Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake, Lijiang: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Lugu Lake Reviews: 4.5/5

Historic Sites • Bodies of Water
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888 reviews
Very good

Loïs B
3 contributions
Breathtaking but driving or going with a guide is necessary
Nov 2020
Breathtaking sceneries. The lake is extremely clean and warm, it's almost unreal. The history of this place and its mysterious Mosuo culture is also very fascinating. It is an ideal place for couples that want to stay a few days for a romantic trip and there's no shortages of hostels around the lake.

However be aware that there is almost no means of transportation once you're there: no bus, no taxi, etc. The majority of people who go there drive their own car or go with a tour guide. It isn't ideal for hiking since the only road around the lake is for cars and there is no pavement. I also couldn't find any place to rent a bike or an e-bike, but that might be because I went there during the low season. And there weren't many local people willing to take me on a ride.

If you don't have a car the best thing to do is to ask your bus driver if he takes people on tours. That's what I did and it didn't cost much at all.

The bus drive to get there is about 4.5 hours long and costs around 58 yuan (return ticket, low season). I booked with 云南旅游商城 but your hotel can also help you book a ticket.

When on the way there try to keep your eyes open at least for a bit, because the sceneries that you are about to see are some of the most breathtaking of all China.
Written December 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ronan V
Beijing, China50 contributions
Touristic but still worth it
Aug 2020 • Couples
We have been to Lugu lake by driving a private car from Lijiang. It's a 4 hours ride in the Yunnan mountain and the view can be stunning and worth some stops.
Although the road can be a bit dangerous because of the stone falling from the cliff, the lake is truly worth the travel.
We stayed two night in total in a Mosuo guesthouse hold by a Mosuo matriarchy. I have to say the minorities living around the lake are mostly living thanks to tourism now and no longer have traditional activities. There were a lot of tourists when we went in August and hotels where almost full despite the epidemic. We took a whole day bike riding around the lake which is around 55km and 7hours including lunch and photo break. Although it doesn't seem to be a highly praised way to discover the surrounding, I highly recommend anyone travelling to Lugu Lake to experience this.
Overall if you have time to discover yunnan, I would highly recommend to visit this place.
Written August 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sijia C
Sydney, Australia66 contributions
Get Away From the Cities and Experience a Truly Amazing Journey at this Hideaway.
Aug 2019
One of the last female dominant societies in China, nested away around a fully natural lake, outside the busy cities and approx. 3000m above sea level.

We stayed here for one night during April 2019 and whilst everything looks old, the lake is a beautiful light blue-ish silk colour that we have never seen before. It is truly unique and we have been to many famous lakes around China and all around the Asia Pacific. No lake is as tranquil or natural as the Lugu lake.

We came via car from Lijiang (4 hour drive) but it's also possible to enter from the eastern Chengdu side.

We went around the lake, took the boat to a famous little island where they shot a popular entertainment show, crossed the wedding bridge, experienced the bonfire dance at night and stayed at a nice hotel at the edge of Da Luo Shui.

The hotel was called 'San Se Yun' or 'three colour cloud' but I couldn't find it on TripAdvisor.

If you don't mind the long drive (or you can fly here from Kunming or Chengdu) and want to experience going back in time to a nice hideaway tribal village, then spending a day (or a few days) at Lugu Lake would be a nice choice.
Written July 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beijing, China36 contributions
It was truly bitter and a most unsatisfying experience!
May 2020
Despite having all green health codes and being in China since 5 months the access to non Sichuan people was denied. My friend with a Dalian ID (green health codes) and myself a foreigner with all necessary green health codes were rejected. I believe that the Lugu Lake Management should strongly rethink their access policy as there is no government instructions to not allow guests who are healthy into their premises. Made a trip of 300 km for nothing! Be careful if you travel this year there as they might keep this ridiculous own rule going. Call before you travel there.
Written May 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Perth, Australia138 contributions
Beautiful, tranquil, and peacful
Dec 2019
The scenery around the lake and mountains is fantastic. The water in the lake is crystal clear and like a mirror at times. Can get cold so take warm clothes. There are many places to stay and restaurants to eat. If you want a restful vacation in a beautiful part of the world you can't go wrong here
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Durham, NC153 contributions
9000' elevation lakeside.....
Nov 2019
Lugu lake is quite a few hours drive from any near train or plane transport point. As such you should really plan to spend at least one night there to see anything well. Although the area has been settled for a long time, it has effectively become a national park charging admission to enter. The lake is very clear and gives wonderful views, plus the surrounding mountains enhance the backdrop. This is a high altitude lake with the shore at about 9000'. The road we came in on had to rise over a 10,000' crest before descending to the lakeshore area.

