island, which is called "the first pot in Qiandao Lake."
Lake Cruise Routes and Ticket Price in Central Lake Area
Tourists need to take sightseeing cruises or rent private boats to visit highlights and scenic spots in the Central Lake Area. Qiandaohu cruises have different grades, information given below is the most chosen one:
- Morning Route Meifeng Island - Yule Island - Longshan Island (the whole trip takes about 5 hours)
- Afternoon Route: Yule Island - Longshan Island - Moonlight Island (the whole trip takes about 4-5 hours)
- Ticket Price CNY 65/adult, CNY 35/child (height between 1.2-1.5m), upgrade class needs extra payment
- Recommended Qiandao Lake Tour: ✔ 3 Days Hangzhou Highlights Tour with Qiandao Lake
Southeast Lake Area
Known for the folklore of mountains, waters and strange stones. It is the essence of the natural scenery of Qiandao Lake.
Climbing to the top of the mountain, overlooking the northwest, you will have a panoramic view of over 90 islands, like the "gong (公)" world in Chinese, as if a string of pearls scattered on the lake; looking southeast, a deep canyon divided Huangshanjian (黄山尖) and Xianshan Island; looking southwest, through the endless lake, Laoshan Island is hidden in the clouds and mist. The various islands and the blurred and twisted harbors constitute a series of beautiful landscapes.
Tianchi Island (天池岛), also known as Gem Mountain, was a stone quarrying place in the Southern Song Dynasty. There are 7 stone ponds formed by quarrying on the top of the mountain with abundant fish, which is also the most beautiful place on Tianchi Island. Many quarry sites from the Southern Song Dynasty can still be seen today. There is also a bird paradise on the island, known as the largest bird cage in China, which is very eye-catching.
Lake Cruise Routes and Ticket Price in Southeast Lake Area
- Cruise Route Huangshanjian - Tianchi Island - Mishan
- Ticket Price CNY 65/adult, CNY 35/child (height between 1.2-1.5m), upgrade class needs extra payment
The Southwest Lake Area
Nearly 1 hour's drive from Qiandaohu Town and is almost diagonally at the farthest end of the lake. Cycling or driving around the lake are the best ways to explore the southwest lake area.
Longchuan Bay Wetland Forest Park
Longchuan Bay Wetland Forest Park (龙川湾湿地森林公园) is the top scenic spot in the Southwest Lake Area. There are low mountains, hills and lakes on the peninsula, with obvious wetland features. The most interesting thing is there is not only the large lake - Thousand Island Lake outside the peninsula, but also a number of small lakes inside the peninsula. The secondary and ancient forests flourish here. In autumn, the color is the most abundant, coupled with the reflection in the lake and the prospect of the meadow, the scenery has a strong sense of oil painting, which is very suitable for people who like photography.
Qinchuan Ancient Residence
Qinchuan Ancient Residence (芹川古民居) has a history of more than 750 years and is divided into two halves by a mountain stream of different widths. Looking down from the top of the mountain, the whole village forms a "King (王)" character along the stream. The houses were built by the water and stretched along a winding stream to the foot of the mountain. The ancient Huizhou residences in the village with carved beams and painted rafters are telling the old story of the village.
Top 4 Things to Do in Qiandao Lake
Have the Panoramic view of Qiandao Lake on Meifeng or Huangshanjian Peak
People who have climbed Meifeng Island have seen the most beautiful Qiandao Lake, especially overlook from the west viewing platform. The scenery is particularly beautiful. You can personally experience the picturesque scenery of blue mountains, green water and golden belt. Of course, if you want to avoid the crowds, Huangshanjian would be a better choice for you. The island is very small. It’s easily to walk around. It’s an island you won't regret coming to.
Don’t miss the Tasty Fish Dishes in Qiandao Lake
Good water keeps good fish. It is said that fish in Qiandao Lake have no taste of dirt. The white fish head soup in Qiandao Lake will make your mouths water. It’s also a special dish served on state banquets. Qiandao Lake Fish Dishes and Xiushui Renjia are recommended restaurants in Qiandao Lake Scenic Area.
