Thousand Island Lake or Qiandao Lake — Pearls on Water and Submerged Millennial Cities
Islands on Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.
What Is Thousand Island Lake or Qiandao Lake?
Thousand Island Lake, also named Qiandao Lake or Xin'anjiang Reservoir, is a beautiful artificial lake surrounded by invaluable cultural sites, with ancient cities and villages submerged underwater.
Among the 1078 islands scattered on the lake, each has its specialties, such as specific animals, plants, historical sites, attractive natural beauties, local cultural museums, ancient tomb groups, etc.
Daxiajiang Villiage, Photo from Official Site.
How Was Thousand Island Lake Formed?
The Thousand Island Lake area used to be a place with some Neolithic sites and counties where people had been living for thousands of years.
In 1959, to construct Xin'anjiang Hydropower Station, this area was submerged, and the lake was formed since then.
These 1078 islands are the peaks of mountains or hills submerged beneath the water.
Bike Path Next to Thousand Island Lake, Photo from Official Site.
What Are Underwater Cities?
When the reservoir was formed, 2 cities and 1377 villages were submerged.
Those 2 cities, He Cheng and Shi Cheng (or Lion City), that first constructed in the Eastern Han Dynasty (15 — 220) and the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907). were two of the biggest and most influential counties in this area.
After submerging, these two cities and many villages stayed beneath the lake quietly, and most of their buildings were protected well by water.
Shi Cheng the Lion City Beneath the Thousand Island Lake, Photo from Chinese National Geography.
Today, this place became a popular spot for diving amateurs, and those with well-equipped professionals can explore ancient villages and their building complexes underwater.
Though, for safety and cultural protection concerns, the two invaluable cities (Shicheng and He Cheng) were not allowed to get inside unless with the government's permission.
Besides, Shi Cheng has been copied on land as a cultural tourism destination.
The Copied Shi Cheng (or the Lion City) next to Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site.
Important Data of Thousand Island Lake.
It is located in Zhejiang Province, the east of China;
The water area is 580 square kilometers, with an average depth of 30.44 meters;
There are 1078 islands scattered on the lake, and the total island area is 409 square kilometers;
There are around 3600 types of plants, 94 fish, and over 200 animal species.
Beautiful Highway, Photo from Official Site.
Important Cultural Sites and Natural Scenic Views
Ancient Buildings and Cultural Ruins
In the Thousand Island Lake area, there are many cultural ruins (earliest dates back to the Neolithic era), historic buildings, and ancient villages.
Baizhao Villiage near the Lake, Photo by Yu Shixiang.
Hai Rui Temple on Longshan Island
Longshan Island, or Mount Dragon Island, is a dragon-shaped mountain that is half submerged.
On this island, there's a temple to memorial Hai Rui (1514 — 1587), an upright, accomplished, and respectable official that had worked as governor of this area.
Stone Path to the Hai Rui Temple on Longshan Island, Photo from Official Site.
Meifeng Island or Plum Blossom Island
Meifeng Island is shaped like a plum blossom and has thousands of different species of plum blossoms planted.
Besides beautiful natural views, this island has many fun recreational activities, such as grass sledding, boating, and so on.
Beautiful View on Top of Meifeng Island or Plum Blossom Island, Photo from Official Site.
Lion City or Shi Cheng of Wenyuan
It copied the ancient Shi Cheng or Lion City that has been submerged beneath the water, which detailedly presents the city's Huizhou-style buildings, history, and customs.
Lion City or Shi Cheng of Wenyuan, Copied the Shi Cheng Submerged Beneath the Qiandao Lake
Leisure and Recreational Activities
In the Thousand Island Lake area, many activities, including cycling on the beautiful long bike paths, water parachutes, hot air balloons, water bicycles, and scuba, are famous among visitors.
Hot Air Balloons, Comfy Hotels, and Other Recreational Facilities, Photo from Official Site.
Animals Series Islands
A series of islands are named after animals that are habitats there, including monkeys, snakes, deer, peacocks, ostrich, bird islands, etc.
Aquatic Birds, Photo from Official Site.
Moonlight Island is a scenic area that consists of five islands, each of which presents a unique culture, such as the lock culture of love, Zhuangyuan (champion in the Imperial Examination in history) culture regarding ambition, education, and career, and the island of wedding culture, etc.
Love Locks on Moonlight Island, Photo from Official Site.
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