→ A is for Lijiang downtown and B for Lugu Lake
Lugu Lake （泸沽湖）is located 300 kilometers (approximately 186 miles) from the center of Lijiang City, on the border between Ninglang County in Yunnan Province and Yanyuan County in Sichuan Province. It is in the north of Lijiang city. The Mosuo people have been isolated in the valley and retain more ancient traditions and customs than the other people around them. 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.
Mostly, visitors go to Lugu Lakge from Lijiang City, although it's also accessible from Panzhihua or Yanjing of Sichuan Province (the route is more complicated).
Wherever you are from, Ninglang, a town 70km and 3-hour coach ride away from the lake, is a must stop on route(at least passing by). From Ninglang to the lake area for sightseeing, you should change to regular bus or minibus. And the lake area is around Duo Shui Village and most of the scenic, villagers, and transport gather around the village. Generally, the journey between Lijiang and Lugu Lake takes about 4 to 5 hours.
►Option 1: By Tourist Special Express
There are Tourist Special Express between Lijiang Ancient Town and Lugu Lake. You should get on the express at the entrance of Lijiang Ancient Town. Both the south and north gate of the ancient town have buses heading to Lugu Lake. The express usually stops Lige via Da Luo Shui Village. (Note: the returning express can be caught at Lige or Da Luo Shui and one should call driver to confirm the date ahead of your returning. In addition, one advantage of taking the Tourist Special Express is that it usually stops at some free scenic spots on the way, just to offer tourist to enjoy the beautiful scenery and shoot photos.) It takes about 4 hours. It is quite fine. It will stop on the way for tourists to take photos.
►Option 2: By Coach
Catch a Lijiang-Lugu Lake coach at Lijiang Passenger Station. The coach departs at 9:00 am and 10:00 am each morning. It costs Y 74 per peoson for a one way trip and the journey takes 7 hours. By this way, you will have a stop for lunch at Ninglang County. When you get on the bus, the busman will check your returning date. If you are not sure by that moment, jus leave it and call them to confirm one day ahead of your returning before 10:00 am. The coach will arrive at Da Luo Shui Village. (Note: the returning coach to Lijiang from Du Luo Shui Village departs only at 10:00 am and 12:00 pm. But sometimes it has only one coach one day.)
►Option 3: By Transfer Way
♦ This is a transfer route. Visitors can take a bus at New Passenger Station of Lijiang to get to Ninglang County first, and the journey takes aobut 3 hour. Then catch a Yongning bus and get off at Lige Island. The journey from Ninglang to the lake only takes about 1 hour.
♦ Coaches heading for Xichang from Lijiang will pass through Lugu Lake too. It departs from Lijiang Passenger Station at 7:10 am and will arrive at Lugu Lake at 12:00.
►Option 4: By Car Rental
How to get to Lugu Lake from Lijiang by car rental? You can also get a chartered vehicle for the transport if you have more partners to share the high expense. The price of chartered vehicle is not set, you can ask for a travel agency for the cost. By the way, TopChinaTravel can off this kind of service for our clients. If you need, you can contact us.
Option 1 is quite fine. It will stop on the way for tourists to take photos.
Option 2 to Option 3 is suitable for those who had gone to Lugu Lake for more than one time and who wants to go to Sichuan. Because by these ways, the coach will not stop on the half way. If you want to have fun on the way to Lugu Lake, these options are not recommended. The most beautiful scenery is usually on the way. And the ticket should be bought one to two days in advance at the bus station.
Option 4 is very flexible as for departing time and comfortable. But the expense is quite high if you do not have other friend to share the expense together. This way is suitable for those who chase for high-end tour experience.
Best travel time: Spring and summer is the best time to visit Lugu lake, when the hills are emerald green, the flowers are in bloom and the lives are active.
As for getting around the lake, there are no public buses, so the only option is to take incredibly expensive taxis or three-wheeled cars (Chinese tuktuks). Other than that, walking and biking are very pleasant ways to get around the lake. In Luoshui electric scooters are for rent at Y 100 to ride round the lake.