There are many places to stay around the lake and a variety of comfort levels to choose from. Similarly there are many choices of places to eat. The locals have adapted to the interest in their homeland and tourism is seemingly their primary industry. You can can learn many things about how they used to live through various tourist attractions, admission required.

We visited on an overnight tour so I time was pretty heavily scheduled. I can't say if there is enough to do to keep you busy here for multiple days, and we didn't have the chance to just sit and absorb the local culture. I'd say that if you are strongly drawn to high altitude lakes that you would likely want to stay here at least two nights though.

If you smoke, or travel with a smoker, I advise you to use a tour bus to travel here. Do not travel the roads around it while smoking as you may lose consciousness due to the sudden oxygen reduction from breathing smoke.
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China9,934 contributions
Beautiful scenery
Nov 2019
The lake is huge, spanning over Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. It offers amazing and panoramic views. The Grass Lake and Walking Marriage Bridge areas are great photographic areas, particularly so on a sunny day. I went there on a mostly cloudy day, apart from some sunshine at sunset whilst I was at the Walking Marriage Bridge. The lake areas are on high altitude but mostly below 3000 m ASL, so mountain sickness is not likely to happen.
Written December 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

The Marina, United Arab Emirates1,112 contributions
Far from Lijiang, regular lake seeing
Oct 2019 • Couples
Took a 2 days trip to visit the place, it’s far from Lijiang around 5 hours in minibus with several scenic stops. The road is very busy and uncomfortable. Stay at an average hotel and see a local show which is very amateur (basic dancing) and short. In the morning at the lake, a boat tour bring you to a small house where a Chinese movie was made. 5 minutes stop, which is more than enough and bring you back to the minibus for the 5 hours road trip back to Lijiang. Well, I understand why I didn’t see any western.
Written October 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore59 contributions
Lugu lake visit
Aug 2019 • Friends
Visited Lugu Lake in august 2019. A vast lake that sits in yunnan and sichuan province. Took a tour bus that circled around the lake for a day trip. Visit some view point to see the entire lake.
Written August 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shanghai28 contributions
Excellent IF you know what you're doing
Jul 2019 • Friends
I saw a few people say in reviews 'it's just a normal lake but takes ages to get to'. I just want to put that opinion to rest.

First thing's first though. If you are going there, you are in all likelihood getting yourself a driver. Be. Careful. Our driver was great - we chose a female and I think this might be a wise choice for a few reasons. If you yourself are female, it's safer, and the high chance of smoking habits from the men might wear you down after spending several days with him. (Smoking is culturally huge in the male half in China).

However, they are all in cahoots with one another in these towns and other spots all over the lake and beyond. This is fair really. They get a commission if they successfully take you to various cheap/nasty restaurants run by friends or whatever. We allowed this to a minimal extent and it actually opened up some fascinatinng opportunities.

I went with two Chinese girls and if I hadn't, I certainly would not have had the experience I did and would have left with the impression that it's simply a lake you sit around for a while.

However, if you are able to speak in Chinese or have a friend to translate, the doors open wide. For example, we were taken into an ethnic minority village, friends of our driver who was also this minority. We chilled with them and their immensely dull and dry food, and then were taken to the grandmother's house where a woman talked to us for about 1.5 hours about their way of life (translated to me in chunks). I won't give it away but it's utterly mental - some of it involves cutting off hands and tongues, let's put it that way.

Other benefits of having Chinese ability is stopping off at lots of other places and learning. The driver was very well informed, and in an ancient town where we took a horse ride, we learnt a great deal too.

There is a HUGE cable car going up the steepest, tallest massive cliff-drop of a mountain you can see in many pictures here. But be prepared because shockingly that's only the beginning. You then have hundreds of steps to clamber up before reaching the top where a large cave resides. You can go in if you want but it's made up of hundreds more steps that are now dark and wet and it's basically raining inside.

The mythical stories behind the cave are also interesting which I won't spoil, but you get to go back down the mountain on some bizarrerly out of place toboggan system.

There are boat rides (don't be afraid to haggle), various towns and bars, temples and stories - it is far more than 'just a lake'. You just have to know what you're doing.

And honestly, the journey to and from is long, sure, but gloriously beautiful for almost the entire way, and a little spice is added when you see giant piles of rubble from a landslide covering half the road... every few hundred metres. And then your driver shows you a video from the night before of the landslides in action.

There's only one road in and out, unless you want to go to Sichuan (You can pop in and out since half the lake is in Sichuan technically).

If you go, be prepared and it will be super fascinating. Otherwise, still nice to chill there.
Written July 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
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We recommend booking Lugu Lake tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 4 Lugu Lake tours on Tripadvisor