On another Sunday tour, we went to Tian Chi (the “Heavenly Lake”), 2:30hrs and 110km by minivan from Ürümqi and plus a few minutes by cable car. The place is simply beautiful, similar in many ways to the the Rocky Mountains or possibly Lake Louise in Canada, but the hotels were rustic and cheap. The crystal clear lake, situated at an altitude of 1910m is surrounded by mountains, some in the background covered with snow and beyond were the glaciers. We took a boat ride across the lake.
Flávio and I stayed in a typical circular tent, known as “yurt”, by Mr. Rashit, with a “natural” bathroom and no shower, away from the tourist center. Inside it was very colorful, full of carpets that also used as walls, the predominant color was red. The group of foreigners returned to Ürümqi.
Kazakhstans settled here, I didn’t see much difference comparing to the Uighurs. I took some pictures, filmed and watched the children play and speak a language my ears had never heard before. I was surprised, because even the cellphone picked up here!
[Kazakh children in China.]
Flavio had his sleep bothered by a mouse, who in turn woke me up in the middle of the night, he thought I was the one who was poking him. I went back to sleep not knowing about the rat, I just didn’t want to be disturbed.
In the late morning after washing my hair with the icy water of the lake, we went to the top of a mountain behind our “yurt”, the view was spectacular! Then we went around the lake towards the snowy mountain, of course we didn’t get there, it was too far, the horse would be easier, but we weren’t willing to spend seven hours on top of a horse just to get to the glaciers.
We moved to another “yurt” closer to the tourist center and more beautiful too, had even electricity, but without shower, where I met a beautiful young Kazakhstan, she was a sister of Rashit, Kul Joen had clear eyes and looked like a Japanese, she was sweet and possessed soft features, she gave music classes. I couldn’t know how they were so different from each other.
Here it worth spending more time to explore the region better by hiking cause of the nature, it is too amazing this place.
Yurt – Kazakh tents
The next day, in the morning wanting to be friendly and helpful, I helped Kul Joen carry a huge, very heavy drum of water, because there was no running water, this was a routine whenever the water ran out. The drum was so heavy I could hardly stand to carry without a break.
The return to Ürümqi took about four hours to the house where we were staying, because we took a public bus and had to make few transfers.
In the evening we went to the “night market”, the night market of Jia He Yuen, close to where I was staying. There were basically food stalls, but nothing as exotic as in Beijing.