Lures of the Lugu Lake
Where is the Lugu lake?
The Lugu Lake (泸沽湖 Lúgū Hú) is a natural lake,
It is located in the northwest of the Yunnan plateau. The lake forms the border between Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province. It is an alpine lake at an elevation of 2,685 meters. It is the highest lake in the Yunnan Province. The lake has a horseshoe shape. It is surrounded by mountains and has five islands, four peninsulas, fourteen bays and seventeen beaches. Several minority ethnic groups inhabit by the shores of the lake. The most numerous residences are the Mosuo people. 摩梭人
What are the attractions of the Lugu lake?
There are two reasons worth your visit to the Lugu lake.
The first attraction is its mild weather and beautiful winding shoreline of the lake. There are resorts and family-owned hotels on the beaches. A walking tour along the lake is the popular way to see the scenic beauty of the lake.
The second attraction sounds quite different from other travel destinations. The Lugu lake is well known for its matriarchal culture. The Mosuo women and girls wear the dress particularly in maroon color. In the Mosuo language, Lugu means “falling into the water”, homophone implies “fall into love”. The Moso tribe is a sub clan of the Naxi people with ancient family structure.
The Moso people call the Lugu Lake as the “mother lake” . The lake is also well known in Chinese travel pamphlets as the region of “Amazons,” “The Kingdom of Women” and “Home of the Matriarchal Tribe”.
The Mosuo women play the dominant role in their society. They follow their matriarchal traditions and “walking marriages”. Women exercise the right to choose and change their husbands at will. Their social culture has given the place the title “exotic land of daughters”.
The partners come and go as they like. There are three types of“traveling marriage”. The first type is marriage without cohabitation. In this type of relationship, the male partner can NOT use the door to enter the room. He has to climb the wall to enter the window in the night, and has to leave the woman’s house before the morning break. It is said there are three things the man has to take, a gift, a knife and a hat. To bring a knife does not mean the romance is a high risk adventure. The man should cut his knife on the wooden wall besides the window, hanging his hat on the knife handle, in order to let the other guys know not to climb this window tonight. The woman does not worry for the high wall, if the guy could not strong enough to climb to the window, no one could help him, it proves the guy is not strong enough to survive.
The second type is the marriage with cohabitation, having developed into deep feelings after living under “travelling marriage” practice; The partners live together and raise children as a family. The third type of marriage is called as “One on one marriage.” However, in all the three types of marriages, women have the rightful ownership of land, houses and full rights to the children born to them. The children carry their mother’s family name and pay great respect to their mothers. So the mothers enjoy high social status. The male companions work for the women. That is why the Lugu Lake becomes an attraction for the outside tourists.
How to get to Lugu lake ?
The closest place to the lake is Lijiang city
Until 1982 there were no roads to the lake. The closest place to the lake is Lijiang city, about 200 kilometers away. The road is affected by bad weather. You are proposed to arrive in Lijiang first, then to connect the bus to Lugu lake. Or you may consider to join a group tour. The agent will help you handle the transportation and pickup.
Starting from Feb. 2020, the covid19 pandemic makes the international travel difficult and much less than before. Hopefully my video will give you some guide for your next travel in the future. Please enjoy the scenery together with my video. If you have any questions to plan your China travel, please drop me a line, I am happy to provide more touring guide.