The Dianchi Lake is the largest lake in Yunnan Province and the eighth largest lake in China. It is 370 square kilometers in area, 44 meters in depth, and 1,885 meters in altitude. It is 39 km long from north to south, and the average depth is 4.4 m. Its nickname is "Sparkling Pearl Imbedded in a Highland," and it was the model for the Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace in Beijing. It is a working lake, and traditional junks still sail the lake, the men laying the lines to hook the fish is their livelihood. At the same time, the lake is a pleasant destination for those wishing to get away from the bustle of the city itself.
At the lake's northern tip, Daguan Park (also known as Grand View Park) is within walking distance of the West Mountain. The Daguan Pavilion was built in the year 1828. Its tower is inscribed with poetry in praise of the lake's beauty. A couplet written in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), contains 180 characters brimming with literary grace. The inscription is said to be the longest antithetical couplet in China. The tower decorated with flying eaves and splendid paintings provides a fantastic view across sparkling Dianchi Lake to flocks of water birds.
The Dianchi Lake Scenic Area also includes other attractions. These are the Yunnan Ethnic Villages, Baiyukou Park, Haigeng Bank, Kwan-yin Hill, Xishan Forest Park, temples and pagodas.