Qiandao Lake: diving a milenary underwater city



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Qiandao lakeQiandao Lake. Pic by China National Geographic 

Qiandao Lake (known worldwide as Thousand Island Lake) is an artificial lake located in the province of Zhejiang, China, created after the builing of the Xin'an river hydroelectric plant. The unusual thing about this lake is that it has submerged the milenary city of Shi Cheng (or “The City of Lions”) funded in the Han Dong period mot than 1.700 years ago being an important city in its time… Can you imagine yourself diving among the walls, squares or palaces of an ancient city? That is precisely what you can do in Qiandao Lake.

Qiandao lake

Qiandao Lake. Pic by China National Geographic

Qiandao lake

Qiandao Lake. Pic by China National Geographic

Qiandao lake

Qiandao Lake. Pic by China National Geographic

Shi Cheng has been underwater for 53 years between 26 and 40 meters of depth under the lake, calles the thousand island lake due to its 1.078 large artificial islands, covering a surface of about 573 km². The city remains unaltered and the water that covers it is drinkable, in fact it is used to produce the NongFu mineral water.

The dive operator that can take you there is Big Blue, based in Shanghai, and, although they talk of very clear waters, the images and videos speak to the contrary and we don't get the impresion that you can take a panoramic of the city, which would actually make for an amazing underwater view, and it seems that you will rather need some powerful lights to enjoy diving the city and have good visibility. Nonetheless it must be a unique experience, unlike any other diving site due to the perfect conservation of the city remains. The dive operator does weekend diving twice a month throught all the year and has even made new discoveries of unknown parts of the city.

 

Besides the famous lake, Qiandao is also home of outstanding forests and leafy islands which make it without a doubt one of the most exotic diving trips that you can make. 

Qiandao lake

Qiandao Lake. Image by Patrick He

Qiandao lake

Qiandao Lake. Image by Patrick He

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