Tianchi Lake---The Highest Crater Lake in China
Lying at the top of the volcanic cone of the main peak, Tianchi Lake is the most famous scenic spot in the Changbaishan Mountain Area in the north of Jilin Province. In the shape of the lotus leaf, the lake is a natural result of volcanic eruption. With an altitude of 2,189 meters, it is the boundary lake between China and North Korea and also the cradle of Manchu, Korean and Han nationalities.
Tianchi Lake is crystal clear and mirror-smooth. The air currents over the lake are known for their capriciousness. The lake water flows out all year round, and is the source of many big rivers in northeast China. It is common for sunshine and rain to occur at the same time. It may rain very hard one minute, but you may soon find the sun shining warmly the next minute. Sometimes, you can even watch it rain in the west and shine in the east. Besides the wonderful scenery and astonishing climate, many witnesses have claimed that there are monsters in the lake! Some witnesses even took photos as proof, but there is still no conclusive evidence.
To the northeast of Tianchi Lake stands the highest peak, called the Tianwenfeng Peak. At an attitude of 2,670 meters, Tianwenfeng Peak is made of pumice stones in volcanic lava. Pale grey and light yellow pumice stones form impressible shapes. A precipice leaning toward Tianchi Lake wears it like a silvery bracelet. The Tianwenfeng Peak has always been the optimum place to view Tianchi Lake, but the slippery and fragile pumice stones make climbing a fairy arduous task. However, few tourists decline the challenge of the peak.
About 50 meters long, the butianshi (Patch-Up of the Sky) stone is an arch stone lying in the western side of the water outlet of the Tianchi Lake. Its smooth surface can hold people. Standing on it, tourists can look upward at the peaks or bend down to taste the clear lake water.
Tianchi Lake sleeps peacefully in the embrace of mountains. The only opening lies on the northern side, allowing the water to flow out. About 1,250 meters below Tianchi Lake, a sudden fall in terrain creates a splendid waterfall, with a drop of 68 meters. The waterfall can be seen throughout the year. In mid-winter, the sprayed water drops turn instantly into icy pearls. They cluster together and form terrific ice flowers spreading in all direction.
Spring at Changbaishan Mountain may arrive as late as May. Still, it is a pleasure to enjoy the alpine azaleas brimming on the slopes. The temperature is still fairly low, and snow remains in many places. Breathing deep, you will both find the vitality of spring and coldness of winter.
Tianchi Monster
Many believe that the lake is home to the Lake Tianchi Monster. It is unknown if the monster and legendary Kun are related.
On September 6, 2007, Zhuo Yongsheng (director of a TV station's news center run by the administration office of the nature reserve at Mount Changbaishan, Jilin), shot a 20-minute video of 6 seal-like, finned "Lake Tianchi Monsters", near the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). He sent pictures of the Loch Ness-type creatures to Xinhua's Jilin provincial bureau. One of them showed the creatures swimming in 3 pairs, in parallel. Another showed them together, leaving ripples on the volcanic lake.
Best Time to Go
July, August and September
An average annual temperature is 35.6F to 42.8F. The coldest temperature is -9.4F to -29.2F and the hottest is 93.2F to 100.4F. The rain is centered from July to August.
Around Landscape
Jingjiang Great Valley, Changbai Mountain Mixed Korean Pine and Broadleaf Forest, Mountain Garden, Snow-hill Lake, Peace Ski, Drift on Gudong River, Bright-moon Lake, Fumang Ecology Valley, etc.
Local Snacks and Specialties
Ginseng, Young pilose antler, Medicinal materials, Agaric, Cangshu, Wood Painting, Songhua Ink stone, Stone-engraved, etc.
Travel Tips
1. For the weather, raincoats and sunscreen are recommended, and try to remind you that the mists add a little unearthliness to the lake.
2. On the mountain it is colder, so take warmer cloth before climbing.
3. Buy and take enough necessity and get to know the weather before climbing mountain.
4. Please take sunbonnet, sunglass, umbrella, and suntan oil in summer.
Be sure to respect local ethical customs and traditions.
Admission fee: RMB 100/person, Sightseeing bus: RMB 45/person, Sightseeing bus to Tianchi Lake: RMB 80/person, Corridor of Tianchi Lake: RMB 25/person, Waterfall: RMB 15/person, Museum: RMB 20/person, Hot-spring bath: RMB 80/person, Garden of Beauty Pine: RMB 8/person, Float-stone Forest: RMB 30/person, Hulin Garden: RMB 50/person.
Opening hours: 08:00~16:00
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