|Ride a horse or trek along River Kanas and River Hemu to nomad villages and the deepest freshwater lake in China|
|Stay overnight at local family inns, in yurts or tents|
|Get in touch with the local Tuwa minority|
|Visit one of China's most impressive birdwatcher's paradises|
Horse Riding/Trekking Tour Jiadengyu - Lake Kanas
This tour will lead you to nomad villages like Hemu and Baihaba in the north-western part of Xinjiang, to China's deepest freshwater lake surrounded by snowcapped mountains and a birdwatcher's paradise around the alpine Black Lake, Lake Kanas and Lake Baisha and is specially designed for people, who want to explore this quiet, mountainous region with its lakes, mountains and forests on horseback or on foot, observe the local people's ancient way of life amidst impressive scenery far away from the noise of the big high-tech cities.Please click here for a detailed travel itinerary (pdf format)
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Hemu is located in the northern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, tucked within the hills and among the lush birch woods of Burqin County, near China's borders at Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan. Receiving no mobile phone signals, the villagers rely on satellite telephones to contact the outside world and only a few government offices have electricity. Hemu is inhabited by several hundred families descended from nomadic Mongols, Kazakhs, and Tuvas.
"Kanas" is Mongolian for "The Lake in the Canyon". Lake Kanas is an alpine lake hidden in the deep forest of the Altai Mountains and is China's deepest freshwater lake (the deepest area of this lake being about 184 meters). It is also a paradise for birdwatchers as about 117 different kinds of birds make their home along this lake. It covers an area of 44.78 square km. Its heavenly scenery consists of the surrounding snowcapped mountain, dark green forests, colorful butterflies and blossoming wild flowers.
The area around Lake Kanas is the only part of China that has plants and animals typical of south Siberian flora and fauna. Trees include the tall, straight Siberian larch, pagoda-shaped Siberian dragon spruce, sturdy Korean pine and Siberian fir. The known numbers of species living here amount to 798 plants and over 200 animals, birds, fishes and insects, many of which you do not find in other parts of Xinjiang and even China. With its forests, pastures, lakes and rivers the colorful nature is of great value for tourism, scientific research, history and culture.
The Kanas is situated in the cool temperature zone. The long winter season lasts seven months; spring and autumn link up without a clear summer all the year round and frost-free period reaches 80 to108 days. From early June to Mid-October each year, the climate here is pleasant; the mean temperature is around 16°C, with relative humidity of 63% even in the hottest month of July.
Best time for trekking:
July to September
During this time the temperature averages between 14.2 and 18.8 degree centigrade. Changing weather can turn a sunny sky into a mostly cloudy sky very quickly as it often rains in the late afternoon and evening.
Options: horse riding or trekking
Travelers who have horse-riding experience may cover a greater distance. You could actually enjoy galloping across a vast plain on the 3rd and 4th day.
But if you have never ridden a horse before, it might get quite painful after the initial excitement; especially if the horse breaks into a canter or goes at a gallop. You would rather want the horse to walk or trot. Furthermore, it might be difficult to take pictures when you have to take care of your horse.
For first-time riders it would not make a great difference when it comes to distance, although you could rest your feet from time to time when you sit on the back of your horse. For non-experienced riders we recommend that two people share one horse.