A nice lake between Yunnan and Sichuan to relax one or two days. The area is protected from extensive development.
80RMB per head when entering the lake area. Students pay half price (most likely any English photo-ID will work).
Relax, eat well and talk with the locals and the Chinese tourists.
A tour in the traditional boats.
Cable car to the top of the most prominent mountain on the north side. There is a cave to visit and some mountain monkeys to see.
Hiking in the surrounding mountains.
Half of the road around the lake (Yunnan side) is paved and in not so good shape for bikes.
Chinese/Tibetan/western food in many different places.
Many places all around the lake. The main town on the Yunnan side is Luoshui, which is beautifully located on the lake's shore. In high season it can get crowded, but in low season it's serene and highly enjoyable. Some foreigners prefer to stay in Lige, which is a small village on the north side of the lake with a great view on the lake.
In Luoshui there are plenty of wonderful hotels in the 40Y-70Y price range: expect a clean double room with an attached bathroom, hot water, electric blanket, wi-fi and a balcony or view to the lake. There is an expensive "offical" youth hostel, but it's cheaper and better to ask around in other hotels for a room. Bargaining is the norm in low season, but notice that a small deposit is usually required.
Not authorized in the lake area, but you can.
To Lijiang, 230km, 4/5 hours by bus or van. The fare is about 45-60Y.
You can catch the bus from Lige or Luoshui, the boat to Luoshui is 80RMB from Luowa Pier (where the Wetlands meet the Lake), to Lige a minivan is 120RMB/Van or a 7 hour 25km hike.