Dongting Lake is located in the northeast of Hunan Province. It is big in size, but the water is not deep. Dongting Lake stores the floods of the Yangtze River. The size of the lake depends largely on the change of seasons. The name of Hubei and Hunan Province come from their relative locations to the lake. Hubei means “the north of the lake”, while Hunan means “the south of the lake”. As the birthplace of dragon boat races, Dongting Lake is very famous in Chinese culture. It is said that dragon boat races started on the eastern side of the lake, in order to look for the body of Qu Yuan, a country-loving poet in the state of Chu. Dragon boat races and the beautiful scenery around Dongting Lake attract thousands of tourists from all over China and the world every year.
Lake Tai is a freshwater lake in east China, covering 2,250 square kilometres. It is the third-largest freshwater lake in China, after Lake Poyang and Lake Dongting. Lake Tai has about 90 islands, whose sizes range from a few square metres to several square kilometres. The lake is famous for its unique ‘Taihu stones’, which are often used to decorate traditional Chinese gardens. The lake is also known for its fishing industry. Since the late 1970s, the harvest of fish and crabs has been very important to the people who live around the lake and to the economy of the area around. The lake area is one of the major industrial bases for ceramics in China, where Yixing pottery factories produce the world-famous Yixing clay teapots.
Qinghai Lake is 3205 metres above sea level. It is about 100 km to the west of Xining, the capital of Qinghai Province. It is the largest salt lake. Its size is 4317 km². The deepest point of the lake is 25.5 metres. 23 rivers flow into the lake, and most of the rivers are seasonal. 80% of the water in the lake come from 5 main rivers. Qinghai Lake is at the crossing point of several bird migration paths across Asia. Many birds take Qinghai Lake as a place to rest during their migration. To the west of the lake, are the famous “Bird Islands”, attracting birdwatchers from all over the world. Every summer, visitors also come here to watch the international bicycle racing competition.