Puzhehei Scenic Area
The Puzhehei Scenic Area is 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) northwest of Qiubei County Town, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Minorities Autonomous Prefecture. As a typical karst landscape, the scenic area abounds in beautiful waters and green mountains which are very similar to and even prettier than those in Guilin. Therefore, Puzhehei is praised as being ‘a unique pastoral scene in China’.
Puzhehei Lake, an upland freshwater lake, stands in the center of this area. It is 1,310 acres of clear, sparkling water, and is called ‘Pearl Lake’ by the local people. About 70 lakes of different sizes link together to form a 20-kilometer (12.4 mile) long tourist watercourse. 300 distinct peaks tower over crystal waters; some seem like elegant pagodas while others resemble penholders. Among the peaks there are more than 200 karst caves, of which about 80 large ones can be visited. In the deep, quiet caves, milky stalagmites grow thickly and steles stand in great numbers. Outside, the vast waters are dotted in summer with shining lotus flowers and boundless lotus leaves, enhancing the picturesque scenery.
Tourists can take a traditional canoe made by the Yi people to admire the stunning spectacle. Simple cottages in good condition, surrounded with cut bamboo, are situated by the lakes. Five ethnic minorities, the Yi, Zhuang, Miao, Yao and Sani, live nearby and preserve their old folk-customs and cultures. Away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, the Puzhehei Scenic Area offers people a fairyland with a tranquil environment and beautiful scenery.
How to Get There
Puzhehei can be reached from Kunming by either of two methods.
From Kunming, travel to Qiubei County first, and then change to Qiubei County buses to reach Puzhehei. Many buses to Qiubei County can be found at the Kunming East Bus Station. The bus takes about 5 hours to reach Qiubei. Upon reaching the Qiubei Bus Terminal, take the Special-line Tourist Buses to get to the Puzhehei Scenic Area. The bus on this line is available from 07:00 to 16:30 and the trip takes 30 to 40 minutes. For the return trip to Qiubei County, the buses operate from 07:30 to 17:30.
You can fly from Kunming to Wenshan Puzhehei Airport first and then take a taxi to the scenic spot. There are daily flights, and the travel time is 50 minutes.
It is best to visit the Puzhehei Scenic Area from May to September, and especially in July and August. At that time, the lotus flowers are in full blossom. Besides, the local "Painted Face Festival" (Hualian Festival), the local busiest and happiest time, usually falls around July 18 and usually lasts for about one month.
If you love photography, this wonderful scenic spot is a paradise for you. Bring a high quality camera.
There are neither banks nor ATMs in the scenic spot, so bring some small denomination cash.
Once reaching Puzhehei, the fantastic water fighting game cannot be missed. If you want to participate, you'll need a plastic barrel, a one-off rain coat and a water gun. Also, cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices should be protected during the game.
Accommodation: There are four hotels and countless hostels in the Immortal Cave Village.
The temperature difference between day and night is large, so heavy coats are necessary. Also, bring a rain coat, sun helmet, sunglasses, sun cream and flashlight.
Admission Fee: Free, but visitors need to pay CNY 170 for the boat ride.
Further Reading: In-depth Guide to Top 10 Yunnan Destinations
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