Fuxian Lake

Fuxian Lake, located in Yuxi, and 70 km (43 mi) from Kunming, is a famous fresh water lake in China. It covers an area of 211 sq km (81 sq mi) and the maximum depth is 155 m (508 ft) , making it the third deepest lake in China. The lake is so crystal clear that the ancients called it “a large area of shinning glass”. Apart from the beautiful scenery, this place is famous for a mysterious ancient underwater city.

According to legend, two fairies descended to the earth and passed by this lake. They indulged in the beauty of the scenery and were reluctant to leave. Finally they turned into two stone women with their hands on each other’s shoulders, which is the meaning of “fuxian” in Chinese.

Top Attractions to Visit at Fuxian Lake

Map of Fuxian Lake
Map of Fuxian Lake

Luchong Village

Luchong is a fishing village located on the west shore of Fuxian Lake. It faces the lake with  Penholder Mountain for a background. The village is famous for Anti-wave Fishing and the Big Banyans.

Anti-wave Fishing: One of the characteristics of Luchong is the collection of large and small fishing holes by the lake shore. They are used for catching the specialty here-“Anti-Wave Fish”, (or known as “Kanglang Fish” by the locals). These fish stay  40 m (131 ft) under water at ordinary times, but in the breeding season, they go near the shore to find a suitable place to lay eggs. As they prefer flowing water, fishermen set up water wheels beside the fishing holes and create a rapid flow to attract Anti-Wave Fish. In China, Anti-Wave Fish only exist in Fuxian Lake. They are small but extremely delicious and tender. The fish used to be articles of tribute for the royal family in ancient China. The period from March to September is the main season for catching Anti-wave Fish.

Big Banyan: The big leafy banyans around the lake are eye-catching. The youngest of them are older than 70 years and most of them are older than 100 years. The banyans have thick branches and flourishing leaves. Some of them can only be encircled by 7 to 8 adults hand-in-hand.

Star Scenic Area

Star Scenic Area, located on the west shore of Fuxian Lake, is 12 km (7 mi) from Luchong. The famous Azure Clouds Temple and Star Fishing Holes are in this area.

Azure Clouds Temple: After climbing 499 steps on Azure Clouds Mountain, you can see the Azure Clouds Temple. There are many magnificent pavilions, terraces and towers in the temple. After walking out the back door of the temple and climbing up for a while, you will see the peak of Azure Clouds Mountain- Lotus Peak. Here you can have a panoramic view of the lake, Azure Clouds Reservoir and the surrounding mountains.

Star Fishing Holes: There are more than 200 fishing holes in Star Scenic Area. In fishing season, fishermen use water wheels beside the holes to catch Anti-Wave Fish. Visitors can enjoy delicious fish here, too.

Gushan Island

Gushan Island, located in the southern part of the lake, is the only island in Fuxian Lake. On the island are Lanke Ground, Facing-the-Wind Pavilion, Fairy Cave and Double Stone. There is also a fish-watching platform for people to watch the clustered black carps.

Fish Boundary Stone

Fuxian Lake is linked to Xingyun Lake in the southwest by the Haimen River. Fish Boundary Stone is in the middle of Haimen River. Fish in the two lakes are automatically bounded by this stone as they never cross border. The reason of this wonder is the totally different natural environments of the two lakes. Fuxian Lake is a deep lake with few aquatic plants and zooplankton, but Xingyun Lake is a shallow lake with luxuriant aquatic plants and abundant zooplankton.

Ancient Underwater City and Lost Civilization at the Bottom of Fuxian Lake

In 1992, a diver found an ancient underwater city at the bottom of the lake. Scientists have reached no final conclusions on this discovery yet, but some people believe it has much to do with the Ancient-Yunnan Civilization.

In 2005, the detected ancient city reached an area of 2.4 sq km (1 sq mi) with 8 main buildings. The most amazing one is Fuxian Lake Pyramid. This 5-storey building is 21 m (69 ft) high and the shape is like the pyramid of Maya. A stage-style building with many bronze buckles was speculated to be a Sacrificial Altar. There are many 8 to 15 cm (3 to 6 in) holes in the under-water buildings like a “Hoofprint of Sea Horse (a kind of animal in legend of the lake)”. Researchers consider that they were probably used for building houses.

There are many unknown things about the underwater city. Researching it will be a world-class project. It has been conjectured that the scale of the underwater city will not be smaller than the Maya Civilization.

How to get to Fuxian Lake

1. Take a coach from Kunming South Passenger Station to Chengjiang. The bus departs every 40 to 100 minutes from 8:30 to 23:00; the duration is about an hour and the ticket fare is around CNY20.
2. Upon arrival, take the around-lake bus from the Administration Center of Chengjiang to the lake. Below is the detailed info:
Around-Lake Bus The East Line The West Line
First Depart 8:00 9:00
Last Depart 16:00 17:00
Interval 2h
Fare CNY 10

Opening Hours

The lake opens all day long. Some scenic spots around the lake open from 8:00 or 9:00 to 17:00 or 20:00.

Ticket Prices

Free for the lake.
Scenic Spot  Ticket Fare
Luchong Village CNY 15
Gushan Island CNY 15
Biyun Temple CNY 10
Fish Boundary Stone CNY 2
Moon Bay CNY 30
- Last updated on Sep. 06, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Fuxian Lake
Asked by Luciano from USA | Feb. 28, 2020 11:43Reply
Can you dive to the underwater city in Yuxi?
Answers (1)
Answered by Sandy from GERMANY | Feb. 28, 2020 19:26

Well, as I know, you can only drive around the lake.
Asked by Ed from US | Sep. 06, 2018 16:05Reply
Is swimming allowed in Fuxian Lake
Answers (2)
Answered by Sam from CANADA | Sep. 07, 2018 00:50

Yes, it is.
Answered by Henk from CHINA | Nov. 28, 2019 04:03

In 2019 swimming in the lake is not allowed anymore
Asked by FRANCINE | Feb. 06, 2018 03:23Reply
I am planning to take buses, from Kumming to Yuanyang via Shilin.
From Yuangang we would like to continue onto Simao to Xshuangbanna. We want to see as many scenic areas as possible.
Can anyone offer advice please?
Answers (2)
Answered by Andre from BELGIUM | Feb. 06, 2018 21:03

As I know, no bus is from Shilin to Yuanyang, so you need to back to Kunming to catch the bus.
As for to Simao, you still need to back to Kunming and catch a bus to Pu’er. After that, take another bus to Jinghong.
Answered by FRANCINE | Feb. 07, 2018 00:40

Thank you Andrea.
Cheers, Francine
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