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How to Plan a Trip to Lugu Lake from Lijiang

Lugu Lake is a pretty beautiful lake in China, lesser-known to the world and less-trodden by tourists due to its remoteness, and long hours of driving. But this azure crystal lake has beauty beyond words, with almost no pollution to its water, and special culture of Mosuo ethnic minority and countryside sightseeing in surrounding villages are the most attractive to tourists. If you have decided to visit Lugu Lake, this article telling Lugu Lake travel tips will give you great help, please keep reading.


How to Get to Lugu Lake from Lijiang

how to plan a trip to Lugu Lake from  Lijiang

Lugu Lake location: Lugu Lake is located at the border between Ninglang county in Yunan and Yanyuan county in Sichuan. Ninglang county is under the jurisdiction of Lijiang, and Lugu Lake is in the northeast of Lijiang, about 203 km from Lijiang and the driving time is about 4.5 hours.

Ways to go to Lugu Lake from Lijiang

Option 1: by bus

Tourists could take bus from Lijiang to Lugu Lake at Lijiang Bus Station, and it will arrive Luguhu Bus Station at Daluoshui Village after 5 hours.

  • Service time: 09: 00, 10:00, 15:00.
  • Ticket: 70 yuan.

Except Lijiang Bus Station, tourists could also go to Yulong Bus Station, or the south gate and the north gate of Lijiang Ancient Town to take bus, but a ticket fare may be different.

Option 2: by tourist express

Tourists could take the tourist express at Lijiang Ancient Town, and the express to Lugu Lake departs at 9:00 AM. The ticket for a single trip is 60 yuan. The returning time is at 9:00 and 13:00.

Option 3: charter a car

If you are in a big group, you could charter a car for a relaxing tour to Lugu Lake. And the fare for a round trip by chartering a car is about 3000 yuan. You could book a car rental service from us or turn to the hotel you check in in Lijiang for help.


Lugu Lake Facts

how to plan a trip to Lugu Lake from  Lijiang

Lugu Lake is a big lake located at the junction of Ninglang county of Yunnan and Yanyuan county of Sichuan, and it covers an area of 5,000 hectares, with a capacity of 2.25 billion cubic meters. Lugu Lake is the lake with the highest altitude of 2,685 meters in Yunnan Province and the third deepest lake in China, and it has a maximum transparency of 12 meters. There are 7 ethnic minorities living around Lugu Lake, and they are mainly Menggu, Li, Naxi and Pumi ethnic groups. The beautiful scenery, serene atmosphere, and unique local custom make Lugu Lake a great tourist attraction.

Lugu Lake has 5 islands, 4 peninsulas, 1 long island and 14 bays, and in the lake, you could see 5 islands, 3 peninsulas and 1 island connecting with the lake bank, which are generally 15-30 meters above the water surface. Lugu Lake is surrounded by mountains in four sides, with a shape of horseshoe, regarded as a pearl shining among high mountains.

how to plan a trip to Lugu Lake from  Lijiang
(Lige Peninsula)

Best time to visit Lugu Lake: March to October.

Open time: all day.


  • Entrance ticket: 70 yuan per person.
  • Cable car: 105 yuan.
  • Boat ticket: 50 yuan.
  • Show: 30 yuan.

Weather in Lugu Lake: it has an average annual temperature of 17 Celsius, and 15-25 Celsius in summer, and 3-18 Celsius in winter. Due to its high altitude, Lugu Lake has strong sunlight at all year round, and has a big temperature difference between morning and night. And its rainy days are mainly in July, August and September. 


Lugu Lake Highlights

What to see in Lugu Lake

how to plan a trip to Lugu Lake from  Lijiang

Lake scenery. Lugu lake is a blue lake shining beautifully under sunlight, and tourists could ride a bike, take a boat or just walk around the lake to enjoy its beauty. It is not hard to find its beauty, and you could see it in the crystal water, green mountains, floating boats, and vigorous grass sea.

Fragrant flowers. Around Lugu Lake, you could see colorful flowers over mountains and lands. From May to July, you could see lots of azaleas on mountains, and sunflowers at August and September, and coreopsis in October and November.

Mosuo villages and Mosuo women. Mosuo people are known to the world for their walking marriage, so tourists are very curious about their custom. The lifestyle and marriage of Mosuo people may be a bit strange to tourists, because they live with their mothers and grandmothers in a matrilineal family, and give great respect to women. And their walking marriage is much different from ours, because children are brought up by female, and father and mother don't live together. Tourists could talk with local people to know more about them, and also visit their wooden houses. If you plan to stay one night in Lugu Lake, you could be their guest.

Best place to watch sunset in Lugu Lake: Godness Bay.

Best place to watch sunrise in Lugu Lake: Lige Peninsula.

Highlights of Lugu Lake: Marriage Bridge, Grass Sea, Liwubi Island, Gemu Godness Mountain, and Lige Peninsula.


Lugu Lake Tour Itinerary

Usually speaking, tourists are advised to have a 2 days tour to Lugu Lake, due to its long distance from Lijiang, and uneven road for driving. If you want a 1 day tour to Lugu Lake, it is workable, but it could be tired and may cost you much money.  

how to plan a trip to Lugu Lake from  Lijiang
(Grass Sea)

1 day tour to Lugu Lake

Departure time: 8:00 AM. You need to make sure that you could take the bus which departs at 8:05 from Lijiang Ancient Town.

Returning time: 15:00 PM. Go to Luguhu Bus Station at Daluoshui Village, and take the bus which leaves at 15:00 PM. If you want to leave later, you may need to charter a car for your returning to Lijiang.

Sightseeing time: 2-3 hours.

In this one day tour, you may arrive Lugu Lake at around 12 o'clock, and have 2-3 hours for sightseeing. So what should you do? You could spend 1.5-2 hours at Lugu Lake, and take a boat in the lake, and have a walk at the Marriage Bridge, and take some pictures. Then you could have some time in Daluoshui Village, and visit local houses.

2 days tour to Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake tourist map

Departure time:
before 9:00 Am. Take bus at Lijiang Bus Station or the south gate of Lijiang Ancient Town.

Returning time: 9:00 AM of next morning or 13:00 PM of next afternoon.

Sightseeing time: 1 day.

With plenty time for sightseeing, you could enjoy yourselves a lot at Lugu Lake. Then How to spend 2 days in Lugu Lake, and what to do in these 2 days? 

Day 1: arrive Lugu Lake at 12:00-13:00, check in hotel or guesthouse and have a lunch at Daluoshui Village, where is the business area to tourists in Lugu Lake. In the afternoon, you could hang around in Daluoshui Village, and visit local houses. In night, you could watch the show telling stories and customs of local people.

Day 2: rent an electric scooter, and circle Lugu Lake. Begin your tour from Daluoshui Village, you could have stops at scenic spots like the Marriage Bridge, Grass Sea, Liwubi Island, Gemu Godness Mountain, and Lige Peninsula, and have a boat tour in the lake, and take a cable car. End your tour at Daluoshui Village, and take bus at here for leaving. If you want to watch sunrise, you could have your first stop at Lige Peninsula.

For a boat tour, there are many piers available, and the popular ones are piers around Grass Sea, Godness Bay, Liwubi Island, and Lige Peninsula. You could choose any of them for taking a boat.

In the case you have shorter or longer sightseeing time, you could charter a car or rent a bike to circle the lake. A bike tour takes about 8 hours, and the fare of renting a bike for a day is about 30 yuan. While the fare of chartering a car for circling the lake is about 300 yuan.   

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If you are interested in any China tours, please feel free to contact us or go tailor-made.