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Stands as the second largest fresh water lake after Dianchi Lake, Erhai Lake is located in northwest of Lijiang with an elevation of 1,972 meters. It takes an area of 250 square kilometers and its north-south length of the lake is 40 kilometers and the east-west width is roughly 8 kilometers. The circumference reaches 116 kilometers, the average depth is of 11 meters and the total storage capacity is 2.5 billion cubic meters. The name of Erhai Lake (Erhai Hu) literally means "Ear Sea" because it is shaped like an ear.
The lake is sandwiched between Cangshan Mountains to the West and Dali City. Looking down from Cangshan Mountains in the west, the lake resembles a huge silver mirror under the sun. It starts at Dengchuan at its northern extremity and finishes at Xiaguan city in the South.
It is reputed as the pearl on plateau for its beautiful scenery. The famous sights of the Erhai Lake include Three Islets, namely Jinsuo, Chiwen and so on. Besides these sights, the lake also has some other attractions such as Shadows of Three Towers, Nine-Arched Stone Bridge, and Jade Dragon Playing in the Water, etc.
Moreover, with a mild climate, the Erhai Lake is abundant in aquatic products and is one of the largest production bases of aquatic products in Yunnan Province.