Thousand Island Lake is located in Chunan County is western Zhejiang Province. It is an artificial lake formed by Xiannanjiang Hydroelectric Power Station. It is in a park area with a forest, and it is a water reservoir. Thousand Island Lake is about two hours away from Hangzhou that is one of China's most successful cities. The lake covers five hundred and seventy square kilometers and has about one thousand islands. If you want to bike around it, it is 210 kilometers (130.5 miles) around. Here are routes you can take around it. See China Highlights' tours to Thousand Island Lake.
Biking most of the way around the Thousand Island Lake (千岛湖; Qiandao Hu) is interesting. However, you can't bike all the way around. People have to take a ferry part of the way. It may take two days to bike around it. The artificial lake was formed in 1959. It is said to have 1,078 islands. The water is said to be clean. There is a big brand for bottled water in China called Nongfu, and it is said that the water that they sell comes from the lake. You can see various kinds of animals around the lake and on various islands.
Qiaodao Lake Town (千岛湖镇) - Shangjiangbu (上江埠)
The journey around Thousand Island Lake is about 210 kilometers (130.5 miles) long. Riders can start from Qiaodao Lake Town (千岛湖镇) and go to Shangjiangbu (上江埠) and take the ferryboat for 8 kilometers (5 miles). The ferries leave in the morning between 7:30 and 10:30. After that, there is a break, and the ferries start up again in the afternoon. Putting bikes on the boat costs a few additional RMB.
From there, travel 12 kilometers or 7.5 miles to go to Xuchun Toll Station (许淳收费站), and then you can get to An Yang Xiang (安阳乡). You might want to see some temples there.
Dashu Town (许淳)- Fenkou Town ((汾口镇).: along with mountains and water
Following the road east to Dashu Town (大墅镇). It is about 15 kilometers or 10 miles to the east. From there, go another 50 kilometers (32 miles) from Dashu Town (大墅镇)to Fenkou Town (汾口镇). Fenkou Town sits on the eastern tip of the lake. The Xianyuan Mountain Reservior (口霞源山水库) is said to be the water source for Thousand Island Lake Beer. The road is good and the scenery is picturesque.
Fenkou Town ((汾口镇).- Qinchuan (芹川): to see the old camphor trees in the town
If you continue to ride for about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles), you can get to Qinchuan. It is an ancient town surrounded by the mountains. Since it is a little remote, the town isn't as modernized, and you can see typical buildings built in the style of Anhui Province. There are five big old camphor trees at the end of the village. You can stay overnight there.
Qinchuan (芹川)— Songcun (宋村) - Zhenwu(珍坞)
The route the next day is along the northern side of the lake. Ride for 69 kilometers (37.3 miles) or more from Qinchuan to Songcun during which you can appreciate the delicate islands and the blue water of the lake. It is only 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) from Songcun to Zhenwu, and the lake is deep and beautiful on the way. Continuing to ride for a little distance, you can get to the end of the journey—Qiaodao Lake Bridge.
- Transportation: You can take a bus at the west bus station of Hangzhou to go to Thousand Island Lake. There will be one every 30 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 6:50 p.m.
- Ticket: 120 RMB (18.4 USD) per person.
- Bikes: For most of the road, you can use ordinary road bikes.
- Food: Various kinds of fish are served to eat in the area.