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.

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 scattering on the lake, each one has its specialties, such as specific animals, plants, historical sites, attractive natural beauties, local cultural museums, ancient tomb groups, etc.

 
Daxiajiang Villiage of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Daxiajiang Villiage of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

How Thousand Island Lake was formed?

 

The Thousand Island Lake area used to be a place where located some Neolithic sites, and counties that people had been living for thousands of years. 

 

In 1959, to construct Xin'anjiang Hydropower Station, this area was submerged and the Thousand Island Lake was formed since then. 

 

These 1078 islands actually are the peaks of mountains or hills that were submerged beneath the water.

Neolithic of or relating to the most recent period of the Stone Age (following the mesolithic) More (Definitions, Synonyms, Translation)
 
Bike Path Next to Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Bike Path Next to Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

What are Thousand Island Lake 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 firstly constructed in the Eastern Han Dynasty (15 — 220) and the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907), and were two of the biggest and most influential counties in this area. 

 

After having been submerged, these two cities and many villages stayed beneath the Thousand Island 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.

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, those with well-equipped professionals could explore ancient villages and their building complexes underwater.

 

Though, for safety and culture 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 the Lion City on Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

The Copied Shi Cheng (or the Lion City) next to Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Important Data of Thousand Island Lake.

 

  • Thousand Island Lake or Qiandao Lake is 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 scattering 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 of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Beautiful Highway of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

What are the important cultural sites and natural scenic views of Thousand Island Lake?

 

 

Ancient Buildings and Cultural Ruins

 

Scattering 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 of Qiandao Lake

Baizhao Villiage of Qiandao 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 of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Stone Path to the Hai Rui Temple on Longshan Island of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Meifeng Island or Plum Blossom Island

 

Meifeng Island shape like a plum blossom and has thousands of different species of plum blossoms planted. 

 

Besides beautiful natural views, there are many fun recreational activities on this island, such as grass sledding, boating, and so on.

Beautiful View on Top of Meifeng Island or Plum Blossom Island of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Beautiful View on Top of Meifeng Island or Plum Blossom Island of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

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 architectures, history, and customs. 

Lion City or Shi Cheng of Wenyuan, Copied the Shi Cheng Submerged Beneath the Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Lion City or Shi Cheng of Wenyuan, Copied the Shi Cheng Submerged Beneath the Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Leisure and Recreational Activities 

 

In the Thousand Island Lake area, many activities including cycling in the beautiful long bike paths, water parachute, hot air balloon, water bicycle, scuba, are famous among visitors, as well as well-designed hotels in picturesque landscapes.

Hot Air Balloons, Comfy Hotels, and Other Recreational Facilities of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Hot Air Balloons, Comfy Hotels, and Other Recreational Facilities of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Animals Series Islands

 

There are a series of islands that are named after animals that habitats there, including monkey, snake, deer, peacock, ostrich, bird islands, etc. 

Aquatic Birds of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Aquatic Birds of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Moonlight Island

Moonlight Island is a scenic area that consists of five islands, each of which presents a special culture, such as the lock culture of love, Zhuangyuan (champion in the Imperial Examination in history) culture regarding ambition and education and career, and the island of wedding culture, etc. 

Love Locks on Moonlight Island of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.

Love Locks on Moonlight Island of Qiandao Lake, Photo from Official Site of Thousand Island Lake.