An oasis of tranquility, blessed with water lilies and fresh aromas, the Puzhehei Scenic Area is located northwest of Qiubei county, Wenshan Zhuang and the Miao Autonomous Prefecture.
According to the local Yi language, “Puzhehei” refers to a lake teeming with fish and shrimp, which capitalises on the magic of this area.
With more than 3.000 Yi people living here, one of the highlights you can experience is the traditional “Torch Festival.”
As a typical karst landscape, the Puzhehei scenic area is surrounded with green hills and abundant crystal clear waters, which are similar to Guilin yet boasting a sense of authenticity of their own. This is why Puzhehei has been praised as “a unique pastoral scene in China.”
The national scenic area has been ranked as national AAAAA level tourism area, which means it is not to be missed.
The scenic area is 388 square kilometers long, and the core scenic spot stretches across 165 square kilometers, belonging to the karst area of southeastern Yunnan.
The Puzhehei Scenic Area is famous for its six landscapes: the Water Pastoral, the Yi Family Water Town, the Lotus World, the Karst Wetland, the Lake Peaks and Forests, and the Migratory Bird Paradise.
It is a jaw dropping world apart where tourists can contemplate soaring peaks, clear streams, secluded caves, eccentric rocks and small bridges, all exuding ancient charms.
In total, this mesmerising scenic area boasts 256 scenic spots, 312 soaring peaks, 83 karst caves in different shapes and 54 connected lakes filled with graceful and wild lotus flowers (6,194.33 hectares), alongside a breathtaking plateau of karst wetlands (24,291.50 hectares).
The folk costumes of ethnic Zhuang, Miao and Yi peoples add some colour and identity to this wonderful place.
When you’re visiting Puzhehei, the top thing on your must-do list surely has to be watching the sunrise on the top of Qinglong Mountain.
This mountain also has the best spot to enjoy a unique birds-eye view of scenery that will stay with you forever. The road on the hill is easy to walk and it only takes you about 30 minutes to get to the top of it.
1. Luoshuidong Lake
This is the first leg of the Puzhehei tour. Stretching 10 kilometers from south to north, it is considered the deepest lake in the scenic area with an average depth of four metres. The deepest point is 30 metres.
If you fancy sampling some local music, you can enjoy the love songs of Zhuang singers while sailing along the mild current of crystal-clear waters. The ethnic Yi, Sani and Miao peoples live a peaceful life in the area.
2. Puzhehei Lake
Also known as Lantern Lake, the Puzhehei Lake is a plateau of freshwater. Locals call it “Pearl Lake” because of its clear waters. During the summer, should you decide to take a boat, you can see thousands of acres of lotus blooming. An experience not to be missed.
3. Qinglong Mountain
The Qinglong Mountain is located in the central part of the Puzhehei Lake. The main peak is 1555.8 metres above the sea level, opposite to Phoenix Mountain in the south, forming the pattern of a “Dragon and Phoenix.” All-in-all, there are eight karst caves including a torch cave, the moon cave and Zhangju stone cave, among others.
The cave entrance is connected to the lake and exceptionally mysterious.
If you get to the top of the Qinglong Mountain, overlooking the full view of Puzhehei, be assured this is the best place to watch the sunrise and sunset. An ideal experience to be enjoyed with family or friends.
4. Swan Lake
The Puzhehei Swan Lake is an ecotype lake, made of a karst solitary peak group, a lake group, a karst cave group and a wetland ecological group.
The wetland area in the lake is extremely rich, and there are more then 100 species and 10000 migratory birds, like wild geese, swans, herons and egrets, for example. Since October 1, 2013, the Puzhehei Swan Lake has been opening to tourists for four times a day.
Visitors can choose to walk or ride in battery cars and boats to roam the lake area, watch the birds fly together, as well as feel the harmony between people and nature.
Qiubei County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan, China
- Transportation: 1) By Bus: You can take the bus at Kunming's Eastern Bus Terminal to Qiubei. Getting here will take you four to six hours. 2）By High-Speed Train: If you take the train at the Kunming South Train Station, heading to Puzhehei will take 1h15mins.
- In the highland area, there’s a large temperature difference during daytime and night. Don’t forget to bring sun cream, a sunhat, sunglasses, umbrella, coats and some medicines to protect you.
- Local food is kind of salty and spicy. Worth thinking about when you’re choosing a snack or meal.
- The best time of the year to visit is May to October
- Experience: take a boat ride on the lake and photograph every moment.
- The local “Torch Festival” happens around the 6th lunar month and the “Hualian Festival,” a painted face festival, happens during the 2nd lunar month.