Lijiang-Lugu Lake @ Yunnan

Lowdown :

Lugu Lake 2690 metres above sea level lies 200 km from the center of Lijiang City in the North West Yunnan plateau. It is like a beautiful pearl shining among the hills of the northwest plateau in Yunnan.

Lugu Lake covers an area of 50 square kilometers with the average water depth of 45 meters and the transparency 11 meters. In the lake there are five islands, three peninsulas and a sea- wall islet. Here everything looks as if it has not been disturbed by human beings at all and still remains in its primitive state. Boating in the lake, you can feel that the surface of the water is as smooth as a mirror and the water as blue as the sky. The slow – canoe in the blue lake, the beautiful Mosuo girls in their ethnic clothes and the Mosuo folk songs will show you something of primitive simplicity and peace. Lugu Lake has the fame of a fabled abode of immortals and “Plateau Pearl" for its pure and virgin land of natural landscapes. The Mosuo people living here still keep their matriarchal society system. The members of the big matriarchal families live in harmony, love dearly and care for one another. The Mosuo are a Chinese ethnic minority group who live high in the Himalayas, in an area straddling Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, close to the Tibetan border.

Three aspects of the Mosuo culture that tend to attract the most attention are their practice of a system that is similar to matriarchal systems; their practice of “walking marriages”, an alternative system whereby women can choose/change partners as they wish, and couples do not live together or get married; and their integration of Tibetan Buddhism and their own religion, “Daba”.
All on-going sexual relationships in Mosuo culture are called "walking marriages." These bonds are "based on mutual affection."  When a Mosuo woman or man expresses interest in a potential partner, it is the woman who may give the man permission to visit her. These visits are usually kept secret, with the man visiting the woman's house after dark, spending the night, and returning to his own home in the morning. Mosuo women and men can engage in sexual relations with as many partners they wish. Children are raised in the mother's home and assume her family name.
 The people are largely self-sufficient in diet, raising enough for their daily needs. Local economies tend to be barter-based. Some Mosuo women, especially those of older generations, know how to use looms spinning and weaving to produce cloth goods.
There are several other minorities who live in the same area, primarily the Yi, the Naxi, and the Pumi. Each has its own unique culture; and in some cases, some intermixing of cultures has taken place, lending even greater variety to the local culture.
What :

 

Day 1-Lijiang Old Town 
Lijiang Old Town is listed as a World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO and is a best preserved in China. Go and visit Naxi Ethnic Group - who mainly lives in this region. And experience splendid Dongba culture of this special group which has absorbed aspects of the culture of Tibet. Pay a visit to the famous Mufu (Mu's Palace), which is at a position like the Forbidden for Beijing. You can wander along Square Street , and feel the original flavor of the local life. This street was a business center for different ethnic groups to trade in the old time. You will be struck by the peaceful surroundings. Dine at 51 Street, which has some best snacks and food in the town and also available are designer artworks and accessories. Take a rest at one of the most popular bars here and enjoy their live band with a specialty drink in hand after a full day of visit. 
You can also go and enjoy a view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool which is noted as one of China's finest views.
Stay overnight in Lijiang Old Town.
 
Day 2-Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Take a bus to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the morning. The mountain rises majestically from the plains with an elevation of 5,596 meters above sea level. The mountain is snowcapped year round and presents a natural unspoiled beauty. 
Take a cable car upward from the foot, and visit the Glacier Park, Ganhaizi and Yunshanping. Move down from the mountaintop and you can see rivers and pools, which are formed by the thawed snow water running along the valley and through the forests.
Go back to the Lijiang old town in late afternoon, and stay overnight there.
 
Day 3- Lugu Lake
Take a traveling bus at 8:30 AM from the Lijiang Old City Park to the Lugu Lake. The trip lasts around six hours.
Take a log boat and cruise in a water with average depth of 45 m and transparency 11 m after you settle down. The lake is famed as a fabled abode of immortals and “Plateau Pearl" for its pure and virgin land of natural landscapes. You can feel the surface of the water is as smooth as a mirror and the water as blue as the sky. The slow – canoe in the blue lake, the beautiful Mosuo girls in their ethnic clothes and the Mosuo folk songs will show you some primitive simplicity and peace. 
Stay overnight at a homestay.
 
Day 4- Lijiang Old Town
Wake up to the peace of this mountainous village and Lugu Lake. Have breakfast at the side of the lake in the morning mist, and take a walk around.
Visit the Mosuo people around who is famous for their matriarchal society system, and have a peep in the local romance tradition called “Visiting Marriage”. Have a talk to the Naxi villagers on things interest you and gain more knowledge about this group and their mysterious culture and traditions.
Take a bus back to Lijiang Old Town, take time for shopping and souvenirs, and get ready for your journey back home.

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