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Bosten Lake

Bosten Lake
Bosten Lake (bó sī téng hú 博斯腾湖) is a freshwater lake located 57 km (35 mi) northeast of Korla (kù ěr lè 库尔勒), Xinjiang, China in the Bayin'gholin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. It is the largest lake in Xinjiang and the biggest inland freshwater lake in China.

Bosten Lake is called Bagrax and Baghrash Kol in Mongonia and Uygur language respectively. It means 'stand-up' in Chinese. There are three hills standing in the central part of the lake, hence its name. This lake was once named 'West Sea' and 'Qin Sea' in the Han Dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝) (206BC-220), 'Bosten Lake' and 'Fish Sea' in the Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝)(618-907), 'Yanqi Sea' in the Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝)(1368-1644), and was finally named 'Bosten Lake' in the Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝)(1644-1911).

It covers 980 square kilometers at 1,048 meters above sea level. The maximum depth and width reach 16.5 meters and 35.2 kilometers respectively. It is made up of a big and a small lake district. The big lake district is 57 kilometers away from Korla and the small lake district is Bosten Lake 21 kilometers away from Korla. As a result, tourists can visit the big lake district which covers 988 square kilometers in the first place. There are dozens of variably sized small lakes with an average depth of 10 meters in the southwest of the big lake. Furthermore, together with the infrequent oases in the desert and the specialanimals, Bosten Lake is a tourist attraction that gladden the heart and please the eye.

Bosten lake receives water inflow from a catchment area of 56,000 km2 (22,000 sq mi). Kaidu River, Qingshui River, Huangshui, Wushitala River and Peacock River are all the source of Bosten Lake. The Kaidu River (kāi dōu hé 开都河) is the most important tributary to Lake Bosten, accounting for about 83% of its water inflow.

Overgrown with reeds and lotus, they form the habitat of numerous water birds. The best reeds in China are grown here, and reaching a height of ten meters they make good building and paper-making material. The reeds are shipped in quantities to other parts of China each year. Lake Bosten is also one of the two major fishing centers in Xinjiang and the ideal place to raise the muskrat whose fur is soft and beautiful and enjoying the fame of ”the soft gold” in the international market. Fish such as Bullhead and Blunt-snout bream are native to the lake. Westerners sometimes refer to it as the 'Oriental Hawaii of Xinjiang' because of its unique lush scenery surrounded by the harsh Gobi Desert.

The Beautiful Legend
Bosten Lake at SunsetBesides the attractive scenery of Bosten Lake, there was also a beautiful legend. A long time ago, there was no lake there but the vast and picturesque grassland where the herdsmen  lived and worked in peace and contentment. It was said that there were once young lovers there. The boy was called Bosten and the girl was named Naya (gǎ yà 尕亚). They were deeply attached to each other. However, unfortunately, the God Rain above discovered the beautiful Naya and  forced Naya to marry him. Of course, Naya pledged to fight to death in disobeying the God Rain. As a result, the God Rain was blazing with anger and gave the grassland no rain. And there was a great drought on the grassland for successive years. However, the brave Bosten had fighted with the God Rain for 81 days and made the God Rain into subnission at last. But Bosten died because of the excessive exhaustion. Naya was inconsolable for the loss of Bosten and her teers became a large scale of lake water and Naya died with grief and indignation. In order to be in memory of them, the local herdsmen named the lake as Bosten Lake.

Bosten Lake in WinterAs Bosten Lake is surrounded by high mountains, you will enjoy not only spring with little rain and a changeable climate, autumn with the rapid decline of the temperature, but also a hot and dry summer and the cold winter. In a word, the weather is fine in the whole year with an average temperature of 7.9 centigrade. And the annual average range of temperature of Bostan Lake is from 0.6 centigrade to 23 centigrade.

Food: Try the fish banquet of Bosten and Korla fragrant pears.
Entertainment: Surfing, diving, swimming, pedalo riding, sun bathing on the sand beach and many other activities.
Admission Fee: CNY 30
Transportation: Taking the bus to Bosten Lake from the post office of Korla State

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 August 2010 20:26

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