Ariel's 5 Days Lugu Lake Trip with Cying Experience

Due to visiting a friend in Xichang in the summer of 2013, we, me and two of my best classmates in university, decided to travel to Lugu Lake to make up for our graduation trip.

Located at the boundary between Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province, Lugu Lake can be get from Chengdu or Lijiang. Based in Chengdu, we took the overnight train K9471 to Xichang with hard seats for about 11hrs, just to save money. On the train, we tried everything to kill time, playing cards, chatting with all small things, reading books, etc. it was fun at first beginning as we haven’t see each other for a long time though we were in the same city. While later we felt tired but still couldn’t sleep until 4am. About 6 am, broadcast woke us up that we were arriving. What a bittersweet experience. Anyway, we were getting off the train soon.

Day 1 Xichang Arrival and Xichang Tour

We got off the train at Xichang about 7:00am. Then we took taxi to the hotel we booked in advance (I can’t remember the hotel name right now) and checked in. with a breakfast, we went ahead to meet our friend in Xichang.

We were plan to enjoy the famous dish-Xichang wine-steeped shrimp(西昌醉虾), it turned out to be sold out. What a pity. After a normal Chinese style lunch. We went ahead to visit Bird-seeing Island Wetland Park (西昌观鸟岛湿地公园). Apart from the birds seeing, this park is a great place to have a leisure walk around the Lakes with breeze, especially in Summer.

After the visit, we got back to hotel and have dinner nearby.

Xichang Travel Tips

1) If you visit Xichang in Summer time, please wearing sunglass and take sunscreen to get rid of the strong sun's ultraviolet rays.

2) If you are interested about the local food, you are suggested to try the Xichang wine-steeped shrimp(西昌醉虾).

Lugu Lake Travel Story

Just Arrival in Xichang Railway Station In the Early Morning

Day 2 Caohai Lake Arrival and local Mosuo family visit

After breakfast, we headed for Xichang passenger transportation center on 8:00 to take a coach for about 6-7hrs. On the way, there was a checking site just in case everyone paid the ticket. After arrived in Lugu Lake bus station in the afternoon, we rant a local private car for Caohai Lake, Lugu Lake within 40 minutes. Here we pre-booked a guesthouse for accommodation.

Caohai Lake(草海), also named Grass Sea, is located in the southeast of Lugu Lake. As one of big sites in Lugu Lake, it provides guesthouse, local restaurant for tourists and some featured activities, including taking a Canoe(猪槽船),joining a Night Bonfire Party(篝火晚会),walking the romantic Marriage Bridge(走婚桥), Cycling around Lugu Lake, etc.

After a simple check-in, we visited a local Mosuo family nearby, who is the brother of the friend in Xichang. That was the reason why we booked the hotel in Caohai Lake.

The hostess is a Mosuo Chinese woman and the host, the friend’s brother is a Han Chinese. They were rebuilding their house to a guesthouse (now named 紫东院) when we got inside, so the courtyard was cluttered with wood and tools. A big boy and a little sister were helping their father. While the hostess was farming on the hill behind the house, which surprised me since in my conception, the Han Chinese husbands take more about the livelihood and the wives do less, on the contrary, Mosuo wives here are the main support in their lives no matter at home or outside, reflecting a way of “Matriarchal Society”.

They all stopped their doing when found us. After greeting, they were preparing dinner for us with their local food, including preserved meat(腊肉) and one kind of stem flower(水性杨花) living in the water, which can be eaten. At dinner, they told us some informative activities, like Mosuo Night Bonfire Party and the Canoe experience here. Besides, we also learned some local young people’s idea about “visiting marriage” customs due to sinicized by Han Chinese:

1) After getting married, Mosuo husbands trend to stay and take care of the family, rather than running away.

2) It is free for Mosuo girls to marry with a Mosuo man or Han man.

Lugu Lake Travel Story

Join in Mosuo Night Bonfire Party and took picture with hostess

Day 3 Took the canoe in Caohai Lake

After a noodle breakfast, we took the canoe, a small boat that has capacity of about 12 people. We rent a private one for sailing about 1.5-2 hrs around Caohai Lake. On the tranquil lake, we found the stem flower(水性杨花) dish in the yesterday night. The water is quite cool and chilly, especially in the morning, so please drew warm when you go. Besides, we took a shore excursion to a small island and visited a small site Princess House (王妃府) for a while.

For the rest of day, we took a leisure walking around Caohai Lake.

Lugu Lake Travel Story

We took a private canoe in Caohai Lake

In the evening, we had dinner (hot pot) in the hotel (you could choose hop pot or BBQ), I have to say that the beef is very good.

Day 4 Cycling around Lugu Lake

Cycling around Lugu Lake was one of the must do in our list.

By ranting three bicycles at the guesthouse, we began our cycling trip to view the mysterious Lugu Lake in all directions. Here was our route line with map attached: Walking Marriage Bridge in Caohai(草海走婚桥)- Nawa(娜洼村)- Sanjia Village(三家村)-Luoshui Village(落水村)- Lige Village(里格村)-Nisai Village(里色村)-Little Luoshui Village(小落水村)-Dazui Village(大嘴村)-Lama Temple(喇嘛寺)- Walking Marriage Bridge in Caohai(草海走婚桥).

Lugu Lake Travel Story

Lugu Lake Cycling RouteMap

On the way, we experienced the changeable weather from sunny to drizzling to pouring rain, then back to clear. Just like Mr. Su Shi(苏轼), one of our greatest poets in Song Dynasty, said in his poem that “水光潋滟晴方好,山色空蒙雨亦奇“ when he visited Hangzhou West Lake, which means that no matter it’s rainy or sunny, the scenery in West Lake is still beautiful, we thought the same way as we cycling around Lugu Lake.

Lugu Lake Travel Story

Canoe in Caohai Lake after the Rain

Lugu Lake Travel Story

Lige Island from Afar

Cycling travel Tips::

1) Each of us paid RMB 20 as a returnable deposit to rant bike. The price may vary from different ranting site and different transportations;

2) Since the weather is changeable, before cycling, you may need to prepare those things: Sunglasses; Sunscreen; Raincoat/one-time used waterproof; Antislipped comfortable shoes; knapsack with snacks and water, etc.

3) With 60 kilometers altogether, it take about 7~8 hours to bicycle a round. Instead of consuming your energy, you can use a private car/van to cycle around which will be easy and energy-saving for you.

Day 5 Time to Say Goodbye

We got up early and spent some time in the downtown and then caught a high speed train back to Lanzhou. Along the road, you can see some snow mountains.

We had planned to leave today and had booked the train ticket, though there were so many sites awaiting us to explore. We really hope to visit it again and maybe we can stay at Lige Island in the next time.

Travel with Me

Hi, I'm Ariel. Are you interested in my 5 Days Lugu Lake Trip? Feel free to contact me, and I will be glad to tell you more stunning stories about the places I have visited. Or, if you want to customize a tour on your own, I'm always ready to help at any time. With my passion, knowledge and understanding of the essence of travel, I promise I will try my best to make the tour memorable and meaningful for you.

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