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Five Great Lakes


As we all know, the world-renowned five great lakes in America are beautiful and provide American  rich water resource. Sharing the same good luck, we also have five great lakes in China and all of them are freshwater lakes.Besides enriching the aquatic products and offering abundant water resource,these five lakes have also  nurtured Chinese great civilization because areas around them were the rich places in the old days and many outstanding celebrities also lived there.The five great lakes in China are comprised of  Poyang Lake,Dongting Lake, Tai Lake, Hongze Lake and Chaohu Lake. 


Top1----Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province 


Poyang Lake(鄱阳湖,Póyáng Hú),located in the northern part of Jiangxi Province, is the biggest freshwater lake in China. It is an important lake for flood-control and drought –relief. Water form Gan River, Xiu River,Rao River ,Xin River and Fu River flow into theYangtze River through this lake which shaped in a gourd. Therefore, the area of the lake region is influenced by these waters systems, especially Xiu River and Gan River. In the dry season, the original boundless water will be divided into nine lakes by the shoals coming from the Poyang Lake and become the beautiful grasslands. In the Tang Dynasty, Poyang Lake reached its largest size---- 6000 square kilometers, but now, is only around 4400 km² even in rainy season.


 Poyang Lake in spring----beautiful wetland

 Poyang Lake in summer----boundless water

 Poyang Lake in autumn----fantastic sunset

 Poyang Lake in winter----Kingdom of birds

Poyang Lake was listed into important international marsh in 1992. It plays a great role in preservation of biodiversity. It is one of ten ecological protection areas in China and also one of the important global ecological zones chosen by the World Wildlife Fund. As a significant habitat for rare water birds, a large number of migrating birds from Siberia, Mongolia, Japan and Korea fly to there and start to leave in April. Wild White Crane is the national first class animals in protection, in total, 3000 existing in the world, but up to 90% of which spend the winter there. So Poyang Lake is well-known as the world of Whit Crane. Nowadays, birds here have already reached 300 types including 50 rare ones, and Poyang Lake really deserves the title of the biggest birds’ protection zone in the world.


Hanpokou,Poyang Lake,Jiangxi Province

Wetland,Poyang Lake

Laoyemiao(老爷庙) in Poyang Lake ---Chinese Bermudaa sandbank was found in Laoyemiao in Poyang Lake


Behind the quite water surface, Poyang Lake is called Devil Triangle and Chinese Bermuda. Many unbelievable events happened here, especially in Laoyemiao(老爷庙) water region which is in the northwest of Poyang Lake. On 16th April 1945(during the period of anti-Japanese war of the World War Two), a Japanese ship "Kobe pill" sailed to the Laoyemiao suddenly disappeared quietly in five or six minutes, together with 200 sailors and treasures in the ship. Afterwards, a seven-people experienced and professional diving team was sent by Japanese Navy to this area to rescue and investigate. All the members disappeared except the leader who was found in lunacy after he took off his swimsuit. In the summer of 1946, American notable diving expert, Edward spent several months in salvaging “Kobe pill", nothing but several members also disappeared unreasonably. In order to unveil the mystery of shipwrecks, an investigation team formed by people from Duchang Museum and China Geology University started a project which lasted a month in the July of 2011. However, they only found debris of Chinese porcelain in large quantity.


Top 2----Dongting Lake in Hunan Province


Dongting Lake(Dòngtíng Hú 洞庭湖) is the second largest freshwater lake which is in the northeastern part of Hunan(literally, South of the Lake) Province. It is fed by four major rivers in the south: the Xiang(湘江),Zi,Yuan and Li rivers and connects to the Yangtze River in the northern part. Meanwhile, small rivers also flow into the Lake, such as Miluo River (汨罗江)which is well-known for searching the body of patriotic poet Qu Yuan who is to be commemorated during Dragon Boat Festival.


In the Tang Dynasty, it was titled “800 li Dongting”, although “800” here was just an imaginary number, still emphasized the length and breadth of the Dongting Lake. Extension towards to the east, Dongting Lake reached its largest area which arrived 6000 square kilometers during 1821 to 1850. But for hundred years, a great quantity of sands flowed into the lake; hence, the area of the lake now is less than half of its largest area in history. Currently, the government of Hunan Province is carrying on the “4350 project” which means recovering the area of Dongting into 4350 square kilometers through returning farmland to the lake. Hopefully, in 2015, we could see a new boundless Dongting Lake.


