Lugu Lake in Lijiang home to Mosuo ethnic group

Lugu Lake in Lijiang Lijiang Yunnan
The Lugu Lake, located about 5-hour drive from Lijiang, is a must-see destination to venture into the depth of Yunnan. With changeable vista and five beautiful islands, the Lugu Lake is also home to the Mosuo ethnic group.

Plateau lake in Yunnan

The Lugu Lake is located on the border between Sichuan (Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture) and Yunnan (Ninglang Yi Autonomous County). So you can access from both provinces after a long and tedious journey on a mountain road (6-hour drive from center Lijiang).
The Lugu Lake has an elevation of 2685 meters but the surrounding peaks sometimes rise to an alititude of 3800 meters! Thus, it's not surprising that the lakeshores are covered by snow in winter.
Lugu Lake covers an area of 48km², making it the second largest freshwater lake in Yunnan! At this altitude, the strong sunshine reflected on the Lugu Lake creates a divine landscape. The vista of the lake changes throughout the day.

Mosuo ethnic group around Lugu Lake

Yunnan is known for its ethnic groups and stunning landscapes. During a trip to Yunnan you will meet the Naxi people in Lijiang, Bai ethnic group in Dali, Tibetans in Shangri-la and Mosuo people around Lugu Lake. This ethnic group is similar to the Naxi people in some ways but unique to some extent. First, the Mosuo ethnic group only settles down on the banks of Lugu Lake and neighboring villages. They are isolated in the valley and remain more of its traditions and folk customs than other ethnic groups in Yunnan.
Furthermore, the Mosuo ethnic group functions as a matriarchal society. This is a very particular society in which women are usually in charge of the household, education and the politics! Moreover, the women here are out of bound of monogamy. They can have several lovers and children generally do not know who their father is!

Activities at Lugu Lake

The main purpose for a few days' trip to Lugu Lake is to escape the bustling world and relax in a peaceful envionment. The electricity of the Lugu Lake area was installed recently and there still many roads are not paved. During a few days’ trip, you can rent a traditional Mosuo boat to explore the islands of Lugu lake. Compare to Dali and Lijiang, it’s more peaceful with few tourists, so it is ideal destination for hiking in the surrounding valley or even ride a horse to explore all around the Lugu Lake. You will have the opportunity to meet some of the Mosuo ethnic group, admire local wooden buildings and even a small museum of this ethnic group.


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  • Altitude

    2 416M Altitude Lugu Lake in Lijiang
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