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Caohai Lake

Written by Kelly Pang Updated Jan. 4, 2021


  • This lake is noted as a bird sanctuary.
  • It is a small mountain lake in Guizhou Province.
  • About 5 hours by bus from Guiyang City.
  • Tourists especially like the relative silence out on the lake watching the animals.


This lake was once much larger, but its size has shrunk due to irrigation and other reasons. Now it is quite a shallow lake that now measures about 5 to 20 square kilometers or 2 to 8 square miles depending on the season and rainfall. It has been rapidly shrinking. It is about 2,200 meters high (about 7,217 feet). It is about two meters or about 6 feet 7 inches deep. The area is a nature preserve and tourist highlight, and the main attractions are the natural beauty and the animals.

The nature preserve is called Caohai Nature Preserve. It measures about 46 square miles. A lot of species of birds nest there or stop there during their migrations, and this is one of the area's main attractions. Depending on the season, you can see a number of different species of birds. There might be about a hundred species of birds present at one time.



Caohai (草海 Cǎo Hǎi) means sea of grass. It shrank quickly. It is in Weining Mountain of Weining County. There is a village at the lake's side called Caohai Village. The area became a nature preserve in 1985.


Address:  Caohai Lake, Weining County, Guizhou Province. 贵州毕节地区威宁彝族回族苗族自治县草海自然保护区. It is about 3 kilometers east of Weining.
Bus: There is no trains to the Caohai Lake. However you can take buses from Guiyang, and then from there you can travel five hours or so on a bus. The bus goes to Weining. You can walk to Caohai Lake in about 30 minutes from Weining.
Airport: Guiyang Longdongbao Airport is 300 kilometers away in Guiyang. From there, you can go to Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau.
Prices: There might not be any ticket necessary to visit the lakeside. Or if there is a ticket price, it may be only 10 RMB or about 1.50 USD. If you wish, you can get a charted boat outing on someone's boat for about 200 RMB or about 30 USD.

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