Heimahe ('Black Horse River') is a necessary evil: an ugly one-street town in between the Erlangjian Scenic Area and Bird Island that caters as a pit-stop for visitors who do a tour of the lake: hotels, overpriced restaurants and a hostel open their doors to the bus loads of tourists and cyclists who need a place to stay. Its one saving grace is the lakeside view of the sunrise.

EVERYONE goes for the sunrise so ask your hotel to arrange transport (¥25), cycle or walk the 3km to 4km to the lakeside viewpoint. Sunrise tends to happen at 6am so be prepared to start early and dress warmly.

Heimahe is 30km west of Erlangjian Scenic Area and you can easily flag down regular buses (¥15) to/from either destination.

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