Known also as Kunming lake, Lake Dian is located at the foot of the Western Hills south-west of Kunming city in Yunnan Province. Being a bright and smooth highland lake, it's reputed as "A Pearl on the Yungui Plateau".
The picturesque lake, dotted with sails, appears green and boundless and shining with ripples. Along its 150 kilometers long winding bank, lies numerous scenic spots and historical sites such as the Grand View Pavilion, West Garden, the Lake Embankment.
The Grand View Pavilion:- Located at the lake's northern bank, it was built in the 29th year of Kangxi Reign in the Qing Dynasty (1690 AD). It's an exquisite structure with upturned roof-corners and eaves. Looking to the south, one has a fascinating view of the spectacular Lake Dian, and the graceful and full shape of the distant "Sleeping Beauty Mountain" shrouded in white clouds. The lake is surrounded by lush growth of trees and plants, with peony in full bloom in spring, and chrysanthemum blossoms found all over the place in autumn. The golden calligraphy of the Grand View Pavilion in bold Chinese characters sparkles brilliantly.
Western Hills Scenic Area:- Located at the west bank of the lake, it's a large forest park with hills and ridges rising one upon another, and covered with old tall trees. The park is endowed with dense natural forests, murmuring streams, luxuriantly green bamboos, and crisscross with ancient paths. Scenic spots and historical sites are over hill and dale. The area from Sanqing Tower to Longmen is a place of concentration of the most spectacular scenic spots and architecture, and therefore reputed as "No.1 Scenery in middle Yunnan".
Hill of Goddess of Mercy:- The temple of Goddess of Mercy perches on the Hill at the lake's west bank, with a beak-shaped portion of the hill extending into the lake water. The temple is confronted by perilous cliffs covered with lush woods. A seven-storey brick pagoda stands on the hill top which commands a bird's eye view of the Lake Dian, the mountain ranges along the Lake, the vast expanse of fertile land, and the smoke belching from the chimneys of fishermen's homes.