Once you’ve started your trip to Zhejiang which is 150 kilometers far from Hangzhou, you will certainly be amazed and deeply attracted by the stunning scenery of Quiandao Lake, also known as Thousand Island Lake. Quiandao is an artificial lake created after a fully done construction of Xi’an rivers hydropower station. About the origin of the lake’s name, it is called thousand islands as there are 1078 large islands and thousands of other small islands across.
One of the things that make Quiandao special is its exceptionally clean water. It’s even clean enough to be drunk directly most of the time and utilized to produce the illustrious mineral water brand – Nongfu Spring. Another marker is its huge number of mysterious islands most of which are very conformable to the growth of green forests. Recently, Qiandao Lake has been developed to become a tourist attraction with islands being labeled as Bird, Snake, Monkey and Childhood Island.
However, those above only appear on the lake’s surface, what really makes Quiandao out – standing and absolutely appealing to visitors is the value lying deeply under it. To understand more the about this, we will have to return to September 1959, when the two beautiful ancient cities – Shi Cheng and He Cheng was flooded with water. Shi Cheng was founded more than 1300 years ago, during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD) and used to be a political, economic and cultural center. Even older than Shi Cheng, He Cheng was built in 208 AD and regarded as a center of trade along the Xi’an river. The inundation was a result of Chinese government’s demand to construct a new hydropower station and a water reservoir to serve the growing population of Hangzhou city.
Not only Shi Cheng and He Cheng, others like 27 towns, 1377 villages, nearly 50000 ha agricultural land and thousands of houses also had to suffer the consequence of the flood. Approximately 290 thousand people were immigrated for the hydropower project. Until now, the irresponsibility and neglectfulness of the government toward precious treasures of ancient cities still surprise the whole world.
The two cities were almost forgotten for 40 years until 2001, when Qiu Feng, a local official majored in tourism had discussed with a diving club in Beijing to find out the truth about Qian Lake. In September 2001, Qiu Feng and his colleges started to approach the flooded cities. They were lucky to success on their first attempt. Then, Qiu Feng immediately reported his findings to the local authority. After a plenty of researches, people discovered that flooded cities were still remained. In 2005, three more ancient cities were found. This was extremely good news to not only the local authority, but also China in general. Eventually, pictures of ancient cities appeared constantly on newspaper. However, a new problem emerged, that is how to protect the city.
A lot of ideas were proposed to meet the demand to appreciate beautiful underwater cities of the citizen, including using submarines and building underwater bridge called Archimedes. Even though, none of them has yet been successfully approved or conducted. Finally, we can only hope that in the future, there will be a suitable method which can both protect the cities and satisfy the desire to appreciate them.