Only 70 km (43 miles) from Yunnan’s capital city Kunming, Fuxian Lake in Yuxi is an aquatic paradise. It’s China’s third largest freshwater lake after Dian Lake and Erhai Lake. Covering 212 square kilometers (82 square miles), Fuxian Lake is a huge expanse of water. It’s also the deepest lake in Yunnan, with depths of up to 155 meters (509 feet). It is the third-deepest fresh water lake in all of China, after Tianchi Lake and Kanas Lake.
The water in Fuxian Lake is so crystal clear that in ancient times it was called “a large area of shining glass.” The lake and its verdant surroundings are a beautiful and exhilarating natural environment. Fuxian Lake has humid subtropical climate with humid summers and mild dry winters. Besides the beauty and pleasure of experiencing the natural environment at Fuxian Lake, there is the additional fascination of a lost city that was discovered under the lake.
In 2001 earthenware and stonework was discovered under the lake that was carbon dated to the year 257 CE and believed to be remains of buildings from the ancient Dian Kingdom that slid into the lake during an earthquake.
The name “Fuxian” comes from an ancient legend about the origin of the lake. According to the legend, two fairies descended to the earth at the lake and found the setting so beautiful that they found it hard to leave. Eventually they turned to stone, two women with their hands on each other’s shoulders, and that is the translation of “fuxian” in Chinese.
Beside Chengchuan Expressway, Chengjiang, Yuxi City, Yunnan Province
Among the top attractions at Fuxian Lake is Luchong Village, a fishing village on the western shore of Fuxian Lake, overlooking the lake with the mountain as the backdrop. One of the popular attractions of Luchong Village is anti-wave fishing, which takes place in fishing holes along the shore, where Kanglang Fish go near the shore to lay their eggs. Fisherman set up waterwheels designed to catch the fish, which are seen as a rare delicacy, found only at Fuxian Lake.
Another popular attraction is the Star Scenic Area (Mingxing Yudong) on the west shore of Fuxian Lake, 12 kilometers (7 miles) from Luchong. It’s famous for the Azure Clouds Temple (Biyun Temple) and an abundance of fishing holes.
To reach Fuxian Lake you can take a coach from Kunming Southern Passenger Station to Chengjiang. The bus departs about every 30-60 minutes from 08:30 to 15:10. The trip takes about an hour and ticket fare is around CNY 20. At the lake there are buses that travel around the lake, departing from the Administration Center of Chengjiang.