 Dongting Lake is famous for lotus

Evening Glow of Dongting Lake

mottled bamboo(斑竹) in Junshan

Junshan tea



Talking about the formation of Dongting Lake, there is a legend. Long long ago, the third daughter of the dragon king of East Sea was sent to the secular world for her mistake of breaking a bowl in front of the Jade Emperor (Heaven Emperor).At that time, the area of Dongting Lake was a boundless plain. The third dragon princess married to a son of a rich family but suffered a lot and even was sent to Junshan(君山) to be a shepherd. The old father knew this and sent his dragon brother to that cruel family. After witnessing the worst things they did to his niece, uncle dragon changed the mean family’s residence together with the plain into the Dongting Lake. Today, we even told there is still a dragon living under the lake.


The meaning of “Dongting” is the abode of fairies and immortals. In other words, the Basin of Dongting Lake and its surrounding area are full of natural landscape and many of them are national attractions. The highlight here is a mountain in the lake and lakes inside of the lake. The most famous spot inside of the lake is Junshan(君山), an islet with 72 peaks and a former Taoist retreat. It is said that two imperial concubine named Ehuang(娥皇) and Nvying(女英) committed suicide in the lake when they heard the death of Emperor Shun. But they left their tears on the bamboo which formed mottled bamboo now. Local people also built their tombs on Junshan. Besides natural scene, Yueyang Tower, one of the Three Great Towers of Jiangnan(the other two are Pavilion of Prince Teng in Nanchang and Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan)is also a hot spot for visiting. There is another thing worth being mentioned about Dongting Lake. Among all the famous lakes in China, Dongting Lake is the favorite one for poets according to the amount of poems they left.


Top 3----Tai Lake in Jiangsu Province 

Tai Lake(Tài Hú太湖)is the third freshwater lake in China but some people say it is the second one now due to the reduction of Dongting Lake. Located on the south of Yangtze Delta plain, Tai Lake is also on the border of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. It is be renowned at home and abroad for the pretty landscape of lakes and mountains as well as magnificent human landscape. Therefore, a large number of tourists are attracted by its fame like swarm.


Tai Lake is fed by Shao Creek and Jing Creek, and then divided into more than 70 rivers flowing into Yangtze River, among which Huangpu River in Shanghai is the main watercourse for draining.The whole water system of Tai Lake includes more than 180 big or small lakes and forms a spider-web through all watercourses. The main stream of Tai Lake water system is JiangnanCanal which is a part of the famous canal----Jinghang  Grand Canal. Without doubts, just like Venice, Chinese Watertown along this Lake are showing the simple charming of the lake.


 Tai Lake(太湖)

  Tai Lake(太湖)

  Tai Lake(太湖)

  Tai Lake(太湖)


 Top 4----Hongze Lake in Jiangzu Province

Hongze Lake(Hung-tse Lake,洪泽湖)  is situated in the northern part of Jiangsu Province. It is far less popular than Tai Lake though both of them are on the list of five great lakes in China. However, it connect the Huaihe River, Yangzte River and flows towards Yellow Sea. It guarantees the water-supply for the agriculture and people’s lives.  


Hongze Lake(洪泽湖)

Hongze Lake(洪泽湖)

The Dam in Hongze Lake

The Sailboat in Hongze Lake


Top 5----Chao Lake in Anhui Province

Chao Lake is located in the middle of Anhui Province. It is famous for its bird-nest-like profile. Chaohu Lake belongs to the Yangtze River water system. The water of Chaohu Lake flows out from Chao County to Yangtze River via Yuxi River. It is the fifth largest fresh-water lake in China with the area of 820 square kilometers. Thanks to its good water system, the people lived around it are benefited from its help and watering. The area of Chaohu Lake is the perfect rice-production area.

 Hotspring in Chao Lake, Anhui Province

 Chao Lake

 Chao Lake

 Chao Lake



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