China has numerous lakes and rivers. They are not only an important part in Chinese geographical environment, but also have abundant natural resources. As one of the countries with the most lakes in the world, China owns countless inland lakes, as well as outer continental lakes. Here we list the top 10 most beautiful lakes for your travel plan to China and for you to experience the vast territory and the abundant resources in person.
1. Qinghai Lake (Qinghai Province)
Located at the Qinghai Lake Basin, in the northeast of Qinghai Province, Qinghai Lake is the largest inland lake in China, as well as the largest salt water lake. The lake covers an area of 4,583 square kilometers. More than 40 rivers flow into this lake. Inside the lake are five small islands. Qinghai Lake is the breeding habitat of 10 kinds of migratory birds for over 100,000 birds including the Bar-headed Goose, the Brown-headed Gull, the Great Blacknearded Gull and more. Standing on the Qinghai Lake bank and overlook the lake from a distance, the lush hills, the green lake water and the boundless grassland, the white sheep and the sunset present people a picturesque landscape.
Best travel time: July to September.
2. West Lake (Zhejiang Province)
Located at the western part of Hangzhou of Zhejiang Province, the West Lake is one of the first national key scenic spots, as well as one of the top 10 most beautiful sceneries in China. The lake is embraced by hills on three sides, east, west and south, and with the east side abutting Hangzhou city center. West Lake covers an area of about 6.39 kilometers, with its width of 2.8 kilometers from the east to the west, the length of 3.2 kilometers from the south to the north and the perimeter of about 15 kilometers. West Lake has attracted lots of men of literature and writing, who have produced many paintings and writings according to its gorgeous lake water and hills. Besides, Buddhist temples and towers are also built around the lake, thus it was added with more religious colors.
Best travel time: March to May or September to November.
3. Thousand-Islet Lake (Zhejiang Province)
Located at the Chun’an County, west of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, the Thousand-Islet Lake is 129 kilometers away from Hangzhou and 140 kilometers away from the Yellow Mountain. It is regarded as the “backyard garden” of the Yangtze River delta area. Thousand-Islet Lake is the lake with the most islets in the world. The 1,078 islets are presented to people in various postures and the 448 kilometers of forest purifies the air there to offer a fresh environment there. The major features of the lake are the thousand islets, the beautiful lake waters and the “golden belts (referring to the golden earth belts encircling each islet)” that surround each islet.
Best travel time: September to November.
4. Namtso Lake (Tibet Autonomous Region)
Located at the center of Tibet Autonomous Region, the Namtso Lake is the second largest lake in Tibet, as well as the third largest salt water lake in China. The elevation of the lake surface is 4,718 meters and its shape looks like a rectangle. The length from the east to the west is over 70 kilometers and 30 kilometers from the south to the north. It covers a total area of more than 1,920 square kilometers. To the south of Namtso Lake is the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains that are perennially covered with snow. To the north and the west are the plateau and hills. The abroad Namtso Lake is surrounded by grassland, in which the aquatic plants and wild animals are abundant. While in the lake are numerous fishes. The limpid lake and the surrounding snow mountains correspond to each other and constitute a gorgeous landscape.
Best travel time: June to September.
5. Lugu Lake (between Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province)
Located at the southwestern cornor of Sichuan Province, the junction of Liangshan Prefecture and Lijiang City of Yunnan Province, two thirds of the shoreline of the Lugu lake belongs to Sichuan Province. It is commonly known as “a bright pearl on plateau” and is renowned in the world for its pretty natural scenery and mysterious matriarchal society culture. The lake bank is winding and covered with forests. In addition, the lake is surrounded by green hills. There are 9 islets, 17 sand beaches, and 14 bays; all of these comprise a very beautiful natural scenery. Besides, the Lugu Lake area is the only existed matriarchal society in China.
Best travel time: March to October.
6. Jingpo Lake (Heilongjiang Province)
Located at the southeast of Heilongjiang Province, 50 kilometers southwest of the Ning’an County and 110 kilometers away from the downtown of Mudanjiang city, Jingpo Lake is a volcanic lava barrier lake formed ten thousand years ago. The lake is averagely 40 meters deep and is gradually deeper from the south to the north. The entire lake is divided into the north Lake, the middle lake, the south lake and the upper lake, which totally covers an area of 90.3 square kilometers. Jingpo Lake is a winding lake from the southwest to the northeast and its shape is like an “S”. Besides, there are numerous islets and eight great scenic spots in the lake which are like dazzling pearls on this “green ribbon”. The entire scenery area of the lake is famous for the lake and mountain views, plus the underground primitive forest, the underground lava tunnel, as well as its comprehensive functions for science research, avoiding sunstroke, sightseeing, spending holidays and cultural exchange.
Best travel time: June to September.
7. Kanas Lake (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region)
Located at the northern part of the Burqin County, Altay Prefecture of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Kanas Lake is an inland freshwater lake. It covers an area of 45.73 square kilometers and the elevation of the lake is 1,374 meters. It is like a crescent moon. The lake water is mainly the glacier melt runoff from the Kuitun Mountain, and the Youyi Peak and other mountains, and also the local rainfall. The abundant natural resources and living species near the lake make it a natural and picturesque landscape. When the lake is calm, the surface is like a pond of jadeite but changes its color as the weather changes. The snow peaks and the mountains will be partly hidden and partly visible on misty days.
Best travel time: June to September.
8. Yuncheng Salt Lake (Shanxi Province)
Located at the south of Yuncheng, Shanxi Province, Yuncheng Salt Lake is the largest lake in Shanxi Province. The lake is a typical and ancient inland salt lake, which is famous for producing salt since ancient times. It was developed during Cenozoic tertiary Himalayan tectonic movement period, which are fifty millions years ago. There are abundant water plants, reeds, birds and flowers. People who visit this salt lake can not only enjoy the black mud shower, but also experience the gorgeous scenery around the lake. The lake is absolutely a tourist attraction that gathers culture, fitness, tourism, leisure and recreation together.
Best travel time: May to October.
9. Donghu Lake of Wuhan (Hubei Province)
Located at the downtown of Wuhan city of Hubei Province, Donghu Lake scenery area was built in 1950. It covers a total area of 82 square kilometers and is the largest “lake in city” in China. The three big features of it are its gorgeous waters and hills, its rich cultural deposits and its unique and exquisite “garden in garden”. The lake is broad, the water is pure, the shoreline is winding and half of the shoreline is surrounded by 34 peaks. The ample rainfall and sunshine produce rich plant resources at Donghu Lake. Besides, hundreds of trees and flowers make the lake a beautiful botanic garden.
Best travel time: each season is suitable to visit Donghu Lake.
10. Taiping Lake (Anhui Province)
Located at the Huangshan city of Anhui Province, Taiping Lake is regarded as the sweetheart of the Yellow Mountain. It is located between the Yellow Mountain and the Jiuhua Mountain. There are abundant tourist resources, such as the pure lake water and the surrounding gorgeous hills. The lake is 48 kilometers long from the east to the west and 4 kilometers wide from the south to the north, covering a total area of 88 square kilometers. The pure and green lake water is like a glittering and dazzling emerald that placed among green hills and the woods. Tourists can take a boat to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful scenery near the lake.
Best travel time: March to November.