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Hanas National Nature Reserve

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Earth : Asia : East Asia : China : Northwest China : Xinjiang : Dzungarian : Hanas National Nature Reserve
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Kanas National Nature Reserve is in Xinjiang Province of China. Kanas is also called Hanas which is the name used by local Kazakhs. Kanas is the named used by local Tuvans, and has been recognized by local government as the official name.


Kanas Lake & Friendship Peak

Kanas is a nature reserve in the Altay mountains of northern Xinjiang famed for its alpine scenery Kanas lake. Tickets are 240 yuan per person good for two days. The price is made up of 150 yuan of entrance fee and 90 yuan of unlimited bus ride within the park.


Kanas is home to the mythical Kanas Lake monster. Supposed pictures of the monster are in the rest house at the top of Guānyú Tái (Fish-Watching Pavilion).the sight seeing bus to the Guanyutai will cost you 60RMB, then you will have 0ver 1000 steps before you reach the top ( on the Guanyutai)


Kanas Lake (48.82N 87.04E, about 1,325m ASL) lies in the southern Altay mountains near to the Chinese border with Mongolia and Russia. To the north of the park is Friendship Peak (4,374 m. ASL), marking the boundary with Kazakhstan and Russia.

Flora and fauna[edit]


Its extremely cold during the winter, be sure to take proper protection. It suddenly becomes excessively cold during the night.

Get in[edit]

The nearest town to Kanas is Burqin (布尔津 or Bù’ěrjīn), approximately three hours away by car. It is recommended to stay there as accommodation in and near the park is extremely expensive, as this is sort of a luxury destination for inlanders. There should be buses to the park from Burqin.

The quickest way is to fly to Buerjin City Airport aka Kanasi Airport (KJI) from Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang (Full price: 1,200 yuan). The airport is about 50km. (~1 hour by bus) from Kanas National Geopark.

If traveling by train, the most nearby train station is Beitun (北屯市站), an 8-12 hour train ride from Urumqi (overnight). From here, there are direct buses to Kanas Lake’s entrance Jiadengyu (make sure to get inside the travel service building next to the station as outside there will be many unlicensed drivers approaching you). The bus drive is 6-7 hours and costs 90 yuan. There are no set departure times for the buses; they leave when fully seated. Thus, it is advisable to head to the service center as soon as possible after exiting the train.


No permits necessary for visiting Hanas Nature Reserve or Kanas Lake. There are single day and double day tickets available for kanas Lake. Single day ticket costs 220 RMB and double day tickets cost around 360 RMB in which you can stay in Hemu village at night in Kazakh Yuts.

With student discount, a multiple day entrance costs 150 yuan (including the mandatory shuttle bus).

Get around[edit]

There are free bus rides available after you buy the tickets of Kanas. The service is quiet good and all the places are quiet well connected.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Fish-Watching Pavilion - perfect spot to compose poems while searching for the giant lake monster. Aka Guanyu Ting (Fish Observatory) about 30min from Kanas Bus Station then another 1,111 steps to the Pavillion. The trip up Guānyú Tái, a mountain that offers a panoramic view of the lake and surrounding mountains including the Youyifeng (Freindship Peak), which is the apporximate landmark of the tri-country border of Russia, China and Mongolia.
  • Friendship Peak (Youyi Feng) - the approximate landmark where the countries of China, Mongolia and Russia meet.
  • Fairy Bay
  • Moon Bay
  • Sleeping Dragon Bay
Moon Bay & Genghis Khan footprints, Kanas river
Sleeping Dragon Bay, Kanas river

Do[edit][add listing]

  • A boat tour departs regularly from the pier on the south end of the lake and takes to about a third of the lake where supposedly the deepest part, the price of the boat ride is 120RMB per person. From the middle of the lake are some spectacular views of the surrounding scenery.
  • Hiking along the Kanas river with easily access wooden boardwalk. The highly recommended route is from Fair Bay to Moon Bay and Sleeping Dragon Bay.
  • Stay one night at Hemu village (禾木), considered one of the most beautiful villages in China, especially during autumn. From the Jiadengyu entrance, shuttle buses leave to Hemu village at noon and at 3pm for 51 yuan (request ticket at entrance ticket service center). The journey in the mountainous roads will take 2-3 hours.

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are some souvenir shops inside the lake and you can buy jade stones from the entry gate of the lake. But be sure to bargain and check whether its genuine or not.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is a buffet restaurant in the park serving bland Chinese food for about 35 yuan. Another famous local cuisine is fat-rumped lamb, usually grilled can cost as mush as 2,000 CNY per lamb. If you want authentic but reasonable priced Kazakh or Mongolian better to eat in Burqin or Altay (or Urumqi).

Drink[edit][add listing]

If you happen to bump into any Kazakhs in this thorough Hanified park, ask for koumys (fermented mare's milk) or shubat (fermented camel milk). There is also nǎijiǔ (奶酒, literally means "milk wine"), a fermented milk drink said to be favored by Ghengis Khan. Most drinks in the park are moderately overpriced.

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • TAIGA International Youth Hostel (喀纳斯泰加青年旅舍) - Lodge-style hostel inside the park (take the mandatory shuttle bus from the Jiadengyu entrance until the end; then transfer to the 老村 shuttle bus and exit at the second stop). One bed in an 8-person dorm costs 100 yuan. Private rooms also available.
  • Hongfu Lake Kanas Resort - 2 stars but expensive. only 10 min. by bus to Kanas National Geopark
  • alternatively you can probably rent Kazakh yurt
  • Burqin is another option which is approximately 2 hours drive from Kanas lake.



Stay safe[edit]

The place is quite safe but private drivers outside the lake might cheat you and take more money from you. The price from Kanas lake to Burqin city costs 80 RMB per person.

Get out[edit]

  • Horm (Chinese: 禾木, Hémù) - home to a community of Tuwa minority people who live in a location some would call paradise (4-WD required). Now have bus service. Hemu village is about 2 hours by bus from Kanas Geopark, and it is crawling with tourists.
  • From Hemu, as of June 2019, daily buses leave to Burqin at 10am from 禾木山庄 for 60 yuan. Enquire with your hotel to reserve a spot in advance, otherwise a spot in the bus cannot be guaranteed.
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