Cycle or Drive along the Lake Road, Discover Beauty at the Corner
The beauty of the road around Qiandao Lake is no less than the road around the lake in Denmark. It’s also being praised as "Seto Inland Sea in China". What's more surprising is that there are both convenient service points for driving and riding along the highway, and scattered farmhouses and agritainments along the lake.
Change to Holiday Mood and Enjoy the Fresh Air and Wild Bird Wake up Call
Thousand Island Lake is a very suitable place for vacation, gathering a number of domestic or international first-line resort hotels... Resting in such a pleasant scenery of green mountains and clear waters, drinking a cup of tea in the afternoon, and enjoying the isolation of the quietness, what a spiritual purification journey!
Recommended Qiandao Lake Tour: ✔ 3 Days Hangzhou Highlights Tour with Qiandao Lake
Weather & Best Time to Visit Qiandao Lake
Qiandao Lake is located in the middle of the subtropical zone with a subtropical monsoon climate. It is sunny and dry in winter, hot and humid in summer. The climate is mild and humid with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature of Qiandao Lake is 15-17℃. The average annual precipitation is 1319mm. The rainy season is from early June to early July, and from mid-July to late August is the summer drought, and the weather is sultry.
Best Time to Visit & Seasonal Highlights of Qiandao Lake
Qiandao Lake is a picturesque resort which is suitable to visit all year around, March to November is the best time to visit Qiandao Lake. Qiandao Lake spring is from March to May. With clear waters and blue mountains accompanying, boating on the lake is an enjoyment. Visitors can also go to Qinchuan to see rape flowers blossom, pick tea at Lishang and dig bamboo shoots at Linqi. Summer is from June to August, tourists can enjoy all kinds of water sports and activities. Rafting is a popular choice in summer. You can also head to Forest Oxygen Bar and Qiandao Lake Stone Forest. However summer rains from time to time, which will make you feel a little stuffy. Autumn (September - November) is the most beautiful season of Qiandao Lake. During autumn, the sky is high and clear and visibility reaches to the best. Climbing on the top of Meifeng Island, visitors may record more than 300 islands in one picture. Besides, Hongye Bay is a blaze of colour, islands are full of fruits and melons, fish in the lake are fat and tasty. Everything is nice and wonderful. After the winter solstice, the water in Qiandao Lake is crystal clear. It is refreshing to visit Qiandao lake at this time. You will not be bothered by noisy crowds, and enjoy a quiet and pleasant winter vacation.
Dressing Tips of Visiting Qiandao Lake
The temperature difference between the water and the land is not large throughout the year in Qiandao Lake. Besides wearing short sleeves in summer, and a cotton-padded jacket in winter. There is a big temperature difference between morning and evening in spring and autumn, so you should prepare an extra coat. Visitors are recommended to choose waterproof outwear to isolate moisture. Remember to bring rain gear in April and May, sunscreen, sun blocks and other sun gear like sunglasses, etc are necessary for visiting Qiandao Lake in summer.
Transportation & How to Get to Qiandao Lake
Thousands Island Lake China is located in the western suburb of Hangzhou city, about 129km west from Hangzhou and 130km southeast from Huangshan, can be reached by high-speed train, car and bus recently. Most tourists are from Hangzhou. However, it’s also convenient to get to the scenic area from other surrounding cities like Shanghai, Huangshan and Suzhou, etc.
More information about how to get to Hangzhou, Shanghai and Huangshan, please visit Hangzhou Transportation | Shanghai Transportation | Huangshan Transportation >>
Get to Qiandao Lake
By High-speed Train: More than 33 high-speed trains run from Hangzhou East Railway Station or Hangzhou South Railway Station to Qiandaohu Railway Station every day from 6:45 - 22:18. The whole journey only takes 50 - 70 minutes. Besides, there are also high-speed trains from Shanghai (2-2.5 hours), Huangshan (30-40 minutes), Suzhou (2.5-3 hours), Wuxi (2.5-3 hours), etc. Qiandaohu Railway Station (千岛湖站) is 28km away from Thousand Island Lake Scenic Area and about 25km away from Qiandaohu Town, which takes about 30-40 minutes by taxi.
