In the sublime Xiaoliangshan Mountains of Yongning District of the Ninglang Yi Autonomous County is inlaid a shimmering pearl - Lugu Lake. It is the native place of "The Females' Kingdom" composed of the Mosuo people, a branch of the Naxi nationality. "Lugu" means "falling into the water" in the Mosuo language ("hu" means lake in Chinese.) Hence the name of the lake.
Lugu Lake is located between Yunnan's Ninglang County and Sichuan's Yanyuan County, with a total area of 77,700-odd mu, the space within the precincts of Yunnan being 41,400 mu. It is 2,685 m. above sea level, counting from the surface of the water, and is therefore the lake with the highest altitude in the province. Its average depth of water is 40 m., the greatest depth being 90 m. Among Yunnan's lakes it stands only second to Fuxianhu Lake in terms of depth of water. The water of the lake is generally clean and green, with different shades of colour: now turquoise blue, now sapphire blue, now white-gray, simply beyond one's imagination. On the lake are the "pig-trough boats" ("zhucaochuan") specific to the place. Teeming in the lake are fine-scaled fish, carps and other species. The lake waters flow eastwards to the Yalong River and finally into the surging Jingshajiang River.
Lugu Lake is surrounded by high and sublime mountains and is snowbound for over 3 months. Since the lake is rather deep, a definite regulating influence is exerted on the temperature of the lake shores. Therefore the surrounding mountains abound in forest resources which afford an exquisite beauty, much fresh air and charming scenery. At present it is one of the places in China which is least damaged by human efforts and best preserved in its natural features.The lake is in the shape of a horse's hoof - long from north to south, and narrower from east to west. The vista of the lake changes constantly throughout the day. The morning mist mixed with the light of the rising sun gives it an orange glow covered by mist. When the light of sun causes the hills to throw their shadows onto the water, the lake has a jade green color. The lake is calm and dark green in the evening when the sun sinks, and is peaceful when night comes. Gentle wind blows and water ripples.
On the lake there are five islands. They are different sizes and are like green boats floating on the water. Heiwawu Island, Liwubi Island, and Lige Island are most notable. Heiwawu Island is in the center and has a variety of birds living on it. The smallest is Nixi Island - an oblong rock covered with shrubs and moss. Besides the five islands, there are also three peninsulas and an island which is linked to a seawall on the shore by a path paved with small stones.
House of Mosuo people by Luogu Lake
Mosuo Family at Luogu Lake Mystery and charm surround the lake, partly because it was once an unspoiled place and still retains much of its totally natural beauty, but mostly because the Mosuo people who live there form a matriarchal society. There is no marriage. Men stay in the women's home as mates called 'Axia' and the intimate relationship lasts as long as they like. Children are brought up by women, and use the surname of their mothers. Families are composed of the members of the matrilineal kin. Women operate production and management, and hold the principal position in the society, forming a modern day 'woman's kingdom', which adds mystique to this place.The lake is encircled with hills. The water is clean and inviting, with fish swimming in it. The forest around is dense and the air is fresh. This is a place that is little tainted by modern industry - the natural beauty is retained. The weather is pleasant - it is cool in summer and warm in winter. All the seasons are as comfortable as spring, but the best seasons to come here are spring and summer when the hills are emerald green, the flowers are in bloom and the birds are singing happily.
Sichuan Travel Guide