Tiff Sonnier

Written by Tiff Sonnier

Modified & Updated: 01 Jul 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Visityunnanchina.com

Erhai Lake, located in the southwestern province of Yunnan, China, is a breathtaking natural wonder that has captivated visitors for centuries. With its crystal-clear waters, surrounding lush green landscapes, and a mystical aura, Erhai Lake is truly a sight to behold. Spanning an impressive area of 250 square kilometers, it is one of the largest freshwater lakes in China, earning its name which means “ear-shaped” due to its unique form resembling the shape of an ear when viewed from above.

But Erhai Lake boasts more than just its picturesque beauty. It holds a treasure trove of fascinating facts and intriguing legends that add to its allure. In this article, we will explore 17 extraordinary facts about Erhai Lake, uncovering its rich cultural history, ecological significance, and the unique experiences it offers to visitors.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the enchanting beauty of Erhai Lake, a sacred haven for diverse wildlife, captivating landscapes, and rich cultural traditions in China’s Yunnan Province.
  • Immerse yourself in the magic of Erhai Lake, where you can enjoy water sports, explore charming fishing villages, and witness breathtaking sunrise and sunset views amidst its serene surroundings.
Table of Contents

. Erhai Lake is one of the seven freshwater lakes in China.

Located in Yunnan Province, Erhai Lake is a mesmerizing freshwater lake that stretches over 250 square kilometers. Its name, which translates to “ear-shaped sea,” comes from the lake’s unique shape resembling a human ear when observed from above.

. Erhai Lake is a habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals.

The lake is home to over 70 species of algae, 60 species of fish, and more than 150 species of birds. It serves as an important ecological hotspot, providing a haven for various flora and fauna.

. Erhai Lake is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

The picturesque lake is encompassed by rolling hills, quaint villages, and lush greenery. The stunning scenery creates a tranquil atmosphere, attracting numerous visitors who appreciate the beauty of nature.

. Erhai Lake is a significant cultural symbol.

For centuries, Erhai Lake has played a vital role in the lives of the local Bai ethnic minority. They regard the lake as a symbol of purity and have developed various traditions and customs associated with its existence.

. Erhai Lake has a maximum depth of 20 meters.

Beneath its serene surface, Erhai Lake holds a mystery waiting to be explored. With a maximum depth of 20 meters, the lake’s depths hide a world full of wonders, making it a popular destination for divers and underwater enthusiasts.

. Erhai Lake is known for its distinctive blue color.

The crystal-clear waters of Erhai Lake captivate visitors with their mesmerizing blue hue. The unique color is a result of the lake’s high mineral content, creating a breathtaking sight that leaves a lasting impression.

. Erhai Lake has influenced local cuisine.

The nearby towns and villages have embraced the abundance of Erhai Lake by incorporating various freshwater delicacies into their cuisine. Local dishes such as fish hotpot and shrimp dishes showcase the lake’s culinary influence.

. Erhai Lake has inspired countless artists and poets.

The ethereal beauty of Erhai Lake has been a muse for numerous artists, poets, and writers throughout history. Its tranquil waters and surrounding landscapes have served as inspiration for many creative works.

. Erhai Lake has historical significance.

The lake holds historical importance, serving as a vital waterway for trade and transportation during ancient times. Its strategic location made it a crucial hub for economic activities and cultural exchange.

. Erhai Lake hosts various water sports and activities.

Visitors can indulge in a range of recreational activities on Erhai Lake. From boating and kayaking to fishing and swimming, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lake’s pristine waters and natural surroundings.

. Erhai Lake is surrounded by charming fishing villages.

The shores of Erhai Lake are dotted with traditional fishing villages that provide a glimpse into the vibrant local culture and way of life. Exploring these villages offers a fascinating insight into the lake’s close relationship with the communities that rely on it.

. Erhai Lake is a popular bird-watching destination.

