Poyang Lake

Located in the Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, Poyang Lake is the largest fresh-water lake in China. Having experienced many geological changes, it is now wide in the south and narrow in the north, like a huge gourd tied on the waist of the Yangtze River.

Poyang Lake is a resplendent pearl on the vast Chinese territory. For thousands of years, it has been nurturing the people in Jiangxi Province and attracting visitors with her charm.

Looking out over the vastness of the lake, with its blue waves that stretch to the horizon, is much like standing on the shore and looking out over an ocean. On days when the sun shines and the sky is a clear blue, the sky and the water seem to meet on the horizon. Sailboats on the lake dart back and forth, appearing to joust with the billowing clouds. Rafts float along one after another like a big moving dragon. Poyang Lake is rich in aquatic plants, which create a hospitable environment for many rare species of freshwater fish. In addition, many kinds of rare birds are attracted here, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers.

Dagu Hill

Dagu Hill is an island in Poyang Lake , which when seen from a distance, looks like a large shoe floating in the blue water. It is also known as Shoe Hill.

There is a sad but beautiful legend about the hill. A long, long time ago, a young fisherman named Hu Qing lived on the hill. One day he got a box when fishing on the lake, and when he opened the box, he found a pearl. On his way home, Hu saw a girl, dressed in green, wailing. He asked her why she was crying, and the girl told him that she had lost her precious pearl. Without hesitation, Hu returned the pearl he had found to the girl. The girl expressed her sincere thanks to him and then left. Another day a storm came up while Hu was fishing on the lake. Unable to see the shore, he was in grave danger. As he fought the storm, a maiden dressed in green and holding a glowing pearl appeared before him. Turning his boat toward the pearl, Hu was able to navigate his way safely to shore. The girl explained that she was a fairy named Da Gu, who had been exiled from the abode of the fairy mother. She had been sent to the earth to live alone in Poyang Lake because she had violated the holy rules in heaven. Hu and the fairy Da Gu fell in love, got married, and lived a happy life together. Meanwhile, Sheng Tai, the fishing overlord of Poyang Lake coveted the beauty of Da Gu and wanted to make her his own. The Jade Emperor learned that Hu Qing and Da Gu had become husband and wife, he sent his holy invincible army to capture Da Gu. At the same time Sheng Tai was attempting to kill Hu. As she was being carried off into the heavens, Da Gu saw her husband being tortured by Sheng . Attempting to save him, she dropped one of her shoes, which turned into a huge piece of rock that fell to earth and crushed Sheng's men. The cliff that formed when the rock fell is the present Dagu Hill.

Actually Dagu Hill is only one peak with precipices on its three sides. Covered with tall, straight trees, the island rises steeply from the water, surrounded by water on all sides. Visitors who hike to the top of the hill are rewarded with a magnificent view of the vast Poyang Lake below. Along the way, you will see Heaven Flower Palace, with its majestic halls and splendid statues. In ancient times, the hill was a gathering place for scholars and businessmen. The buildings in which they met have been destroyed by wars and natural disasters, but you can still feel a strong sense of history on Dagu Hill.

Water fowl inhabit in Dagu Hill. One kind of the birds is called 'food-begging birds which have strong wings and sharp eyes. Visitors in boats enjoy throwing food to them, because no matter whether the food is tossed high in the air or dropped close to the surface of the lake, the food-begging birds catch it with precision.

Nanshan Hill

Another well known hill in the lake is Nanshan Hill, near Duchang County, which rises from the water like a dignified man standing in the waves. According to the legend, during the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24) a wise man lived on Nanshan Hill. Emperor Wudi met the man during a tour of inspection in the southern region of his territory and offered him an official government position. However the wise man turned down the offer, saying that he was just a farmer and was not interested in fame or rank. Named for the humble wise man, 'farmer rock' is the main attraction of Nanshan Hill. There visitors enjoy the sight of clear, sweet spring water flowing from the rock all year round. Those who climb to the top of the hill enjoy a panoramic view of the lake and distant hills.

Lake-View Pavilion

This is a large wooden structure located on the shore of Poyang Lake north of Wucheng Town. From the pavilion, you can see the majestic confluence of the Xiu and Gan rivers.

Lake-View Pavilion plays a role in a popular story about the area. During the late Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) General Chen Youliang battled with Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)) at Poyang Lake. Chen's wife often watched the battles from the pavilion, noting that neither side seemed to dominate the conflict. One day, she suggested a stratagem to her husband, hoping that it would bring him victory. At first, General Chen rejected the idea, but he later realized that he did not have any better ideas. In addition, some of his subjects strongly recommended his wife's plan. He implemented her plan and won the battle. On his way home from the battlefield, General Chen saw his beloved wife waiting for him in the pavilion. Planning to play a trick on her, he laid down his commander-in-chief banner. Seeing the banner on the ground, his wife thought that her husband had lost the battle and been killed because he failed to take her advice. She was so distressed that she jumped into the water and died.

Lake-View Pavilion was originally constructed in the later years of the Eastern Han Dynasty (317-420) and the early part of the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280). The present exquisite pavilion was rebuilt by the local government in 1988. It has four floors and stands on a platform made of granite. The view from Lake-View Pavilion takes in the rivers, the lake, the fishing boats, and the birds that contribute to the beauty of Poyang Lake.

Bird Protection Area

This area is a sanctuary for many rare species of birds. Measuring 224 square kilometers (about 86 square miles) in area, it offers a mild climate and a habitat rich in aquatic plants and fish with no industrial pollution. In winter, Poyang Lake is home to the world's largest population of birds.

