Caohai Lake is 2200 meters above sea level. It is a limestone eroded lake and one of the three famous plateau lakes in China, the other two are Dianchi lake and Qinghai Lake (also Kokonor lake).
2000 meters above sea level
As a plateau wetland ecosystem, It is listed as a national nature reserve. Caohai is the largest natural plateau freshwater lake in Guizhou Province, with a water area of about 46.5 square kilometers. The average depth of this lake is only about 2 meters, and the water quality is clear and pollution-free. Because a large number of aquatic plants are flawlessly covering the “bottom of the lake”, an extremely spectacular “underwater grassland” has been formed.
It is like floating above the forest when take a boat in the lake, however, motor boats cannot travel, so the boats to this lake are all human-powered boats. After entering the lake by boat, the further traveling in the lake, the better quality of water, and more birds.
When the water is rich, the two sides are tall with water plants, but the river is wide and the view is not limited. On both sides of the watercourse are water plants that are almost as tall as humans, but the watercourse is wide and the view is not limited. Occasionally, you may even encounter some local villagers selling the barbecue fish which is from this lake by taking their small fish-boat.
Caohai is surrounded by green mountains and dense forests. It is a complete and typical plateau wetland ecosystem. The lake is rich in aquatic animals and plants, such as fish, shrimp, and pampas grass. It is an important wintering place and migration land for over 228 species of birds such as black-necked cranes.
Every winter, thousands of rare birds fly here for overwinter, hence, it is also known as the “kingdom of birds”. Particularly rare birds include black-necked cranes, grey cranes, red-crowned cranes, yellow spotted reed wrens, black-winged long-legged owls and grass herons, as well as a large number of wild geese and wild ducks.
The Best travel time
The best travel time to this lake is summer and winter;
Winter and early spring (December-March) are the best seasons for bird watching in Caohai. Thousands of migratory birds fly here for overwinter, among of which the black-necked crane is the most well-known.
In spring (April-May), although there are no black-necked cranes, however, there are still dozens of other bird species. Water-plants start to turn green.
In summer (June-August), it is full of vitality, and the water plants are also blooming.
Autumn and winter (October-December), Water Plants gradually is bleak, but it is a good time to watch the fog of Caohai, Weining County is looming in the fog, As if in a fairyland.
Address & Contact
Weining County, Guizhou
Phone: +86 857 622-1334
Ticekt：RMB60 per person
Boating fee is not included
Tips on Traffic
The closest train station to Weining is “Liu Pan Shui station | 六盘水站”; it is about 75 kilometers from Liu Pan Shui station to Weining county, which may take 1.5 hours’ drive
OR you may choose to start from Guiyang which is about 5 hours’ drive to Weining county, the bus is one departure at 09:00 am one day, ticket rate: RMB 51 per person
Additionally, the lastest departure from Caohai to Liu Pan Shui train station is at 18:00 pm
Airport & Bus Station
Guiyang Bus Station
Address: No. 278, Beijing Road, Guiyang | 贵阳市景北京路278号
Altitude: 950 meters above sea level
Phone: +86 851 650-9810
Address: No.1 Airport road, Nanming district, Guiyang | 贵阳市南明区机场路1号
Phone: +86 851 96967
Altitude: 1139 meters above sea level
IATA code: KWE