Lugu Lake lies 280 kilometers from Lijiang City, on the border between Ninglang County in Yunnan Province and Yanyuan County in Sichuan Province. Covering an area of 52 square kilometer, this plateau lake (2685m above the sea level) is in the shape of a horse’s hoof - long from north to south and narrower from east to west. The lake is uncontaminated and encircled with forest and mountains. It is teeming with fish.
The prospect of the lake changes constantly throughout the day. The morning mist mixed with the light of the rising sun gives the lake an orange glow covered by mist. When the light of sun causes the hills to throw their shadows onto the water, the lake has a jade green color. The lake is calm and dark green in the evening when the sun sinks, and is peaceful when night comes. Gentle wind blows and water ripples.
There are five islands in the crystal Lu Lake. Heiwawu Island, Liwubi Island, and Lige Island are most notable, and are known as the “Three Islands of Ponglai” (Islands of the Immortals in the East China Sea). Heiwawu Island is in the center of the lake, which has another name: “the Chieftain Island”—because Ashaoyun, the chieftain of Yongning, built his villa on the island in the Qing dynasty. Rock Joseph, an American scientist, also used to reside on this island. This island is also a home to a variety of birds. The smallest island on the lake is Nixi Island - an oblong rock covered with shrubs and moss. By the special canoes (the Mosuo people call them pig manger boats) you can get the islands. Besides the five islands, there are also three peninsulas and an island which is linked to a seawall on the shore by a path paved with small stones. Liwubi, a peninsular located on the south of the lake, is formed by the extension of the Lion Mountain. A dozen of Mosuo families inhabit there so it is possible for you to experience this mysterious race’s life and, at the same time, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake.
Many cultural sites and scenic spots are scattered along the lakeside. They are Mosuo villages, plateau hot springs, the underground maze-The Lucky Cave, the Chieftain’s Palace, the Zhamei Lama Temple, Riyuehe - The Ruins of the Yuan Army Quarters when Kublai Khan was on his south - expansion, yongning - the key town on the ancient tea and horse trading route. Many beautiful legends have been circulating among the people.
Mystery and charm surround the lake, partly because it was once an unspoiled place and still retains much of its totally natural beauty, but mostly because the Mosuo people who live there form a matriarchal society. Men and women are not bound by marriage, each living at his/her mother’s home. Men work at their own mother’s home during the day, but at night they go to the women’s homes and spend the night there (both men and women call their own mates: Axia). Children are brought up by women, and use the surname of their mothers. Families are composed of the members of the matrilineal kin. Women operate production and management, and have the last word at homes. Fathers do not live in the same family with their children but they have to raise their sisters’ children.
To book a tour package with China Fact Tour include the Lugu Lake, we can provide you the special car. You will stay overnight, visit the local family and enjoy a fire party. If you go there along (better with a guide) you can take a bus from Lijiang to Ninglang. Then change to minibus in Ninglang to Lugu Lake.
The Lugu Lake is a famous attraction around Lijiang, Yunnan. China Fact Tours has excellent tour packages to this beautiful scenic spot.
The famous world cultural heritage site Old Town of Lijiang boasts the cradle of the mystic Naxi civilization, which is the optimum tourist destination to experience the Yunnan local history, culture and flavor of the Chinese minorities. The old town should not be missed if you plan a Lijiang tour.