Every November, thousands of birds fly in from Siberia, Mongolia, Japan, North Korea, and the northeastern and northwestern regions of China. These migratory birds spend the long winter in Poyang Lake together with the native widgeons, egrets, and mandarin ducks, leaving gradually as the weather starts to warm in March. Poyang Lake is considered by many to be the largest bird sanctuary in the world. Every winter it plays host to 95% of the world's white cranes, a fact that gives it two of its popular names: 'World of White Cranes' and 'Kingdom of Rare Birds'.

The white crane, which is one of the world's endangered species, is a large wading bird about 135 cm (about 53 inches) tall. All of its feathers are pure white except for a few black ones on the tips of the wings, which give it its alternate name of 'black sleeve crane'. Its sword-like beak is brownish yellow, and it stands on a pair of long, pink legs. White cranes mate for life, and because they can live 70 years or more, the Chinese call them 'immortal cranes' and consider them a symbol of propitiousness.

Serious birdwatchers use telescopes to get a good look at the birds, which are very shy and will fly away if you get too close to them. Colorful birds are everywhere, skimming the surface of the water, soaring high in the sky, or circling and diving for a morsel of food. The elegant white cranes can be seen flapping their wings and playing with each other. There are so many of them that they can look like a great white wall - a truly incredible sight.

Other rare birds that can be seen here include white storks, black storks, bustards, pelicans, and many more.

Luoxingshi Rock

Luoxingshi Rock is located on the bank of Poyang Lake in Xingzi County. In fact, it is a little rock island that looks like a star floating on the surface of the water, because it rises and falls along with the water level in the lake. Although Luoxingshi Rock is a tiny place, it is well known as a gathering place for scholars, men of letters who met here during many dynasties, giving Luoxingshi Rock a strong cultural heritage. With its temples, stone towers and other structures, Luoxingshi Rock has become a must-see scenic spot in Xingzi County around Poyang Lake.

Attractions around Poyang Lake :Mt. Lushan , Stone Bell Hill (Shizhong Shan)

Admission Fee: CNY 95 for the Wetland Park
Note: Tourists who go boating need to pay CNY 50 for the exterior or interior lake, and CNY 80 for both exterior and interior lake. 
Opening Hours: 09:00  to 18:00
- Last updated on Nov. 06, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Poyang Lake
Asked by Lok from M'SIA | Nov. 04, 2019 22:50Reply
The road under the water
I read that there is a road built over Poyang Lake and allows vehicles to go over it.
The Chinese called it "The Road Under The Water".
1. May I know which part of the lake is this bridge located?
2. How and where can I take a bus/taxi to go over the bridge?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lucy from THAILAND | Nov. 06, 2019 19:26

1. It is called Yongwu Road, which starts in Yongxiu County and ends in Wucheng Town, passing the famous Poyang Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
2. Actually, it is a normal road instead of a bridge. In June and July, there is plenty of rain. When the water level of Poyang Lake rises, the road surface of Yongwu Road will be flooded but people can still drive the car on it. You can take high speed train to Jiujiang/Lushan/Nanchang Railway station, then still take bullet train to Yongxiu Railway station.
Asked by Phang from SINGAPORE | Sep. 27, 2019 20:37Reply
Is it better to visit Poyang lake from Nanchang or Jiujiang as a base?
Answers (1)
Answered by Rory from USA | Oct. 07, 2019 19:16

Well, Poyang lake covers a large area and many different attractions. If you want to go to Nanji mountain, you can take bus 159 from Nanchang. If you want to go to Poyang wetland park, you can take bus to Poyang Coach station first, then take bus from there to it.
Asked by Jessie from SINGAPORE | Nov. 28, 2018 04:41Reply
Hotels near Poyang Lake for birdwatching
Hi could you recommend any hotels that is near birdwatching areas at the lake? We do not wish to travel daily from Nanchang. Thank you.
Answers (2)
Answered by Terrell from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 28, 2018 18:49

You can live in Poyang Hotel , located at No.56 Jianshe Road, Shangrao City. You can go to the national wetland park to see the bird. It is about 35-minute car ride.
Answered by jessie from SINGAPORE | Nov. 29, 2018 18:00

Appreciate your reply Terrell. Unfortunately Poyang Hote is having full occupancy 😔
Asked by Samruay from THAILAND | Sep. 16, 2017 08:55Reply
Please advise Poyang Lake , Bird Protection Area transportation and accommodation.
How can i go there from Nanchang ?
Can i go there by ferry ? How ? Where is port is Nanchang ? and what port name ?
Answers (1)
Answered by J from USA | Sep. 19, 2017 22:09

As I know, no ferry can take you there, and you can take a long-distance bus from Nanchang Long-distance Bus Station to Poyang first.
Then you can take a regular bus to Tuanlin County, which will pass by the lake.

Since no hotels are near the lake, so you are suggested to spend your night near the Long-distance bus station, and you can choose Nanchang Railway Station in Luoyang Rd, which is about 500 meters west to station.
Asked by Naomi Hodgson from UNITED KINGDOM | Jun. 23, 2016 04:27Reply
Can I get to Poyang Lake easily from Nanchang?
Answers (1)
Answered by David from USA | Jun. 24, 2016 01:49

Take a bus to Poyang from Xufang Passenger Transport Station at No. 850, Jinggangshan Street. The buses are available from 07:00 to 19:00. The fare is CNY 50. The trip takes about 2 hours. Upon arrival, you can take a taxi or motorbike to the lake. :)
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