Bitahai Lake, which is known
as holy lake. Bitahai is surrounded by spruce covered
mountains and azalea fields. In Tibetan,"bita"
means"piece of land as soft as cattle hair"
and the locals often call the lake"hai," or"sea"
Spruce-covered mountains surround the
lake, and the water is tranquil and clear. If it is
a bright day, you can see schools of fish swimming deep
below the surface.
It is a provincial nature reserve,
located 25km east of the seat of Zhongdian County. It
occupies a total area of 840 square kilometers with
the Bitahai Lake as the center of this scenic spot,
its length from the north to south is about 60km and
the width from the east to the west is 14km. The elevation
of the Bitahai Lake surface is 3,539 meters, and the
length of the lake from the east to the west is 3,000
meters. The average depth of the lake is 20 meters,
with the maximum depth of 40 meters. The total water
area is 159 hectares, which is very clear and tranquil.
If you row a boat on the water on a fine day, you will
see the water world 10 meters below. The local Tibetans
believe that it appeared when a fairy lady dropped her
miracle mirror on this place. In the novel "The Lost
Horizon" James Hills depicts it as a "Blue
Lake", an essential part of "Shangri-La".
There is an island in the lake and
some boats can ferry tourists there, and on the island
grow dense spruce, abies-fabri and azalea woods. All
of the green grass, zigzags, singing birds and fragrant
flowers make you feel that you are in a fairy world.
Right around the lake there is a dense azalea forest,
whose flowers are often in full bloom. In the fifth
month of the Chinese lunar year tourists can see a peculiar
sight-the fallen azalea flowers afloat on the water,
while the fish amuse themselves in the shallow water
of the lake, swallowing the fallen azalea flowers. The
fallen flowers are little poisonous, and will cause
them to appear "drunk" as they float on the
surface of the lake, so it is called "azalea making
fish drunk". In the Bitahai Lake there are various kinds
of fish, one of which is called "double-lipped
fish", a sort of ancient creature of the Quaternary
Ice Age. This kind of fish is tender and delicious.
The Bitahai Lake Nature Reserve is
in the subtropical zone. It is rich in wild animals
and plants. The vegetation is characterized by abides
fabric, totaling 2?23 million cubic meters. Among the
rare animals and birds, clouded leopards, black necked
cranes, red green-tailed pheasants are Class-A species
under state protection, and rhesus monkeys, lynxes serows,
red pheasants, Tibetan eared pheasants are Class-B species
under state protection. There are also some economic
and fancy animals such as black bears, brown bears,
Tibetan picas, parrots and Carr lax Cano ruses.
In order not to spoil the Bitahai Lake
Nature Reserve, the tourists are required to ride 22
km from Zhongdian County to Shuangqiao and then to walk
or ride on horse back and fro for 8 Li respectively.
In this way they can feel the local people's enthusiasm,
or recall the feelings of the Red Army soldiers when
they marched across the grassland.
In the primeval forest on the north
bank of the lake, many cabins are built there for the
convenience of the tourists. Activities like horse riding,
trekking and boating are available at the customer's
Zhongdian Travel Attractions