Embraced by Hefei, Chaohu Cities and Lujiang County Covering a circumference of 400 kilometers, the Chaohu Lake is located in the middle of Anhui Province. It has a shape of a bird's nest, hence the name Chaohu Lake(Nest Lake). The Chaohu Lake is the fifth largest freshwater lake in China, and reputed as the Oriental Geneva for its location in the Golden Triangle of Anhui.
Chaohu is a scenic spot of national level. Spanning the center of Anhui Province, Chaohu is so named because the shape of this lake is like a bird's nest.
Chaohu Lake is the most beautiful place in the vast land of Jianghuai (a region between Huaihe and Yangtze Rivers). There is a pair of long couplets in the Mushan Hill Temple in the lake, of which one depicts an enchanting sunny spring view after a drizzle of the faraway mountains with deep forests around the vast waters commanded from a pavilion window,the other described the moonlight-reflected golden tint of the lake surface in autumn when the surges calmed down as the author was departing the lake in an islet. It summarizes a vivid description of the picturesque landscapes of this famous and time-honored lake.
Lying in the middle of the lake, Mt. Mushan floats above on the vast expanse of waters like a conch. On the southern bank of the lake lies the Silver Screen Mountain, celebrated for its great white peonies that grow on the cliff.
The Chaohu Lake is famous for its landscape. The Gushan Island and the Laoshan Island, like two jewels, are embedded into the middle of the lake. The Gushan Island covers an area of 0.86 square kilometers and has entertainment places and resort villages. Touring on the island, one feels like stepping into a fairyland. Three hot springs surround the lake, namely Bantang Spring, Fragrant Spring, and Tangchi Spring. Moreover, along the lakeside are also four national forestry parks, also known as four emeralds, namely Taihu Hill, Jilong Hill, Yefu Hill, and Tianjing Hill. Besides, great attractions of the Chaohu Lake also include five water-eroded caves, namely Xianren Cave, Ziwei Cave, Wangqiao Cave, Huayang Cave, and Boshan Cave.
Zhongmiao Temple is situated on the northern bank of Chao Lake. Reconstructed during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the temple consists of the front hall, the middle hall and the rear hall. Buddhist activities are mainly held in the middle hall. In the temple is enshrined the statue of Bi Xia Yuan Jun, a Taoist deity. At present, people go there mainly to appreciate the magnificent vista of Chao Lake instead of worshiping the god and praying for blessings.
Bantang, Tang Pool and Fragrant Spring are the three most celebrated hot springs around the lake. Bathing in the hot springs is good for your health. It can cure several kinds of diseases, for example, skin disease.
Chao Lake has abundant aquatic products such as silver fish, shrimps and crabs which are reputed as the 'Three Treasures'. Paying a visit there, tourists can have a feast of the 'Three Treasures' while appreciating the appealing scenery.
Many sights spread round the Chaohu Lake, such as the Ziwei Cave and the Wangqiao Cave, which are famous for uncanny workmanship of the carved figures of Buddha, and Xianren Cave, which has various enchanting stalactites. With beautiful scenery, the Chaohu Lake has become the key tourism development zone and sanatorium of Anhui Province..
As one of the major tourist attractions in the central province, Chaohu has exquisite scenery, with mists and waves stretching far into the horizon.
Chaohu has quite a few historical landscapes. Of these, the better known cultural historical sites are the Dragon Cave Sinanthropus Site of Hexian, Xiangyu Temple in Wujiang River (where Xiangyu, an ancient self-proclaimed king, finished his own life with a sword), hou Yu Tomb (where Zhou Yu, the famous general in the period of the Three Kindoms was Buried), Temple of Lord Mi (in honor of the great calligrapher Mi Fei in the Song Dynasty), and Shabby House of Liu Yuxi (a great poet in the Tang Dynasty).
Bantang Hot Spring near the lake is also a famous health and holiday resort, where clean cold water and hot spring water mix to help eliminate disease and improve health.
Bantang means literally "half hot water". It is found that the water from Bantang Hot Spring contains more than 30 active elements. It is a very effective cure for more than 50 diseases.