Exploring Island Lige: A Cultural Gem on Lugu Lake

island lige on lugu lake

Island Lige (里格岛), nestled at the foothills of the northeastern Gemu Goddess Mountain, stands as one of the seven precious jewels adorning Lugu Lake in Lijiang. Surrounded by water on three sides, the island forms an inner harbor, embraced by verdant hills and the majestic presence of the Gemu Goddess, offering ever-changing panoramic views. High-flying white clouds and the surrounding peaks cast clear reflections in the water, blending the lake, mountains, and sky into a sparkling unity.

In the early days, Island Lige was inhabited by thirty-some households, all belonging to the Mosuo ethnic group, who practice the matriarchal system of “walking marriage,” where men and women do not marry each other. The matriarch holds the highest position within the family. Her residence, known as the “matriarchal house,” serves as the core of Mosuo family life, hosting gatherings, ceremonies, and discussions. Some Mosuo families on the island still maintain matriarchal houses that are over a hundred years old, offering the opportunity for interested visitors to experience this unique cultural aspect through home visits. It’s customary to bring a small gift, typically sweets, alcohol, or tea purchased from local stores, and guesthouse owners can facilitate introductions. Alternatively, guided tours often include arrangements for such visits after consulting with the tourists.

For a memorable stay at Lugu Lake, consider lodging on Island Lige, where numerous guesthouses offer distinctive accommodations, especially those overlooking the lake. Every clear evening, the village of Lige hosts a “Bonfire Evening Party,” where at least one member from each Mosuo family, dressed in vibrant traditional attire, gathers in the central courtyard to sing and dance around the bonfire, creating a lively atmosphere that constitutes a public entertainment highlight on the island. Local restaurants serve freshly caught fish from the lake, prepared in various delicious dishes such as fried silver carp with eggs or grilled fish. Don’t miss the chance to savor unique local drinks like Sulima wine and Guanda wine, and indulge in roasted suckling pig prepared by the Mosuo people. After a satisfying meal, bask in the sun’s warmth and immerse yourself in the tranquil island ambiance, relishing a day spent just like a true Mosuo.


Vlog about Island Lige


Other Attractions around Lugu Lake

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