Travel exposé: Yunnan Province (5) Lugu Lake (2 of 2)

Oflagnce again, it’s good to see you for this week’s edition of “Bajan,” Chinese Style. If you are in China then you should most certainly already know, but if you aren’t however, here’s a little tidbit of knowledge that you may find useful. Tomorrow, October 1st is China’s National Day, which represents the 67th year of the formation of New China. So right off the hat, a big happy birthday, I mean Happy National day to you China.National day also marks the beginning of a week long holiday known as “National Holiday,” and it is during this time that everyone in China who can go travelling, does. So, we are faced with the question, How does one choose the right destination? Luckily for us, we were already immersed in the exploration in one of the most remote and relaxing regions of China and we’ll just continue from there. 

Last week, we had mentally laid eyes upon the landscape of Lugu Lake (Re: Lugu Lake 1 of 2) which is located on the border of Yunnan and Sichuan province. This week, let’s get right into things by taking a look at how to approach exploring the extensive beauty that is this lake.

The surface area of Lugu Lake is approximately 45.73 square kilometres, so from that alone we know it is extremely large. The best way to enjoy the natural charm of the lake is to actually get out of the car or van and just submerge yourself in it. Fortunately for us, this has been catered to as most hostels offer a daily  bicycle and moped rental service. 

img_2532If you are in good physical condition and especially if the weather is good, then by all means I recommend renting a bike. However, be warned that the road which traces the perimeter of the lake runs over very mountainous terrain and is in many ways not for the faint of heart, or in this case those who tend to faint. If you would prefer to undertake your sojourn in relative comfort,then I recommend renting a moped. Rental prices range from 50 to 150 yuan and there is a weakly enforced 24 hour time limit.

After having rented your bike or moped you can then begin your journey around the lake. Most visitors usually follow the right handed route as this is the more mountainous side of the lake. It’s always better to get the more challenging mountains out of the way in the morning when you are fresh and full of energy. img_2534

As you commence on your journey, you will instantly be greeted by Goddess Mountian, and many small Tibetan style temples. Passing these impressive sites,the road will take you through many idyllic albeit, small ethnic Naxi, She or Muosuo villages.

By the afternoon, if you keep up a good pace, you would have entered into the Sichuan 1/3 of the lake and it is at this time that you actually won’t be able to see the lake. Instead, as I realised, you will probably find yourself in the midst of a multitude of rolling mountains with lush swaths of multicoloured grass at their bases. Fear not, for you have not gotten lost, instead this area is simply the famed “Sea of Grass” and during early summer or fall, it is especially spectacular.

img_3625After exiting from Sichuan’s “Sea of Grass,” follow the road and it will take you back to the  shoreline. All roads lead to Lugu. Simply follow the road and within an hour,you will probably return to your starting point. However, I recommend that you don’t immediately return your moped and instead inquire as to if there will be any flame dances later that evening. These dances are usuallfirey held in the larger of the Naxi villages and if there are, I recommend attending one. 

The Flame Dance, is an ancient Naxi ethnic tradition which usually marks the times which members of the tribe can court each other. It must be noted that polygamy is the core of Naxi interpersonal relations and so these Flame Dances are an extremely important part of their culture.

img_3753Finally, in my personal experience, it usually takes three days to truly explore Lugu Lake as your first day will most certainly be spent simply riding around the lake in an attempt to make it home before it becomes dark. If this is the case, then on the second day, I recommend climbing Goddess Mountain and if you can, really going into the heart of the “Sea of  Grass.” In the evening  you can take a sail on the lake and explore the small islands or you can simply go for a dip in the truly refreshing azure water.img_3747

If your luck is especially good, then you may even catch a glimpse of the double rainbow that Lugu Lake is also famed for. If you do glimpse this magical manifestation, then you will truly understand why this lake is one of the best kept travel secrets of China.

One trip to Lugu Lake and you will be hooked for a lifetime.


13 thoughts on “Travel exposé: Yunnan Province (5) Lugu Lake (2 of 2)

  1. Very informative and interesting. I really want to go and experience it for myself now based on your lovely descriptions. Perhaps you could think about adding a more personal element though like what were your personal experiences and thoughts and feelings while doing all these things. How did they make you feel, what have they taught you about your own country etc..
    Just a thought though, since I don’t do much travelling it was still a lovely read and this is your blog to write what and how you want. I really like the mix of pictures together with what you were describing.


    1. Thanks so much for this wonderful advice, I’ve also been thinking about adding a more personal touch to the pieces.

      I usually do a “Weekly Funny” which is basically a collection of funny and or unpredictable events that happened to me while I was on my trips,

      I try to match them with the location I’m writing about at the moment because it provides setting, but since I spent so long travelling in Yunnan Province, I only have don’t have enough funny memories to match all the places ha!

      Thanks once again, I’ll def. work on this!

      Liked by 1 person

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