A Highland’s Sapphire – Lugu Lake

Lugu, where for a long period of time the Mosuo ethnic group consider the best place to build their own inhabition, is a beautiful natural lake that has a width of around 5 kilometers on a high altitude more than 2000 meters. Having their own civilization, the residents here have their own custumes, alphabet and lifestyle that can’t be mistaken with any tribe in the world. The women has a real power to take care and make decision on everything instead of a man like common worldwide places. His responsibility is just to have a child with the woman, then he is forced to come back home, leaving the child adopted by his or her mother. They even don’t marry each other but just “have a good night” and leave at the very early of morning. It’s their unique cultural features that insprie a lot of artistic pieces, including the famous series – The Journey to The West.

Lugu Lake

A Crystal Clear Peaceful Sapphire

The Lake itself has a borderline with Si Chuan and Yunnan province, which is another speciality that attracts mostly local chinese from the two provinces: Yunnan and Si Chuan to come there for sightseeing. To drive around the lake is possible but takes long time as the ueven terrain creates up and down meanders along the lake. With 80 kilometers surround the lake between two different provinces, Lugu is an attractive journey for bikers, most of whom are foreigners.

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Xiao Luo Shui village looking from the moutain pass
A part of lake-road in Si Chuan’s area
houses in Si Chuan area

There are many villages living around the lake, namely Da Luo Shui, Legen, Du Jia and Xiao Luo Shui. Most tourists come here enjoy the Da Luo Shui village as it is convenient with variety of services with good quality. Meanwhile, ones who really want to enjoy a true peace and let their souls connect with the lake shall pay attention to Ligen, Xiao Luo Shui and Du Jia Village though it’s kind of boring there.

Ligen village
Da Luo Shui village
A tupa at Da Luo Shui village

Although the fact that more and more Mosuo people leave the area to find a job in Ning Lang county or Lijiang city about 40 to 300 kilometers away, the others somehow still maintain their culture as the past even not many. Some people may think that the vintage and authentic feature  absolutely disappear but if you are in love with nature, Lugu is still a must-to-go spot in Yunnan.

You can catch this peaceful sight in the morning



Such a landscape will release all your stress

What I like most about this place is a quiet and bright early morning walking around the lake breathing the fresh cool air. I really enjoyed the scenery when glimsped  at the row of green trees and wooden houses. Jogging in the small Ligen Peninsula, I sat at the bank, listen to their traditonal slow melody. There was no one to disturb me from that magical moment. The driver in my guesthouse even offered to take me around the lake for a sump of 300 Chinese Yuan for both me and my friends. It’s definitely a memorable 4-hour journey to pass through Si Chuan’s zone and admire the calm and pristine lake with a clear blue sky. The water sometimes change to be greeny but still clear as eatable algaes can be seen under the water.


A morning at Ligen village
Lige peninsula

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Lige peninsula from far away

It’s just one day to stay at Lugu, there may be other spots that I couldn’t have a chance to get there. But with these sights, I even acknowledge that to find such a beautiful gem in Yunnan is not easy. So, if you have time, take a few days to stay here, perhaps you will find more things than I did

Saimon Tobi

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