Chagan Lake (Chagan Hu) is a lake in Mongolian Autonomous County of Qian Gorlos, Songyuan City, Jilin Province of China. The name "Chagan" is from Mongolian, meaning sacred, pure or white, so the lake is often referred to as Sacred Lake or Holy Water Lake by local people. The Lake is the known as one of China's 10 top fresh water lakes. Covering an area of 420 square kilometers, it measures 37 km in length from south to north, and 17 km from east to west. The lake is known for traditional winter fishing that dates back to prehistoric times.
The annual Chagan Lake Winter Fishing Festival (usually starts in mid-December and ends in the end of the next January) is held to remember the old winter fishing tradition. On the first day of the festival, the locals hold an interesting ceremony call "offer sacrifice to the lake, wake up the net". The activities including perform a Mongolian religion dance, read Buddhist scriptures, sing eulogies, drink farewell wine and so on. The fishermen place many articles of tribute on the ice to pray for a good harvest for fish. Then they drill many holes through the thick ice and then place net or fishhooks under the ice. The net and its catch is then hauled out of the largest hole by means of a capstan turned by Mongolian horses. The Lake set a Guinness World Record of a single net that yielded 104,500 kg fish in 2006, and broke its own by 168,000 kg of fish in 2009.
Chagan Lake is the only place that preserves the oldest Mongolia fishing method. In 2008, Chagan Lake Mongolia ice-fishing was designated as a national intangible cultural heritage of China by the State Council of the People's Republic of China. Chagan Lake is the best winter destination for your winter holiday. Here you can enjoy ice fishing, taste the delicous fish cuisne, see the locals how to catch fish and snatch many snap nice pictures about the fish, fishermen, sunset, beautiful lake scenery and tourists.
Enrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Address: The northwest part of Qian Gorlos Mongol Autonomous County, Songyuan County, Jilin Province
How to get: You can first take long-distance bus from Harbin (4 hours) or Changchun (2 hours) to Songyuan City and then take the special tourist bus at the front gate of Menbali (littrally Dream Paris, near the Wulan Street) or the Passenger Bus Station of Songyuan City to the lake.
Tips: If you go to Chagan Lake for watching ice-fishing, please note that the fishermen place the fishing net in early morning, and the net and its catch is usually hauled out of the ice holes at 11:00 - 14:00.