Dali Erhai Lake 洱海

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Erhai Lake 洱海

Erhai Lake is the second largest lake in Yunnan Province, with the Dianchi Lake ranking the first. It begins in the north from Jiangwei Village of Eryuan County to Xiaguan of Dali in the south, and is as long as 41.5 kilometers from the north to south. It covers an area of about 251 square kilometers, with an altitude of 1,972 meters. From a bird’s eye view, you will find Erhai Lake is just like a crescent lying quietly between Cangshan Mountain and the Basin of Dali. The Chinese gave it the name of Erhai Lake because its shape resembles a human ear. 
On the southern end of Erhai Lake lies Tuanshan Mountain, which is home to Erhai Park, an ideal place to soak in the scenery and natural beauty of the lake and mountains. Enter into the park from the small dock and climb the mountain along the stone steps. At the top of the mountain you will see the Sea Watching Pavilion with flying eaves. Stroll in this pavilion and feast your eyes on the scenery of Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountain.
Between Erhai Lake and Cangshan Mountain lies a flat alluvial basin which contains fertile farmlands and many villages, as well as the Chongsheng Temple and Three Pagodas. This area has earned the appropriate nickname “Scenic Gallery”, since beautiful scenic views, key points of interests and colorful folk-customs abound.
Erhai Lake lies on a fault line and was formed by the shifting in tectonic plates, in turn altering the earth’s crust. All in all, the lake is home to 3 islands, 4 islets, 5 lakes and 8 bendings. The water is so clear you can see the bottom. Because of its astonishing transparency, Erhai Lake has been called the "flawless and beautiful jade lying among mountains", even in ancient times. It is said that on the sea bed there grows a very big jade cabbage, and in fact the clear water is the jade liquid flowing from the heart of the cabbage.
Tips: 1. A must-see near Erhai Lake are the fishing villages of Bai minority. In the 1950s, a famous film entitled Five Golden Flowers reflected the peaceful and traditional life found in these villages.  2. Erhai Park in Xiaguan was designed and built for tourists to enjoy Erhai Lake. You can get there from anywhere in the city proper by taxi and should cost about 5 yuan. Another option is to go to Erhai by ship, and both wooden ships and yachts are available. Remember: bargain hard before you get on board!  3. Ordinary boats do not go to the Nanzhao Love Islands. They usually come back after arriving at other attractions: Golden Shuttle Island, Small Putuo Island and Kwan-yin Pavilion. If you rent a boat, safety is of utmost importance. When it is summer and autumn, especially when Husband Awaiting Clouds turn up on the Cangshan Mountain, it is better for you not to go on the sea.
Admission Fee:   CNY 10 (Erhai Park) CNY 30 (Environmental Protection Fare)
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 18:00 
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