Updated: 2013-09-23 16:07
Caohai Lake, a State-level natural reserve located in the western suburbs of Weining county, is the largest fresh water lake and the largest highland wetland in Guizhou. It's as famous as Qinghai Lake in Qinghai and Dianchi Lake in Yunnan. Covering a water area of more than 30 square kilometers, the tranquil and beautiful lake is dubbed "The Pearl on the Guizhou Plateau".
The lake is the largest overwintering site for migratory birds in Southwest China and one of the world's top 10 highland wetlands for bird observation. The lake is a paradise for bird watchers, being home to over 180 species, including over 70 rare birds, such as the Black-Necked Crane, Black Stork and Hooded Crane. Black-Necked Cranes are the only plateau crane in the world. They are extremely beautiful and endangered.
The lake, surrounded by mountains, is well-known for its crystal-clear water and lush grass. The natural scenery here is absolutely amazing in springtime, when the azaleas around the lake are at their brightest and the water plants are in full bloom, dotting the lake with yellow, red and white flowers. The lake offers particularly wonderful views to visitors arriving here between December and late March, when over 100,000 birds arrive from across the world to spend their winter here.
Best time to go: December to late March
Admission: Free, 120 yuan ($19.61) to rent a boat
How to get there: You can take a taxi from Weining county to Caohai. You can also walk from Weining to Caohai in about 30 minutes.