In this article you will find some ideas on what to see and do in Fuxian Lake, Yunnan.
Fuxian Lake is the third largest, after Dianchi (in Kunming) and Erhai in Dali (my guide here). It’s also the third deepest lake in China.
If you’re thinking of planning a trip without straying too far from Kunming, Fuxian is definitely the right option.
Why you should visit Fuxian Lake (抚仙湖) and how to get there
Fuxian Lake is the ideal place to relax in contact with nature. The coast is very beautiful, the water is clear and there are numerous beaches. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed due to some very restrictive environmental policies. Similar policies are becoming increasingly more common in many areas of China.
Having said that you have to consider a few things before deciding whether to visit Lake Fuxian or not. In my case, for instance, coming from Italy we have many lakes there that are absolutely fantastic. Going all the way to China to see another lake doesn’t really make much sense.
However, if you are already near Kunming, or at least Kunming is part of your itinerary, you may consider taking a detour and including Fuxian in your trip. You will get to see a part of China that is little known, especially regarding environmental protection.
The best option for visiting the lake is renting a car (if you live in China) or booking a driver through a travel agency so that you’ll be able to get aroung the coast. Unfortunately, public transportation is not available.
Top things to see and to do in Fuxian Lake
Here are some interesting places I discovered while exploring the area.
Pink beach 红山咀 (Hongshanzui).
One of the most famous places on the Lake is the Pink Beach. The Chinese name is 红山咀 (Hongshanzui). It’s a beautiful sandy beach with a pinkish color. The first picture of the article was taken there.
I couldn’t find out if the sand was imported from other parts of China or not, but in any case the surrounding mountains are rich in iron so the soil is often reddish. Probably that is the reason for the color of the sand. This beach has become very popular thanks to Chinese social media so you are likely to find many people.
In the map above you can see roughly where the beach is located.
Moon Bay Wetland Park (月亮湾湿地公园)
The North Coast is where all the hotels are located and you’ll also find another rather large beach. To enter the area you’ll have to pay a fee but it’s worth it: the park where the beach is located (Moon Bay Wetland Park -月亮湾湿地公园) is very well kept. Unfortunately swimming is not allowed, just like in the rest of the lake. Most hotels offer beach access included in the price of the reservation.
These are some photos of the northern aera of Fuxian Lake.
As you can see this area is reminiscent of the tropical beaches of Sanya or Southeast Asia.
Exploring the coast
The coast of Fuxian Lake is really beautiful and it feels like driving along the roads of the Italian coast in certain sections. If you don’t have the possibility to rent a car or a car with a driver, you might want to consider renting a scooter or a bicycle. In the northern part of the lake, a very long pedestrian platform has been built from where you can admire the lake.
Beach of the Sun 阳光海岸
In the upper part of the lake, there is another developed area for the tourists with a huge beach and other touristic facilities. In front of the beach, there is a small island with a small temple.
Jieyushi Park 界鱼石公园
Fuxian Lake is separated from Xingyun Lake (星云湖), in the south, by a small strip of land. According to a local legend, the two lakes are connected but the fish for some reason never manage to cross the natural boundary. Jieyushi Park stands on this symbolic spot and there is also a rather old Taoist temple there, dating back to the 17th century.
When is the best time to visit Fuxian Lake
Fuxian is, like Kunming, famous for its mild climate all year round. The rainy season starts around May and lasts until September/October so if you can avoid that period. In any case it will never be too cold or too hot.
Where to stay in Fuxian Lake
If you plan to stay one night, the northern part is the most developed and you will find all the main hotel facilities, including the beautiful l’Hilton (you can book it here).
If you don’t want to spend too much, there are other much cheaper options. I found a room for about 130RMB per night. Unfortunately, however, these options are not available on platforms like Booking.com so you’ll have to book something once you get there.