Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake), Hangzhou – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

qiandao lake

Qiandao Lake (千岛湖), also known as Thousand Island Lake, is a magnificent artificial reservoir formed by the impoundment of the Xin’an River Dam. Its name is derived from the presence of 1,078 islands of varying sizes scattered across its vast expanse. Situated on the renowned “Hangzhou-Qiandao Lake-Huangshan Mountain” golden tourist route, Qiandao Lake is a shining gem amidst the distinguished cities, lakes, and mountains.

Divided into six scenic areas, namely the Southeast Lake Area, Central Lake Area, Northwest Lake Area, Southwest Lake Area, Northeast Lake Area, and Shilin Scenic Area, Qiandao Lake boasts a diverse range of attractions. The Central and Southeast Lake Areas are particularly noteworthy for visitors.

The lake is a haven of biodiversity, hosting 1,786 plant species and over 2,000 animal and insect species. The islands in the lake contribute to a remarkable forest coverage of 82.5%.

Qiandao Lake forms an integral part of a well-connected tourism network alongside other national scenic spots such as West Lake in Hangzhou, Huangshan Mountain in Anhui, Xidi Hongcun Village, Wuyuan in Jiangxi, Sanqing Mountain, and Wuyi Mountain in Fujian. Together, they create a seamless tapestry of natural wonders for travelers exploring the beauty of China.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 days
Ticket PriceCentral Lake Area (including Boat Cruise): 185 RMB
Southeast Lake Area (including Boat Cruise): 185 RMB
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-4008811988

Location and Transportation

Qiandao Lake is situated within the jurisdiction of Chun’an County in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Positioned between approximately 29°11′ to 30°02′ north latitude and 118°34′ to 119°15′ east longitude, the lake spans approximately 150 kilometers in length and exceeds 10 kilometers in width at its widest point.

To reach Qiandao Lake from Hangzhou, you have several transportation options:

  1. Long-distance Bus: Long-distance buses to Qiandao Lake are available at Hangzhou Bus North Station and Hangzhou Bus South Station. The journey takes approximately 2 hours, with ticket prices around 70 yuan.
  2. High-Speed Train + Public Bus/Taxi: This is the most recommended option. First, take a high-speed train from Hangzhou East Station or Hangzhou Station to Qiandao Lake Station. The train ride is approximately 1 hour, and the ticket costs around 70 yuan. Upon arrival at Qiandao Lake Station, you can choose to take a public bus or a taxi to the scenic area, which is about 25 kilometers away.

Highlights of Qiandao Lake

Southeast Lake Area

southeast lake area in qiandao lake

Tianchi Island (天池岛): At the top of this island, seven artificially excavated stone pools bear the traces of garden stones extensively used by the Southern Song Dynasty to construct palaces, pavilions, and archways in Lin’an (Hangzhou). These remnants are collectively referred to as Tianchi, or “Heavenly Pool.”

Mishan Island (密山岛): With an area of 0.36 square kilometers and an elevation of 223 meters, Mishan Island is a picturesque haven with a profound Zen culture. The island is home to Mishan Zen Temple, where the legend of the “three monks without water to drink” is said to have originated.

Huangshan Jian (黄山尖): The main peak of this attraction rises to an altitude of 266 meters. From the mountaintop, one can overlook numerous islands naturally arranged to form the characters “天下为公” (The world is for everyone).

Central Lake Area

central lake area in qiandao lake

Moonlight Island (月光岛): Spanning over 60 acres, Moonlight Island exudes a romantic atmosphere and rich cultural heritage. Themed around “love,” the island features four gardens named “情” (emotion), “系” (connection), “心” (heart), and “梦” (dream), along with ferry services for visitors.

Yule Island (渔乐岛): Encompassing an area of 90 acres and reaching an elevation of 140 meters, Yule Island boasts an intricate network of harbors and channels. The island houses reception facilities for the Central Lake Area, offering a blend of dining, entertainment, water sports, and leisure sightseeing.

Meifeng Island (梅峰岛): One of the most popular islands in the Qiandao Lake scenic area, Meifeng Island can be reached by cable car from the foot of the mountain. The summit features East and West observation platforms, with the latter offering panoramic views of the densely clustered islands.

Osmanthus Island (桂花岛): Covering an area of 120 acres, Osmanthus Island is named after the wild osmanthus trees that adorn the island. It showcases three distinctive features: scenic walking trails cleverly using rocks as barriers, vast wild osmanthus forests displaying remarkable vitality, and karst landforms created by millions of years of erosion, a natural masterpiece.

Northwest Lake Area

northwest lake area in qiandao lake

Situated near the western border of Zhejiang, the Northwest Lake Area of Qiandao Lake is centered around Weiping. Stretching from the Huchuan Archipelago in the east to the Shuozhen Peninsula in the south and connecting to the Weiping Peninsula in the north, it serves as a crucial passage to Min County and Huangshan Mountain. Rich in historical remnants of the ancient Xin’an River, this area features a narrow and elongated lake surface flanked by peculiar peaks. Key attractions include the Chen Shuozhen Uprising Site, Fang La Uprising Site, Liuxiang Waterfall, Changling Stone Pillars, and the Jin Ao You Valley.

Southwest Lake Area

southwest lake area in qiandao lake

The Jieshou Archipelago (界首群岛), overlooking the Yunmeng Archipelago in the Central Lake Area across the water, is approximately 0.5 kilometers from the county seat, comprising 142 large and small islands with a total area of about 40,244.6 acres. The islands are densely packed, forming a “hundred-bay maze,” with lush forests and the highest peak in the northeast reaching an altitude of 262 meters, offering the best vantage point to gaze upon the lake.

Longchuan Peninsula (龙川半岛), 36 kilometers from the county seat is adorned with forests covering approximately 4,000 acres, featuring fragrant trees like pine, green stone markers, and Huangtan hardwood. Surrounding the peninsula, numerous small and large islands create a picturesque and winding landscape.

Baima Cave (白马乳洞) is just 1 kilometer from the county seat. The entrance to Baima Cave is around 10 meters wide, showcasing peculiar stones resembling bridges, dragons, tigers, monks, and lychees.

Northeast Lake Area

northeast lake area in qiandao lake

Centered around Yanshan Hill, the Northeast Lake Area of Qiandao Lake stretches from the central Tang Island in the Jinxian Archipelago to Yujia Tan Island, bordered by Wenma Wharf to the east and Anlong Peninsula to the west. This area features a narrow lake surface, boasting natural beauty. Due to transportation constraints, it is yet to be fully developed. Key attractions include Yanshan Spring Scene, Pingfeng Peculiar Stones, Qian Mu Tian (Thousand Acres of Fields), and Longmen Waterfall.

Qiandao Lake Stone Forest Scenic Area

qiandao lake stone forest scenic area

Located in the southeastern part of Qiandao Lake, in Shilin Town, this scenic area is 46 kilometers away from Qiandao Lake Town. Being relatively distant from popular tourist spots and with road conditions not being ideal, the number of visitors to this area is limited. Despite this, the Stone Forest Scenic Area offers a unique and tranquil experience for those willing to venture a bit further.

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