Wenhai Lake, Lijiang – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

wenhai lake, lijiang

Wenhai Lake (文海), with an area of ​​160 hectares and an average elevation of 3100 meters, is a pristine alpine lake nestled amidst the majestic landscape of Yulong Snow Mountain in Yunnan Province, China. It originated from ancient glacial activity and is sustained by the melting snow and ice from the surrounding mountains.

Formerly, Wenhai Lake played a significant role as a vital rest stop along the ancient Tea Horse Road (also known as the Southern Silk Road), a historic trade route connecting Yunnan and Tibet. Caravans of mules and horses would frequently halt here to graze and rest before continuing their arduous journey. The lake’s south side features a legendary stone pillar, believed to be the transformed staff of the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Great Treasure Dharma King.

The lake’s water levels vary dramatically between the rainy and dry seasons, with the area expanding up to five times during the rainy season. Prior to the arrival of the rainy season, Wenhai Lake resembles a vast grassland with a small central lake, akin to Napa Lake in Shangri-La. During this time, the surrounding grassland bursts into bloom with colorful flowers, including the famous Primula flower, painting the landscape with shades of purple and red. Herds of cattle, sheep, horses, and pigs graze peacefully on the lush grassland.

In autumn and winter, Wenhai Lake transforms into a serene expanse of azure water, resembling a tranquil blue silk cloth draped between the mountains. On moonlit nights, countless stars shimmer on the lake’s surface, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. In the early morning, the Yulong Snow Mountain reflects the soft light of dawn, casting a radiant glow across the landscape. As spring approaches, the lake gradually drains through a mysterious sinkhole located on its southern side, leaving behind a verdant meadow adorned with wildflowers. The once-glistening emerald gem of summer and autumn transforms into a vibrant sea of colors, signaling the arrival of a new season.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year

Location and Transportation

Wenhai Lake is located in Wenhai Village, Baisha Township, Yulong Naxi Autonomous County, Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China. It sits at the southwestern foot of the main peak of Yulong Snow Mountain, known as Shanzidou. To get to Wenhai Lake, there is no public transportation available, so it’s recommended to either drive yourself or hire a car.

Vlog about Wenhai Lake

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