Sayaram Lake
On the road from Urumqi to Ili, one passes by Lake Sayram,
which means "best wishes" in Kazak. In Winter, strong winds from

the west often stir up white-crested waves, which break against
shoals, sending up spray several meters high and forms a pervading
mist obscuring the snow-capped mountains on the opposite shore. On summer or autumn mornings, however, the azure blue lake is as smooth as a mirror, reflecting the dense pine forests and snow peaks on the shores as they appear through the floating clouds. On pastures around the lake graze flocks of sheep and herds of cattle and horses, looking like white and dun-colored clouds moving on an immense green carpet. Scattered here and there are the herds-people's yurts, from which curl wreaths of faint smoke from cooking fires. In the middle of July every year, the Mongol and Kazak herds-people hold the festive Nadam Fair by Lake Sayram. People from tens of miles around throng the shores to celebrate their good harvests and sell their products. They hold horse races and displays of wrestling, dancing and singing, as well as playing the traditional game of sheep chase. Sayram is the largest mountain lake in Xinjiang. Lying 2,073 meters above sea level, southwest of Bole (Bortala) County, the egg-shaped lake covers an area of 450 square kilometers, stretching twenty kilometers east-west and thirty kilometers north-south, and measuring more than ninety meters at its deepest. Lake Sayram is a closed body of inland water, lying in a limestone region, and Consequently the subterranean and crevice water contains a great deal of dissolved calcium carbonate, turning the lake water especially blue and clear. The salt content of the water is not high, and within 300 meters of the shore, the water is quite fresh because fresh subterranean water rises to the surface, so it can water sheep and cattle. People admired Lake Sayram back in ancient times. In the early Yuan Dynasty when Genghis Khan led his army on a western expedition, he invited the Taoist Qiu Chuji to Samarkand. Setting out from Shandong Province in the east, the Taoist came by way of Mongolia and Xinjiang and passed by Lake Sayram, which he named "Heavenly Lake." Later his disciple Li Zhichang in his book The Spiritual Man's Journey to the West wrote "The lake is 200 Ii in circumference. All around are snow-capped mountains, which cast their reflections into the waters. My master named it 'Heavenly Lake.'" Because the northern route of the Silk Road went through this area, the ancients built Jinghai Temple in a pine grove on the west shore of the lake so that the gods would ensure them safe Journeys. In the Qing Dynasty, when Pan Xiaosu was appointed
prefect of Iii, he ordered a Dragon King Temple to be built on an islet in the southeastern corner of the lake. Unfortunately no trace of these temples remains today. Lake Sayram has many resources and is a fine habitat for wildlife. As the lake water is relatively cold (about sixteen degrees centigrade at noon in summer). In the I970s, people experimented with raising cold-water fish in the lake, such as common carp, silver carp and crucian carp. Most of the 3.7 million fish fry thus introduced survived and did well, and since then, good catches have been netted each year. The lake shores are overgrown with calami and weeds providing shelter for wild ducks and other waterfowls. During the
migratory season every year, the lake is dotted with flocks of swans,
bar-head geese, snipe and other waterfowl. In addition, surveys have
been carried out on the lake to exploit its water and other resources.
The Sayram Lake is good place for people to trek this is because there are big grassland around is located at the western section of the northern part of the Tianshan Mountains along the path leading from the Jungar Basin to the Ili Valley at the center a closed-in basin surrounded by mountains at 2,072m elevation and about 453 kq in area. It is the biggest lake in the Tianshan Mountains The Sayaram Lake in known for its beauty of being surrounded by snow capped lofty peaks above the timberline,densely wooded forests just below it, and verdant pastures around lake.The Lake is at ots besy in the fall. when the air is cool and crisp and the pastures are dotted with fatted cattle and sheep, adding to the colorful wild flowers in full-bloom to compose a pastoral scene. On July 13th,every year,the traditional "Nadam" is regularly held on the pasture around the Lake by the Bortala Autonomous Mongolian Prefecture. A fair is held in Haxi and numerous Chinese and foreign tourists come and visit. The wrestling and horse-racing draw a bustling and excited crowd.I have treked aroud lake for 3 days. It also have seen many swans and waterfowl such as wild ducks sea eagle There is also ome ruin at the other side of the Lake and it is place where the Mongolian Emperor Chenkisikan called his army there.