With its rich biodiversity, Erhai Lake attracts bird-watchers from around the world. From migratory birds to endemic species, the lake provides a haven for avian enthusiasts to observe and appreciate the diverse birdlife.

. Erhai Lake is a source of inspiration for traditional Chinese art.

The beauty of Erhai Lake has been immortalized in traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy. Artists have captured the essence of the lake’s serene ambiance and stunning landscapes, making it a recurring motif in their artwork.

. Erhai Lake is surrounded by captivating hiking trails.

Exploring the hiking trails around Erhai Lake offers an immersive experience in the region’s natural beauty. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, these trails allow visitors to connect with nature and enjoy breathtaking views.

. Erhai Lake has a cultural significance for the Bai people.

The Bai ethnic minority considers Erhai Lake to be a sacred place with deep cultural significance. They celebrate their traditions and festivals along its shores, preserving their cultural heritage for generations to come.

. Erhai Lake is a popular destination for photography enthusiasts.

The enchanting landscapes and vibrant local culture make Erhai Lake a photographer’s paradise. Capturing the reflections on the lake’s surface, the mist-shrouded mountains, and the authentic moments of daily life creates stunning visual narratives.

. Erhai Lake offers breathtaking sunrise and sunset views.

Witnessing the sunrise or sunset over Erhai Lake is a truly magical experience. The changing colors of the sky against the tranquil waters create a mesmerizing spectacle, leaving visitors in awe of nature’s beauty.


Erhai Lake is truly a remarkable natural wonder, filled with fascinating facts that make it a must-visit destination. From its stunning beauty to its rich cultural history, this lake has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, Erhai Lake will surely captivate your senses. So, make sure to include this extraordinary gem in your travel plans and immerse yourself in the breathtaking charm of Erhai Lake.


1. What is the significance of the name “Erhai Lake”?

The name “Erhai” translates to “Ear-shaped Sea” in Chinese, referring to the lake’s unique shape resembling an ear when viewed from above.

2. How big is Erhai Lake?

Erhai Lake covers an area of approximately 250 square kilometers, making it one of the largest highland freshwater lakes in China.

3. Is Erhai Lake a popular tourist attraction?

Yes, Erhai Lake is a popular destination for tourists due to its stunning scenery, cultural heritage, and recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking.

4. Are there any islands in Erhai Lake?

Yes, there are several islands scattered across Erhai Lake, including Jinsuo Island, Nanzhao Fengqing Island, and Xiaoputuo Island.

5. Can visitors explore the surrounding areas of Erhai Lake?

Absolutely! The surrounding areas of Erhai Lake are dotted with charming villages, ancient temples, and picturesque landscapes, offering plenty of opportunities for exploration and cultural immersion.

6. Are there any local festivals associated with Erhai Lake?

Yes, there are several festivals celebrated in the vicinity of Erhai Lake, including the Raosanling Festival, the Torch Festival, and the Water Splashing Festival, which showcase the local traditions and customs.

7. Is Erhai Lake environmentally protected?

Yes, Erhai Lake is a designated national nature reserve and has measures in place to ensure its protection and sustainability.

8. What are some nearby attractions to visit alongside Erhai Lake?

Some nearby attractions worth visiting include the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple, Xizhou Ancient Town, and the Butterfly Spring, each offering its own unique charm and cultural significance.

9. Can visitors engage in water sports at Erhai Lake?

Yes, visitors can enjoy a variety of water activities at Erhai Lake, such as kayaking, canoeing, and sailing.

10. Are there accommodations available near Erhai Lake?

Absolutely! There are plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and resorts in the vicinity of Erhai Lake, offering comfortable and convenient accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences.

Erhai Lake's captivating beauty and rich history make it a truly extraordinary destination. From its stunning natural landscapes to its cultural significance, this freshwater lake offers visitors an unforgettable experience. If you're interested in learning more about the area surrounding Erhai Lake, be sure to read our article on the fascinating facts about Dali. Discover the unique customs, traditions and attractions that make this region so special.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.