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Taihu Lake

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Taihu Lake, Wuxi

Overview

Lake Tai or Lake Taihu is a large freshwater lake in the Yangtze Delta plain in Wuxi, China. The lake belongs to Jiangsu and the southern shore forms its border with Zhejiang. With an area of 2,250 square kilometers (869 sq mi) and an average depth of 2 meters (6.6 ft), it is the third-largest freshwater lake in China, after Poyang and Dongting. The lake houses about 90 islands, ranging in size from a few square meters to several square kilometers.

Taihu Lake, the third of China's five largest fresh-water lakes, is a beautiful national-level scenic spot as well as the cradle of the Wu and Yue cultures. 

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In ancient times, Taihu Lake was originally part of Gulf of the East China Sea but afterwards grew up into an inland lake because of perennial sludge's filling the weir. Year after year, the lake was diluted into a fresh-water one and finally runs into the Yangtze River. Boats can access the Taihu Lake from the Hangzhou Grand Canal.

Formation

Scientific studies suggest that Lake Tai's circular structure is the result of a meteor impact based on the discovery of shatter cones, shock-metamorphosed quartz, microtektites, and shock-metamorphic unloading fractures. The prospective impact crater has been dated to be greater than 70 million years old and possibly from the late Devonian Period. However, new research suggests that present evidence shows no impact crater structure or shock-mineral at Lake Tai. Fossils indicate that Lake Tai was dry land until the ingression of the East China Sea during the Holocene epoch. The growing deltas of the Yangtze and Qiantang rivers eventually sealed off Lake Tai from the sea, and the influx of fresh water from rivers and rains turned it into a freshwater lake.

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Amidst the lake dot 48 islands, among which the Turtle Head Island, the Three Mountains, the West Mountain and the Maji Mountain are most renowned. Dotted with isolated islands, multi-peaked mountains, lush vegetation, Taihu Lake create a natural Chinese painting, with nice landscapes of Wuxi City, elegant Suzhou gardens, historic relics of the Wu Dynasty and the Yixing Karst Caves accompanying along the bank.

Scenic Locations

The lake is renowned for its unique limestone formations at the foot of the adjacent Dongting Mountain. These "scholar's rocks" or "Taihu stones" are often prized as a decorating material for traditional Chinese gardens, as exemplified by those preserved as museums in nearby Suzhou.

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Lake Tai is best seen from atop the Dragon Light Pagoda in western Wuxi's Xihui Park, from which both Wuxi and Lake Tai are visible. Another well-known panoramic view, made famous by an 11th-century poem by Su Shi, is that from Longshan.

Three of the lake's islands are preserved as a national geological park under the name Sanshan. They are famed as a former haunt of local bandits. Mei Yuan is also located in Lake Tai, along with Yuantouzhu. Yuantouzhu received its name ("Turtle Head Isle") from the shape of its outline.

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Taihu Lake Amusement Park

Taihu Lake Amusement Park sits on the southern bank of the Taihu Lake, adjoining downtown Huzhou City of Zhejiang Province. The park contains some attracting tourist items such as Extreme Sports Ground, Chinese BornTag Area, Kart Racing Course, Water World and Fishing Area.

Travel Guide

Admission Fee: CNY 105
Time for Visit: one day
Opening Hour: 7:00-17:30

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