WHAT’S your ideal summer escape? Does it involve a blue sky with white clouds, endless green fields, boating on a lake, and a vast sea of lotus flowers? All of these can be found in Puzhehei, a natural air-conditioned corridor in Yunnan.
“Puzhehei” is a Chinese transliteration of the Yi minority name for the area, meaning “a pond teeming with fish and shrimp.” The undeveloped land is home to over 20,000 mu of lotus flowers, 312 conical mountains, 54 placid lakes, 83 karst caves, 15 rivers and a 120-kilometer underground river.
The top things to do here include cruising along the crystal-clear river, visiting secluded caves, rock climbing, interacting with local tribes, barbecuing on boats, enjoying peach blossoms in the spring as well as unraveling the culture and heritage of local ethnic groups. In the summer season of July and August, wide-stretching lotus will also come into full blossom, filling the air with an intoxicating aroma.
Its beauty can be fully appreciated through boating. Boarding a Yi people’s wooden canoe, you will pass along the spellbinding peaks, rivers, sleepy fishing villages and lotus pools. Free from the annoying crowds and noisy motorboats, you can relax in the scenery and immerse into reveries.
Puzhehei National Wetland Park
Featuring lakes, hills and karst caves, Puzhehei National Wetland Park in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province is famous for its beautiful summer scenery. Covering an area of 11.07 million square meters, it boasts a floating farmland, Yi ethnic culture, a karst wetland, diverse forests and a wide variety of birds.
The park, officially named a national wetland park in 2012, is three kilometers north of downtown Qiubei. The best time to visit Puzhehei is the period between May and September, with June and July being the best time to see the lotus flowers in full bloom.
Nicknamed “a dreamland in the sky and a fairyland in the mundane world,” the wetland park provides you with opportunities around every corner to take picture-perfect photos so flawless they could be used as your next desktop wallpaper.
Add: Puzhehei National Wetland Park, three kilometers north of downtown Qiubei, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province 云南文山自治州丘北县城以北3公里处普者黑国家湿地公园
Located in the middle of the Puzhehei Lake, Qinglong Mountain is the best outlook for viewing the whole area below. Rising to a height of 1,555 meters, the mountain is one of the tallest on the plain. From the observation deck on the top of the mountain, you can see a flat plain dotted with hundreds of conical hills and mountains interspersed with shimmering lakes filled with water lilies.
If you climb up the mountain in the early morning, you will be able to see the village below waking up, dogs barking and chickens squawking all around the valley, and smoke rising from kitchen chimneys.
One feature that many visitors miss but is equally breathtaking lies underground. Karst rock formations are just as interesting below ground as they are above, and Puzhehei has several caves well worth exploring for those unbothered by descending into the netherworld for a few hours. Three of the largest and most popular caves lie under Qinglong Mountain.
Add: Qinglong Mountain, west of Puzhehei Village, Qiubei County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province 云南文山自治州丘北县普者黑景区普者黑村西青龙山
The Shede Grassland is located on the northwest of Qiubei County, which is 35 kilometers from Puzhehei scenic spot.
“Shede” means “loss” or “to abandon” in Chinese, and there is a saying in China that “gains come from loss.” Many tourists step on the grassland to experience this truism of life. It is also called the “Shangri-La in Qiubei County” with 50,000 mu grassland.
Listening to the remote songs of Yi herdsmen and watching the herds wandering about unhurriedly under the clouds, one will be in good mood here where yellow wild flowers and green grass weave together. A broad oasis merges with the grasslands at a distant mountain area.
Add: Shede Village, Qiubei County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province 云南文山自治州丘北县舍得村
Nicknamed the “Thousand Islands Lake of Yunnan,” Bailong Lake is a seldom-visited secret land with seven islands and three peninsulas.
The clear blue-green lake water enjoys a transparency of up to eight meters when it’s placid. Fishing, taking a boat out or strolling around the lake are all nice lakeside relaxation options.
Add: Nanbailuo Village, Puzhehei, Qiubei County, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province 云南文山自治州丘北县普者黑南摆落村