Home/About Yunnan / Rivers /

Rivers and Lakes


Dianchi Lake is a large endothecia lake, located on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau close to Kunming. Its nickname is "Sparkling Pearl Embedded in a Highland". It is the largest in Southwest and the eighth largest lake in China. 

The lake covers 311.388 km². The mean depth is 5.12 m with the deepest point of 11.3m.It is a freshwater fault lake at 1,887 m above sea level. The storage capacity is 1.5931billion m² and the lake shoreline is 200km.

Erhai Lake, the second largest highland lake in Yunnan, is situated in the north of Dali, at1,966 m above sea level. Its area is 252.91 km². Its average depth is 10.8 m and the deepest point is 21.5m. The total storage capacity is 2.88 billion cubic meters. 

Fuxian Lake, the second deepest lake in China, is located in the area connecting Chenjiang, Jiangchuan and Huaning counties. It covers an area of 216.6 square km. With the deepest point of the 158.9 meters and the average depth of 92.5 meters, Fuxian Lake ranks the 1stin Yunnan and the 2nd in China in terms of depth. Its total water capacity is 18.93 billion cubic meters.

Yilong Lake is located in the southeast of Shiping County. The lake covers an area of approximately 92 square kilometers and the total storage capacity was 114.5 million cubic meters. Its average depth is 5 meters and the deepest point is 6.55m.

Chenghai Lake is a plateau lake in the southwest of Yong sheng Country. The lake has a total area of about 77.2 square kilometers. The average depth is 25.9 m and the deepest point is25.9m. The water storage capacity is about 1.987 billion m3 with the lake shoreline of45.1m.

Lugu Lake lies on the border between the northwest of Yunnan Province and the southwest of Sichuan Province. It is the third deepest lake in China, with a water spread area of 50 square kilometers and 30.3 m² of the area lies in Yunnan.

There are several major lakes in Yunnan.

Some major plateau lakes are located in central, southern, western and northwesternYunnan. They respectively belong to Kunming, Yuxi, Dali, Lijiang and Honghe. Among these lakes, the Dian Lake, Chenghai Lake and Lugu Lake are parts of the Yangtze River system; Fuxian Lake, Qilu Lake, Yilong Lake, Xingyun Lake and Yangzong Sea belong to the Zhujiang River system and Erhai Lake is part of the Lancang River system.

There lie many rivers in Yunnan. In the high mountains of southwest of Yunnan Province, three rivers – the Jinsha, Nujiang and Lancang – all originated from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, run roughly parallel, north to south for some 170 km. Yunnan is also the source of two rivers, the Xi River (there known as the Nanpan and Hongshui) and the Yuan River. The Irrawaddy River main tributaries include the great Yingjiang (Shweli), Ruili River, Qindun (Chindwin) River, Mitange (Myitnge) River, Mu River (Mu), Yao (Yaw) River and Meng (Mon) River.