As it so happens, there's a secret lake that couldn't be prettier right outside of your favorite hike in Zhangjiajie.
Whether you are living up north or all the way down south, ILP volunteers will have a hard time deciding what sites to see when you aren’t teaching English, wandering alleyways and discovering another favorite noodle house.
This free guide gives you more info on what life is like in China in case you are having a hard time picturing yourself living in China
Even with all these fabulous spots to see, we just wanted to let you know about another hidden gem — the dreamy and mysterious Baofeng Lake. It's seriously beautiful; think emerald green water surrounded by jungley mountains and swirled with mist. It's beautiful.
- Where Is It?
- How Do I Get There?
- What Should I See?
- How Much Does It Cost?
- How Long Will It Take?
Where Is It?
Well, first thing first. You got to get yourself to the Hunan Province and we’d also highly recommend checking out the Avatar Mountains in Zhangjiajie while you are there! We’ve got an outline on what to see and how to get around right here that could be helpful for your visit. The Avatar Mountains are in a huge section called the Wulingyuan Scenic area which is where you can also find Baofeng Lake.
How Do I Get There?
The lake is just a couple kilometers outside of the Avatar Mountain park itself, and you can get here a few different ways.
Option One: From the Zhangjiajie Long-Distance Bus station, take a minibus (about $2, and that takes about 40 minutes). You’ll then need to hire a taxi to the lake (Should be about 10 CNY, or $1.50).
Option Two: Or you can take public bus No. 2 (this will cost you just 1 CNY) to the lake. You’ll be able to catch this bus once you make it to Wulingyuan city.
Option Three: Or you can take a taxi from your hostel or wherever you are staying; then you can pay your cab to wait at the lake while you see the sights and will for sure have a ride home. Splitting that cost with your group shouldn’t make that too expensive and is ultra convenient.
Here’s the name in English and Chinese to help out your taxi driver:
Baofeng Lake (宝峰湖) Scenic Area
What Should I See?
The lake! You can do this two ways; one is by hiking the lake. You’ll buy the cheaper ticket (read more about that below) and plan on climbing loads of stairs to get to the hiking trails. It’s supposedly really gorgeous to see it all from higher up, but if you are tired after days exploring the Avatar Mountains, I’d suggest the second option.
See the lake by taking a dreamy boat ride. Get the 98 CNY ticket (but get a student discount with your ISIC card!) You’ll have a 10-15 minute walk to get to the lake from the ticket counter before getting into these Chinese style boats to take you around the lake. (Just follow what everyone else is doing and don’t get on the buses!)
Then you’ll get your tour around the lake — You’ll hear a bunch of stuff explained in Chinese but you don’t need to know the history to see how absolutely gorgeous and beautiful it is.
How Much Does It Cost?
There’s an entrance fee of 98 CNY (about $14 USD) to get in (and yes, if you've already purchase an entrance fee for the Avatar Park this is going to be separate from that), but that oddly includes insurance and there is a student discount so be sure to bring your ISIC card!
Everything will be in Chinese at the ticket counter so look for price rather than “Boat tour around the lake” because you won’t see that as an option…unless you can read Mandarin. The cheaper prices are to get on a bus for a hike around the lake, which we talk about in the section above.
How Long Will It Take?
This is a great half day (or 2-4 hour long) activity, so plan on doing this in the morning before catching a night train or flight out of town. Or, plan on doing this first before heading into the Avatar park…or on your last day after taking in those breathtaking mountains.
It does get very hot and humid in this area of China, so the morning may make things a bit cooler as you are taking in all the scenery.
Need more travel tips? Or maybe you need more China in your life — we’ve got a blog all about this country’s hidden gems and tricks that just the locals know. Click that button below to see what else this country has in store for you!