By Car: There is a well-established highway connecting Qiandao Lake with Hangzhou and other surrounding cities, which only takes about 2-3 hours from Hangzhou, 2.5-3.5 hours from Huangshan and 4.5-5 hours from Shanghai.
By Bus: There are also long-distance buses to Qiandao Lake from Hangzhou, Shanghai, Huangshan Scenic Area and Wuxi. It takes about 3 hours to get to Qiandaohu Town (千岛湖镇) from Hangzhou and Huangshan, and 6 hours from Shanghai.
Train Stations to Hangzhou Thousand Island Lake Scenic Area: Visitors can transfer to the Scenic Area and Qiandaohu Town by private car, taxi or bus.
Get around Thousand Island Lake Scenic Area
Attractions in Central Lake Area and Southeast Lake Area in Qiandao Lake are mostly on islands, which needs to reach by sightseeing cruise or private boat.
However, if you want to visit the Southwest Lake Area or other attractions nearby, rent a bicycle or book a private car would be better choices.
Private Tour with China Discovery (Top Recommended)
If you want to get rid of the hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining, accommodation and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Qiandao Lake with speed and convenience, and our English-speaking guide will take care of all the details and accompany you the whole journey. You just need to focus on sightseeing. Feel free to contact us if you need any help!
Hot Qiandao Lake Tour: ✔ 3 Days Hangzhou Highlights Tour with Qiandao Lake
Qiandao Lake Accommodation & Where to Stay
There are no hotels in the scenic area, tourist boats need to return on the same day. Therefore, Qiandao Town is the best place for accommodation. From the bus station to Qiandaohu Square, there are numerous hotels for you to choose. Luxury hotels and resorts are basically situated on the peninsula, near the lake or around the dock. Economic hotels and hostels are mostly concentrated on Xin’an Avenue and North Xin’an Street. Xin’an Avenue is the main street in Qiandaohu Town and it’s a must passing-by-road to the two main docks of Thousand Islets Lake, which is convenient for shopping and eating. Moreover, public security is good at Qiandao Lake. If you are looking for a fresh experience, camping is allowed at squares around the scenic area, courier stations along Qianfeng Trails and Chunyang Trails.
Recommended Hotels to Stay in Qiandao Lake
• InterContinental One Thousand Island Lake Resort (千岛湖洲际度假酒店) ★★★★★
Address: Wanxiang Road, Xianshan Peninsula, Chun'an, Zhejiang (淳安县千岛湖镇羡山半岛)
• New Century Resort Qiandao Lake (千岛湖开元度假村) ★★★★★
Address: No.888 Sunshine Road, Chun’an County, Zhejiang (淳安县阳光路888号)
Qiandao Lake Scenic Area Ticket & Price of Lake Cruise
Tickets of Thousand Island Lake Scenic Area
Thousand Island Lake Scenic Area tickets’ prices are different in high season and low season.
- Peak Season (March 1st-November 30th, the same below): CNY 150/person;
- Off Season (December 1st-the end of February of the following year, the same below): CNY 120/person.
Meifeng Island Cable Car
- Tickets Price (Adult): Upward CNY 35/single-way, Downward CNY 30/single-way, CNY 60/round-trip
- Tickets Price (Child): Upward CNY 20/single-way, Downward CNY 15/single-way, CNY 30/round-trip
Notice: Information given above might be change according to the real situation, for more accurate news, please feel free to contact us!
Attraction with Rural Themes near Qiandao Lake
- Address: Shangxi Village, Pingmen, Qiandaohu (千岛湖屏乡上西村)
Continuous mountains, lovely peaks, verdant bamboo, magnificent waterfalls, the white walls and black tiles, and the lingering pastoral songs... All scenery mentioned above can be enjoyed in the Jiupaojie Scenic Area (九咆界). Shiyuan Canyon, known for its canyon scenery, winding twists and turns with waters flowing straight down the valley. Shangxi Village still maintains a self-subsistence peasant economy and traditional folk customs. The simple folk customs and the beautiful idyllic scenery are quite like the scenery in Tao Yuanming's poem "picking chrysanthemums under the eastern fence and leisurely seeing Nanshan".
