Tonghai County (通海县, Tōnghǎi Xiàn) is in the southeastern part of China's Yunnan Province. Administratively, it's part of Yuxi Prefecture-Level City.
The county seat, which does not seem to have a commonly used proper name of its own (other than the official desination "Xiushan Subdistrict" 秀山街道) is located south of the lake, at the border of the plain and the mountains, separated from the lake by a mile-wide strip of farmland. The lake is surrounded by dikes, for flood control. The dike on the southern shore of the lake (the one facing the town) has a pleasant promenade on it; it is connected with the city by numerous concrete roads.
Tonghai's ethnic composition must have been greatly influenced by the Mongol conquest in the 13th century. To this day, the county has a large Muslim (Hui) population; numerous Hui towns and villages can be recognized from far away, by the domes and minarets of their mosques. The county also has Yunnan's only Mongol ethnic township (Xingmeng).
Jukui PavilionThe symbolic center of Tonghai's old downtown (now, the town's tourist / shopping district).
Xingmeng Mongol Ethnic TownshipThe only ethnic Mongol township in Yunnan. Although the people known as "Yunnan Mongol", or Khatso, trace their ancestry to the Mongols of Khublai Khan, who conquered Yunnan in the 13th century, they actually speak the region's indigenous Yi language, rather than Mongol.
Da Hui VillageDecorated with Arabic inscriptions, Da Hui Cun and Xiao Hui Cun (the Greater Hui Village and the Lesser Hui Village, respectively), are known for their ornate mosques
Najiaying MosqueA large mosque in Nagu Town, northwest of Tonghai Lake
- Ride a bicycle (if you have one) around Qilu Lake. Besides the promenade along the lake's southern side, and paved dikes along irrigation canals, a network of paved roads crosses the farmlands that surround the lake.
Qutuo Pass VillageQutuo is the first village in Tonghai County as you enter the county from the west on Yunnan Hwy 319 (former S304), over the Qutuo Pass. As seen from the road, it mostly consists of shops selling the region's local products, of which the most famous is, apparently, is something called "Red sweet liquor" (红甜白酒 hong tian bai jiu). The other famous local product - seen at numerous roadside vendors - are white radishes, which grow to a remarkable size.