Lu Gu Lake (瀘沽湖) also known as Women's Kingdom (女兒國)

Region: China, Yunnan

Difficulty: NA

Last Visit: 23-24 July 2009

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Route Description

Lugu Lake Lugu Lake lies 200 kilometers (approximately 124 miles) from the center of Lijiang City, on the border between Ninglang (寧蒗) County in Yunnan (雲南) Province and Yanyuan (盬源) County in Sichuan (四川) Province. The lake is like a beautiful pearl shining among the hills of the northwest plateau in Yunnan. Being located in a remote place, the lake is not accessible by rail, water and flights. You could only reach this peaceful Lake by cars via 2 routes: (1) via Ninliang, Yunnan ;(2) via Yanyuan, Sichuan. Travel time is about 8-9 hours either way. 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 (摩梭人) who live there form a matriarchal society (母系社會). There is no marriage. Men stay in the women's home as mates called 'Axia' (阿夏) and the intimate relationship lasts as long as they like. 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 hold the principal position in the society, forming a modern day 'woman's kingdom' (女兒國), which adds mystique to this place.


It is easy to hire a car or join a local tour in Lijiang Old City to Lugu Lake. This is a famous landmark of Lijiang 麗江 downtown.
The route from Lijiang to Lugu Lake is rugged and full of twists and turns.


Finally we arrived at the entrance of Lugu Lake after 7 hours of travelling.
The View outside the viewing platform.


One of scenic spots, Axia You Gu


Pig Trough Boat (糟豬船) line up on the shore of the lake. They are the vehicle for transportation and delivery.
A peaceful lake.
Mosuo people
On the way to Gemu Goddess Mountain, Li Ge (里格) Village
Li Ge (里格) Island


Cableway to Gemu Goddess Mountain
Goddess Temple on mountain top.
This is Goddess Cave (女神洞) which is a limestone cave. It has been declorated along with local legendary stories as a tourist attraction.

Stalactite (鍾乳石) inside the cave.
This rock was inscribed with a strange story. It goes like this: a Guangzhou tourist took stone from the cave back home. After that a series of mishap happened to his family. He than realized the mishaps may caused by stone taken from the sacred cave. So he returned the stone back to the cave and apologized to the cave Goddess.


There are lots of inns around Lugu Lake.
Roast suckling pig...
BBQ Clam
Looks delicious.... but actually the taste is just so-so
Night show (篝火晚會)
Where are the ducks going?
The ducks are swimming in flocks.
Taking a boat pig-roung boat to Le Ge Island
Li Ge Island
Knitting machine
Home Visit to Mosou People. Going to visit the eldest women in a Mosou family. Mosou people will enter adulthood at age 13. Adult women will own a house called "Flower House" (花樓).
This wine is a welcome drink
What can you see in the picture? It is a preserved pork called zhupiaorou (豬膘肉). Mosuo people take out the organs from a pig, then press, preserve and dry it. The The zhupiaorou can be stored for years. Mosuo people eat zhupiaorou only on festivals and big events. The zhupiaorou in the picture has been stored in here for decades!