Dianchi Lake Scenic Area

Map of Dianchi Lake, Kunming
Map of Dianchi Lake
(Click to enlage it)
The Dianchi Lake Scenic Area is located in the southwest part of Kunming City. Dianchi Lake is, beyond question, the center of the resort. There are numerous attractions along the lake captivating tourists. Among these are the Yunnan Nationalities Village, Grand View Park (Daguan Park), White Fish Park (Baiyukou Park), Haigeng Bank, Kwan-yin Hill, Western Hills Forest Park, temples and pagodas. Towns, big or small near the lake provide visitors with an opportunity to experience customs of the local people.

Dianchi Lake

Measuring about 300 square kilometers (74,132 acres), Dianchi Lake or Dian Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Yunnan Province and the sixth largest one in China. With picturesque scenery and its location on the Yungui Plateau, the lake has a reputation as 'A Pearl on the Plateau'. Unfortunately, the lake has been badly polluted. Although efforts have been made to save the lake, they have been largely unsuccessful.

The lake is crescent-shaped, about 39 kilometers (24 miles) in length and 13 kilometers (8 miles) in width at its widest. Its natural banks are formed by mountains on all four sides. More than twenty rivers nurture the lake which has a shoreline of 163.2 kilometers (101 miles). Four surrounding hills contribute to the picturesque landscape, making visitors intoxicated and linger around. You may appreciate the beauty of the lake and hills from a boat, and explore this cradle of Yunnan culture.

emerald lake
Dianchi, the largest lake of Yunnan
The village in Dianchi Lake Scenic Area acts as a good shortcut to understand the social customs of the ethnic groups in Yunnan. It has a natural sun-bathing area where you can escape from the heat of summer. Twenty-five ethnic nationalities have their respective villages and conduct many activities to present their unique folkways and beautiful clothes. Also you can enjoy the water screen movie and an elephant performance, have a taste of the local dishes and buy pretty handicrafts.

Grand View Park is vibrant with rock gardens, pavilions, bridges and murmuring water. It is famous for the longest couplets in China on the Grand View Pavilion. The Grand View Pavilion was built in the year 1828. It commands a lovely view. The couplet written in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), contains 180 characters brimming with literary grace. During festival evenings, gatherings take place here.

White Fish Park

White Fish Park is on the west bank of Dianchi Lake. Here a small hill looks like a white fish opening its mouth to the lake. Near the Irregular shore line, beautiful gardens are hidden among green trees. In spring, the cherry trees are in blossom, adding luster to this serene place. Overlooking the lake, you can see white sails of boats on the glistening lake and gulls skimming over the waves.

Dianchi Lake
The land of fish and rice
Overlook the lake from hill
Many hills around to overlook the lake

Haigeng Bank

Haigeng Bank is about four kilometers (2.5 miles) long while ranging in width from forty meters (131 feet) to three hundred meters (984 feet). The bank, like a floating jade belt, is in fact a watershed of the Dianchi Lake. Slender willow twigs sweep the lake in the gentle breeze. In the south is a wonderful natural swimming pool which is always crammed with people in midsummer.

Kwan-yin Hill

Kwan-yin Hill is bordered by the vast lake and has an altitude of 2,040 meters (6,693 feet). Lofty peaks on this hill seem to thrust themselves straight towards the sky. A Kwan-yin Temple built here in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was once a popular resort of Buddhism. Remaining are a seven-tier brick pagoda, houses, and a gate to the Kwan-yin Temple.


Visitors can appreciate Dianchi Lake closely at Haigeng Park. Or they can climb to the top of Western Hills to have a bird's eye view of the lake. Dianchi Lake is free of charge for visitors.
Haigeng Park Western Hills
Entrance Fee free
Opening Hours all day 8:30 - 17:30

How to get to Dianchi Lake Scenic Area

Take bus 24, 44, 73, 94, 135, 172 or 233, and get off at Haigeng Gongyuan (Haigeng Park) Station.
Kunming Bus Search

Nearby Attractions:
 Western Hills
 Dragon Gate

 Further Reading:
Top 10 Things to Do in Kunming
In-depth Guide to Top 10 Yunnan Destinations
- Last updated on Jul. 18, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Dianchi Lake Scenic Area
Asked by Kian yew Chow from SINGAPORE | Dec. 16, 2019 23:12Reply
dianchi lake red seagulls
I am from Singapore travel alone.
Will there be red seagulls this year as I plan to travel in mid January? I need the confirmation if green lake pond have then likely will have come this year?

I plan to visit both for the photo and sight seeing.

graeme chow , Singapore
Answers (2)
Answered by Kim from MALAYSIA | Dec. 19, 2019 18:16

Generally speaking, you will see these birds from November till Mid-March.
Answered by Kunming person from CHINA | Dec. 27, 2019 07:05

They are red legged gulls, also known as black headed gulls. The heads slowly change from white to black over the winter season, but a usually not fully black until the time when they return in March.
The best place to see the gulls in Haigeng Park or Haigeng Daba, as crowds of people feed them. The best time is in the morning, when the gulls are hungry.
Asked by Alexey from ISRAEL | Jul. 20, 2019 02:04Reply
How to get from Dianchi Lake to the downtown?
My hotel is near the Jiaosanqiao metro station. Is there a direct bus to there or do I need to take a taxi? What's the price of both and how long does it take?

Thanks for help.
Answers (1)
Answered by Rena from USA | Jul. 22, 2019 00:12

If you take taxi, the fare is around CNY30-40 with around 40 minutes.
If you take direct bus, take bus No.73 from Haigeng Park Station to Baoshan Street Station, then walk north of 1km to Jiaosanqiao Station, which takes 1.5 hours with CNY2.
Asked by Ruzni from SINGAPORE | Jan. 14, 2019 02:31Reply
Is there hop on hop off tour bus around the Kunming city centre ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Owen from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 15, 2019 00:57

I heard that there is a Bus no.23 Sightseeing Bus. The ticket fare is CNY2. But I am afraid that whether if it can hop on and hop off.
Asked by Manfred from GERMANY | Dec. 22, 2018 05:35Reply
What is the nearest subway station to the Dianchi Lake and the Minority Village?
Answers (1)
Answered by Maria from USA | Dec. 26, 2018 19:05

The nearest one is Xishan Park Station on subway line 3. The distance is about 5km. After arriving, you can take a taxi to the scenic area directly.
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