This is the closest thing I can find to a dedicated SML thread, so I’ll post a little info here.
Stayed for two nights at the “Teachers’ Hostel” in Shuishe which is really a budget hotel. (Details in the Lonely Planet.) Our rooms were large and had great lake views. Most of the rooms do. The furnishings etc were a little old but perfectly good. There is a newer block as well where things may be a bit more modern, and they’re in the process of setting up what looks to be a nice glasshouse/cafe thing as well. Breakfast was mantou (steamed buns), fried eggs, fried cabbage, preserved cucumber, pork dust and xifan (plain congee). Perfectly edible.
There is a nice little cafe just down from the Teachers’ Hostel called February. Decent pasta, nice coffee and they have drinks as well including Bodingtons (probably in a can though I didn’t try it).
The last time I went to Shuishe it had been quite peaceful but this time boat-trip touts were making a lot of noise with megaphones, and this carried on through the evening. Also, if you want to take a boat trip I would suggest being a little cautious and make sure the crew of your boat are sober.
I like Yidashao, the village over the other side of the lake. It’s more relaxed and peaceful. Sometimes they have live music in the evenings. The last time I was there they had some very good African drumming and dancing. Friends of mine stayed at a nice hotel: the “Sun Moon Bay” there (Tel: 049 2850 501.) We had a decent dinner in that hotel with them.
The Lonely Planet recommends Lingo’s hotel over the other side of the lake in Yidashao. Very nice place made of fragrant wood. We had a coffee, sitting outside on the floating pontoon on the lake. Nice setting but bad coffee, and 180NT a cup. The worst coffee we had on the whole trip, and despite very few customers we still had to wait 20 minutes to get it. Perhaps they were just having a bad day.
There are various points around the lake at which you can park and walk on little lakeside boardwalks. Very pleasant.