Erhai Lake Cycling Tips

I believe everyone who travels to Dali will not miss the beautiful scenery of Erhai Lake. It is a pleasure to enjoy Erhai Lake on a cruise ship, but it is also a pleasure to rent a bicycle and ride happily along the road around the sea. The winding roads along the sea are covered with green trees. Although there are no special scenic spots, cycling on such roads is a kind of enjoyment. Facing the blue sky and sea, one always feels the urge to sing aloud. Erhai Lake is a plateau freshwater lake with beautiful scenery. It looks like a human ear. It is long from north to south and narrow from east to west. Erhai Lake belongs to Lancang River system, with a catchment area of 2565 square kilometers, an average water capacity of 2.82 billion cubic meters, an average water depth of 10.5 meters and a deepest depth of 20.5 meters. Next, I will recommend very popular tour routes and tips for you.

Erhai Lake Cycling Routes

The whole journey around Erhai Lake is 128 kilometers, and the route can be selected according to one’s physical strength and time. Most of the sections in the west bank are far away from the lake, while the route on the east bank is relatively better. The whole journey around Erhai Lake is about 70 kilometers, close to the sea, with smooth road surface, comfortable riding, and relatively few pedestrians and vehicles. However, attention should be paid to the road surface of buses and trucks that occasionally travel. During riding, pay attention to speed control to avoid rushing into Erhai Lake. Along the way, fishermen can be seen pulling nets at sea, mending nets on the shore and counting fish and shrimp. In the villages along the coast, you can also see the unique Bai people’s residence. if you are lucky enough to have the chance to go to the color digging fair (the fair is on the 5th and 10th days of the Gregorian calendar), you can also join in the fun, taste snacks and sell some cheap melons and fruits back.

The Best Cycling Route

  • Dali Ancient Town departure: Visit Three Pagodas and Xizhou Town (Bai people’s residence) – Zhoucheng – butterfly Spring – Taoyuan Dock – Shangguan Town – Jiang Wei – Huanhai road – Shuanglang – Nanzhao Customs Island -Wase – Small Putuo – Haidong – Tianjingge  -Jinsuo Island – Huanhai Road – Airport Road – Erhai wharf – line 214 to return to Dali Ancient Town.

Leisure Cycling Route

Dali Ancient Town – Cai village – Xizhou Town – (return) – Three Pagodas – Dali Ancient Town

Attractions along the Routes

The most popular scenic spots for cycling on Dali Erhai Highway are Shuanglang,  Cai Village and Small Putuo.

  • The Shuanglang are gently wrapped by the sparkling Erhai Lake. The locals are fishing, the tourists are watching the sea basking in the sun, and the old  washing their motorcycles. The Bai nationality girl greets you in a simple way. The scenery of the inn is very beautiful. The sky here can be pink. The sunset glow here is gorgeous and dazzling, living near the sea and panoramic view of the distant Cangshan.
  • Cai Village is located in the west of Erhai Lake in Dali. It is a traditional fishing village of Bai nationality for generations. There are a group of primitive fishermen here, quiet on the banks of Erhai Lake, entering Caicun and enjoying a panoramic view of the pastoral style. The fields beyond sight and the villages strewn at random walk along the wooden plank road into the wetland park submerged by reeds. The reeds on the bank are sparse and swaying with the breeze. The simple fishing village, the old boating man, the children playing in the water, everything in Caicun is like a peach garden far from the common world, quiet and beautiful. The picturesque Caicun village seems to be a stunning landscape painting by a painter. It does not need any deliberate decoration or over-packaging. Its original flavor shows the beauty of a primitive fishing village.
  • From Jinsuo Island to the 10 kilometers north of the sea, there is a lone reef with a pavilion on it. This is Small Putuo.  This reef is shaped like a square seal, which is said to be the seal of Zhenhai left by the Goddess of Mercy. Small Putuo was built in the Ming Dynasty and is a pavilion-style building. In Erhai Lake, Small Putuo can be said to be a “pocket island”. Although the island is small, it is very famous, and it is indispensable in the album that introduces Dali. The circumference of Small Putuo is only more than 200 meters. It is all made of limestone. Its shape is very like a circle, so it is also called Hai Yin. Watching Cangshan and Erhai Lake from the small Putuo is like being in a silver dish held up by an old man.

Tips for Erhai Lake Cycling

  • It is best not to be late over 9: 30 when riding, and pay attention to sun protection and rain protection during one day’s riding. The weather of  Dali in rainy season.  it is unsure to know when it will rain, and the weather forecast is not correct. Prepare sunscreen, disposable raincoats, hats and other sunscreen products. Pay attention to bringing drinking water for one day, and villages on the road can also supplement it. Also, because the road around Erhai Lake is longer and the road  is more complicated than the city road , it is recommended not to use double cars (unless it is a short trip around the sea).
  • It is better to have more than a few people riding together for the distance around Erhai Lake. It is better to bring tire repair tools and air cylinders. The tire may burst at any time.
  • It’s best to spend 2 days around Erhai Lake. You can go to Nanzhao Customs Island for a visit. The scenery on the island is especially beautiful. You can stay in Shuanglang  at night, where there are many special inns.
  • Many festivals and grand events of Bai nationality are mainly held between March and April every year. when you come here, you will feel the rich ethnic customs. Some people sing: “Dali is a beautiful place in March”, so in spring, whether you go to Dali’s Ancient Town, or climb Cangshan mountain or visit Erhai Lake, it is perfect. In addition, whenever the temperature drops rapidly after the rain at the turn of summer and autumn, there is a local saying that “one rain turns into autumn”. Therefore, it is best to bring a few autumn clothes when traveling to Dali in case you catch cold.

I hope the above routes and tips can be helpful for your trip to Dali.