Thousand Island Lake Stone Forest
- Address: Shilin Town, Chun’an County (淳安县石林镇境内)
- Opening Time: 8:00 - 18:00
- Recommend Time of Visit: 1.5 hours
Thousand Island Lake Stone Forest (千岛湖石林) is a labyrinth-like lava landscape, mainly composed of three parts: Lanyuping, Daimaoling and Xishanping. It is one of the four major stone forests in China. The peaks in the scenic area are unique in shape, some of them look like humans, others are like objects, birds or beasts. Its vast area, large scale, and wonderful landscape are known as "the first stone forest in East China". You can tour the Southeast Lake District in a series.
Baiyunxi Rafting (White Cloud Creek Rafting)
- Address: Qiandaohu Resort, Songcun, Thousand-island
- Opening Time: 9:00-17:30
- Recommend Time of Visit: 1-2 hours
Take a rubber and float down the stream, rushing through the dangerous shoals and rafting river way with nine bends and eighteen bends; enjoy the idyllic scenery composed of surrounding green mountains and the quaint Chun'an residents.
More Qiandao Lake Travel Tips:
1. Attractions in Thousand Island Lake are mostly on islands of the lake, tourists must take a cruise (cheap but slow) or yacht (exciting but expensive) to get to the scenic spots and islands. Seasick tourists should prepare and eat some seasick medicine in advance, so as not to influence your travelling mood;
2. Tourist docks in Qiandao Lake all have sloping shores. Visitors should not wear high heels. Sports shoes are recommended;
3. Qiandao Lake is a mountainous area. In addition to many scenic spots on the lake, it is also suitable to enjoy a slow-paced life. Go fishing and barbecue on the lake, visit some local villages and experience the simpler folk customs there;
How to Plan a Qiandao Lake China Tour
Most people would take 1-3 days to tour Qiandao Lake. Each area needs at least a day to explore. So if you don’t have enough time, you are recommended a 1 day tour to the Central Lake Area or Southeast Lake Area to enjoy the essence of Qiandao Lake Scenery. If you have enough time and would like to have a deeper tour in Qiandao Lake. You can spend another 2-3 days trying exciting rafting, cycle or drive to Longchuanwan Scenic Area and Qinchuan Ancient Residence at Southwest Lake Area, and explore more attractions around such as Jiupaojie, Qiandao Lake Stone Forest, etc.
For those who want a classic Jiangnan city tour, you are recommended to visit Qiandao Lake with popular surrounding cities such as Hangzhou, Shanghai and Suzhou. Of course, you can extend your trip to some ancient water towns nearby, such as Wuzhen, Xitang and Tongli Water Town, etc.
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For those who prefer more natural scenery of mountains and rivers, you can visit one of the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site - The Yellow Mountain, then take a boat along the Hundred Miles Gallery of Xin’an River to Qiandao Lake. The picturesque scenery will accompany your boat trip, taking you into a fancy dream.
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China boasts a lot of wonderful nature, culture, history and city charm to discover, such as Beijing, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Guilin, Chengdu, Yunnan, Guizhou, etc. Extend your Jiangnan trip to more popular destinations to enrich your exploration of China in one go!
Travel Qiandao Lake with China Discovery
China Discovery is an experienced, professional and reliable travel companion devoted to offering high-quality and the best tour services for all travelers to China. In order to have a hassle-free travel and focus on the trip itself, it’s highly recommended travelling with China Discovery. So, you can enjoy convenient airport pick-up and drop-off service and transportation to all scenic spots in a safe, clean, comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking vehicle. Also, we will arrange knowledgeable local English-speaking tour guides, excellent accommodation and dining arrangements to ensure you rest well and get a better understanding of highlights in Zhejiang. The tour can be tailor-made according to your interests, time, group size, budget and every special need. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us to customize your tour!
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