Lugu Lake (Lugu Hu), Yunnan Province
The picturesque alpine Lugu Hu (Lugu Lake) is located in Northern Yunnan, overlapping the border to the Sichuan Province. Situated at 2’690 meters above sea level, Lugu Lake (Lugu Hu) is the highest lake of the Yunnan Province and with a depth of 90 meters the second-deepest in China.
The locals also call the lake “Xienami”, which means “Mother Lake” or sea. Its shores are mainly inhabited by the Yi, Moso (Mosu), Norzu, Pumi and Tibetan minorities. The easiest to recognise are the Yi women with their colourful, 3 coloured, long skirts and the characteristic big, usually black hats. Especially the older Yi women can often be seen smoking their characteristic pipes. The Norzu clan, which dominated the area until the 1950s, was feared by their neighbours as they were slave owners. They made regular raids through the neighbouring lowlands and captives where brought back to Lugu Lake and lived the rest of their lives as slaves for the Norzu clan. During the Mao era, the Norzu clan lost most of influence over the Lugu Lake region.
Probably the best-known minority in the area are the Moso (Mosu). The Mosu (Mosuo or Mosu) are one of the last societies still living in matriarchy today. The Moso (Mosu) follow an ancient practice, whereby a flexible form of cohabitation takes place of formal marriage. A Moso woman can therefore have several “husbands”. Relationships are usually quite short lived. In genera,l it is the women who take the decision and control the household. Therefore, the Yunnan Tourism Industry recently decided to nickname the Mosu (Mosu) “the kingdom of women”. Even though every Moso will argue that they are an own ethnic minority, historically they are closely related to the Naxi people.
Lugu Hu (Lugu Lake) can be reached from Lijiang within 6-7 hours by car. The scenery is spectacular, even though the road is not in a very good condition. Visitors arriving from the Sichuan side will find a better road through an as stunning countryside as from the Yunnan side. From Panzhihua it is about 255km and takes about 5 hours. Another option to reach Lugu Lake (Lugu Hu) is from Xichang, which also takes about 5 hours. Entrance fee to Lugu Lake (Lugu Hu) is 80 Yuan.