Heaven Lake is 110km (68 miles) east of Urumqi and our van ride took around 3 hours. The lake is 2,000 meters (6,500ft) above sea level on the stunning Bogda mountain, surrounded by alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains. The steep Heavenly Mountains (tianshan) are packed with pine and cypress trees as well as fields of pretty wild flowers and herbs.
There were burros for rent along the way, but we resisted the temptation and instead went on a boat ride to enjoy the beauty of the lake. We also took a long stroll along the edge of the water.