Located in Chun'an County around 160 kilometers west of Hangzhou, in East China's Zhejiang Province, ( see China Map)Thousand Islets Lake is currently the largest man-made lake in China. It got its name from the 1078 islets in the lake. The lake is famous for its crystal-clear water and picturesque scenery. Covering an area of 573 square kilometers, the lake is more than one hundred times larger than West Lake in Hangzhou. A forest covers nearly 93 percent of the lake area, which is home to over 1,800 varieties of plants and 2,100 wild animals. With an average depth of 34 meters, its water visibility can reach 7 to 12 meters. See all beautiful lakes in China
Apart from its tranquil natural scenery, the lake also boasts exciting historical finds. Two ancient towns, both dating back more than 1,800 years, were discovered under the lake in 2002. After preliminary investigation, experts believe they might be the largest ancient building complexes found in China. The two towns were submerged 40 years ago to make way for a reservoir. Historical records show that the towns were filled with traditional Chinese buildings made of brick, stone and tile.
Biking around the lake is an interesting adventure. The road is in good condition. It may take two days to bike all the way around. See our Thousand Islets Lake biking guide for more information.
On of the most popular ways to visit the lake is to Take a cruise boat around the lake and enjoy its beautiful scenery. There are many cruise routes for travelers to choose. All routes take travelers to some of the islands.
Route A: Plum Peak Island (Meifeng Dao, 梅峰岛), Ostrich Island (鸵鸟岛)，Monkey Island (猴岛) and Three Pools Island (三潭岛).
Route B: Shenlong Island (神龙岛) – Lonshan Island (龙山岛) – Wulong Island (五龙岛)
Route C: Guihua Island (桂花岛) – Tianchi (天池) – Mishan Island (蜜山岛) – Huangshan Jian (黄山尖)
Boats starting from the central lake district:
Luxurious cruise boat: 45 yuan/person; 25 yuan/person for children between 1.10 meters and 1.40 meters tall
Normal cruise boat: 30 yuan/person; 15 yuan/person for children between 1.10 meters and 1.4 meters tall
Yacht: 60 yuan/person for Route A and 50 yuan/person for route B
Route A+B: Yacht (60 yuan/person
There are three wharfs along the lake.
Thousand Island Lake Wharf (千岛湖旅游码头); Location: Xin’an Avenue
In the spring, summer and autumn, tickets for the route A cruise are sold starting at 7 am, and the cruise boat departs at 8 am. Tickets for the route B cruise are sold starting at 12 am, and the boat leaves at 1 pm.
In the winter, tickets for the route A cruise are sold starting at 7 am and the ship departs at 8 am. Tickets for the route B cruise are starting at 12 am and the cruise starts at 1pm.
Maozhu Yuan Southeast Wharf (毛竹源东南旅游码头):
The boat departs at 8 am and returns at about 4 pm. The touring route is: Tianchi (天池) – Mianshan (蜜山) - Peacock Garden (孔雀园) – Three Pool Island (三潭岛) – Monkey Island (猴岛).
Xiyuan Wharf （西园旅游码头）
Location: South Xin’an Road, Qiandao Lake town (千岛湖镇新安南路). Boats depart when there are passengers, and they take travel route C.
Direct buses are available at Hangzhou West Long Distance Bus Station(杭州汽车西站). Buses are available from 6:00 to18:40 ,and run every 40 minutes.
Direct buses from Thousand Islets Lake are available at Qiandaohu Long Distance Bus (千岛湖长途汽车站). From 5:20 to 18:00, buses depart every 40 minutes.