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Reviewed 24 April 2018 via mobile

I didn't know how beautiful it was until I get to see it myself. Lugu lake definitely become highlight for my trip to Yunnan. At first I thought it would be just like another pretty Lake in China, but then I realized why the government take a lot of effort to protect this place. The view is amazing. This is a must visit if you plan to visit Yunnan.
How to get to Lugu Lake:
1. From Lijiang: take a bus with destination to Lugu Lake, but I recommend to ask your hotel or guesthouse to ask about another transportation because bus would take longer than car. You don't have to charter the whole car, it would be too expensive. Book a seat or two in the car (you will be placed with another people with the same destination). It cost around 100yuan per trip. Book with your hotel in Lugu Lake for your trip back to Lijiang.
2. From Kunming: there is direct flight available from kunming to Lugu lake airport. Last time I checked there are 2 flights available in the morning to Lugu Lake. It can be expensive so book ahead of time. The distance from airport to Lugu Lake is pretty far but the view from the top is amazing.
Buy the bus ticket from the counter at the airport (you will see lots of people swarming at that counter with 30yuan and 50yuan price written on it). Buy the ticket to your destination, make sure you know in what area you are staying, because there are two buses with different destination. And then take the ticket and ask the driver is this the right bus for your destination and hop on.

Tips for area to stay in Lugu Lake:
1. Daluoshui: this area is the most crowded, with most shops and restaurants around. So if you don't want to be bothered to worry about food, stay here.
2. Langfang: quieter area, less crowded and less restaurants to choose from.
3. Lige: farthest from these two areas, and have less hotel and restaurants. Very quiet but the view is beautiful.

You will need to rent a car if you want to go around the lake in one day.
We tried to walk from langfang to daluoshui and it took us 3 hours total (plus photo time)

Date of experience: April 2018
12  Thank Frozzy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2018

Lugu Lake, at an altitude of 2,700m and surrounded by mountains, is the best place to be if you are looking for a quiet break. Dominated by the Mosuo tribe where Matriarchy rules, it has retained most of its unspoiled natural beauty till today.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank allansakhoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2018 via mobile

Lugu Lake is north east Yunan, partly in Sichuan also. Getting there is easy as their is a dedicated airport one hour away. The actual road is a feat, god knows how they built it through 3500-4000 meter high mountains. We actual went from Lijiang by bus and took 4hours. Great experience through the mountains also. If you are expecting 5 star luxury city with modern hotels, this is not the place, very basic shopping facilities, but hotels are 3 to 4 star.
Touring around is a bit difficult if you can't speak English, lucky my wife is Chinese so it made live easy. Hire a car for a couple of days just to visit the numerous spots around the Lake, so many of them.

Highly recommend

Date of experience: March 2018
4  Thank Bruce R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2018

Lugu Lake is definitely a stunning lake, with a beautiful sunrise seen from Lige Village if you have good weather. Since the new road was built, travel time has decreased from 6-7 hours travel from Lijiang to ~4 hours. However, after we had read reviews about how riding a scooter around the lake was a must-do, we were disappointed to discover that it appears scooters/motorbikes and scooter-renting have been recently banned in the area. So I wanted to do my part in updating TripAdvisor readers: you may not get the scooter experience anymore. Seems you'll either have to rent a car+driver, or take a bus or boat tour.

I'm not sure what the best way to experience the lake is, but we arranged a discounted tourbus ride to Lugu Lake through our Lijiang hotel, then decided on the bus to pay for a bus tour with the same bus company. (Note: the hotel and bus company only spoke Chinese, not much English, so I think the whole experience was geared more towards locals -- we only got by because I speak some Chinese). The bus ride was ok (I believe ~130RMB roundtrip), although it ended up taking almost 5 hours one-way because it picked up other passengers. However, the tour was pretty frustrating. Although the price of the tour was quite low (100RMB per person ($15.7USD) for a bus ride to scenic spots for pictures, a mid-afternoon snack and dinner, a session with Mosuo tribeswomen who explained their matriarchal cultural practices (in Chinese), and an evening Mosuo dance performance), we felt their marketing was not honest. They seemed to promise a ride around the entire lake, but then it turned out you would have to buy a separate tour the next day for that. Worst of all, we had to wait for 45 minutes in the parking lot, wasting daylight, before they picked us up, as they were running late but not communicating. Not only that, the guy who sold us the tour had promised us 20RMB back if we were not satisfied with our experience, yet he disappeared before the tour started. I called him a few times, and he said he was in a meeting but would be right there, but he never showed up. I told him that the driver was 45 minutes late in picking us up (even though they had called saying the bus had arrived), and he apologized but never made any attempt to make amends or show up. Other locals were also unhappy with various tricks they pulled where what they promised was not what they were delivering, but I think that locals may be more used to this kind of sketchy behavior than we foreigners are. All in all, maybe you get what you pay for. It was a cheap price, we got pictures of the main scenic spots, an up-close-and-personal with the Mosuo culture, dance performances and food, but we had to deal with lateness, lack of communication, product sales, and disappearing tour guides. It seemed that the Mosuo guide also made some claims (including longevity of life, benefits of their silver products, and baby gender predictions) that seemed dubious.

Anyhow, still worth a visit. If you're interested in a tour, check out reviews/legitimacy of the tour company, or come with low expectations.

Date of experience: January 2018
6  Thank asykao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2018

This beautiful, peaceful, alpine-like lake is shared by Ninglang County of Yunnan Province and the Yanyuan County of Sichuan province. The border between the two provinces goes through approximately the middle of the lake. There are many ancient villages in the area, and many of the Mosuo inhabitants live similar to the lives of their great-grandparents, but most have electricity now and a few modern day conveniences.

While driving our rental car on the road a few hundred metres from the lake, we stopped to photograph a Mosuo child, his mother, and grandmother, all carrying loads of branches on their backs. We got invited to their home, where they had meat hanging. The firewood and meat were in preparation for the Chinese New Year Festival to celebrate the Year of the Dog.

The lake waters are clear and calm. They appear to be a beautiful deep blue colour. In many places along the shore, we saw brightly coloured boats. The most common colours were red, blue, and orange.

On Lugu Lake Road, we stopped at a village market. Many of ladies were dressed in their elaborate festive Mosuo-Minority costumes. They likely wear them for the tourists or the upcoming Chinese New Year Festival.

At many locations on the lake, we saw boats anchored out in the water.

The southern section of Lugu Lake goes by the name Caohai Lake.

The Mosuo minority people of Lugu Lake are noted for their “walking marriages,”
where most couples do not marry or live together, and where the Mosuo women may have children fathered by different men.

Tourists have to pay a 100 rmb per person entrance fee to get into the Lugu Lake Scenic Area.

Date of experience: February 2018
8  Thank KodoDrummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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