The name gives it’s a hell of a build-up, but Tian Chi lake delivers. 100km east of Ürümqi, the clear reflective waters offer a wonderful pocket of alpine serenity in China’s remote west. The lake is surrounded by peaceful meadowlands and copses, eagles overhead and yurts dotted here and there, while all around, rising heavenwards are northwest China’s highest peaks. A visit to the peaceful pavilions on the western bank or a walk along the eastern trail may appeal, or just take a seat and let the view wash over you. The area’s highest summit, Bogda Feng, starts up nearby, rising in black and white from the green of great fir and spruce forests, its steep sides looking all but impenetrable, while across the water in the blue distance, the braided folds of the Tianshan Range line the horizon.