More Lugu Lake Pictures

What a pleasant surprise for me that I received email from Dr. Glenwood Irons again. you may also remember Dr. Glenwood, the author of Flight to Shanghai: A Journey in the Plague Year (II, III, IV). It was the only time that I co-author this blog for the entire 3 years of blogging, because the topic is so interesting and Dr. Glenwood’s entry was so well written. This time, he sent me some pictures he took near the Lugu Lake. He obviously took the most moving moments – dancing and group photo with the women in that village – the villages where women enjoy much more rights than men.


Photo taken by Dr. Glenwood Irons


Photo taken by Dr. Glenwood Irons


Photo taken by Dr. Glenwood Irons

It reminds of the my trip to Lugu Lake in the May holiday.

BTW, I am thinking of travelling again. There is a package to Egypt costing only 8200 RMB from Beijing. Well…. The pyramids — my mind start to fly…

I Draw my Own t-Shirt

In Lijiang, I spent one afternoon drawing my own T-Shirt with Wendy.

In Lijiang, it is a huge business to draw the Dongba characters on T-Shirt and sell the T-Shirts to tourists. It seems every 1 out of 3 stores have those T-Shirts. I suggested we buy some white T-Shirts and borrow the color and brush to create our own t-shirts. So, this is the whole story.

Jian Shuo with the pen.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The color plate:


© Jian Shuo Wang

Started with the red Sun:

Photograph by Wendy

Big head of my cartoon boy:


© Jian Shuo Wang

The big head from another view:


© Jian Shuo Wang

My stamp with my name on the t-shirt:


© Jian Shuo Wang

The small flower on the grassland:


© Jian Shuo Wang

Wendy also draw another T-Shirt. She draws better than me.


© Jian Shuo Wang

I wear my T-Shirt.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The work took the whole afternoon to complete. There were too many people watching us drawing that they almost blocked the road.

Lugu Lake – Part II

Where is Lugu Lake

This is for everyone who are curious about the place but doesn’t have too much basic geography knowledge about China. The most beautiful part of China I have experienced is the south-west. There are three provinces: Sichuan, Yunan and Tibet. In October, 2002, I started from Chengdu and visited Daocheng – that was about three-day car’s ride. This time, the trip is much easier. I took flight from Shanghai to Kunming, the capital of Yunan Province, and transit to Lijiang. Lijiang is the ancient small village with rich culture. What impressed me so much is, they have an airport! Even some big cities in China does not have one.

Lugu Lake is about 240 km away from Lijiang. We took bus from Lijiang to Lugu. It cost 5 hours and 120 RMB (15 USD) per person. We started at 9:00 and arrived around 15:00. Wow. The road was the typical winding road on the mountains. It is also dangerous – the cars can easily fall into the valley. :-) The Lugu Lake is about 2685 meters above the sea level….


© Jian Shuo Wang


© Jian Shuo Wang

The Mysterious Lake

The most interesting part of the lake is, the people in the villages are still living in the Maternal families. It means, they do not marry. Visiting marriage represents the main marriage system of Lugu Lake’s Mosuo people. There are only mothers. There is no concept of father. It should be the last matriarchal culture in the world.

The Hotel I Stayed

Now, Lugu lake is not only a place of Lugu local people. Many people settled down there. The owner of the hotel I stayed is among them. I spent some time on the architecture of the wooden house I stayed and finally believed they can move the entire house to a new place within three days. The wooden house is very simple. There is no simple nail throughout the house. It is simply made up of a lot of building blocks, that can be put one upon the other. The owner shared the story with us: He went to a old Mosuo village and fell in love with this house – a house with 100 years of history. He gave the owner about 10,000 RMB and bought the house. He gave the workers 15 days to move the house to a new place. The local workers laughed loudly and said 15 days are too much. Finally, they spent one day marking the woods in the house and tore it down. They spent another 2 days building it up. :-) Amazing story.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The cost per person per night is 30 RMB. We know that is raised price due to the May holiday. I assume the price should be much lower in normal days.

Lugu Lake

Lugu lake may not be great place to relax. Many people came here for walking, either walk around the lake (in two days) or march toward Daocheng. It takes 7 days… For me, an inn (typically combined with a Cafe) is good enough.


The lake, birdeyes from the top of the mountain.



The Mosuo Wangshi Inn I stayed.

The computer and Internet facility in the Inn.


Lake view from the window of the inn


What impressed me most is, it may be among the most Internet connected villages in the country. Almost every inn provides Internet access (some with wireless coverage), so I can use my own computer to send out the 14 pending emails from my outbox (via VPN) and upload the pictures above to my server. The connection is ADSL… Meanwhile, accompanied us along the way are the China Mobile and China Unicom radio transmission tower. I never experienced “out of service” on my mobile – GPRS also follows me.

IF the transportation is better, and there is enough policy support, the west part of China has the potential to be a software base – the infrustructure is ready, maybe what we lack is 1) education and 2) Funding… When I took the boat in the lake, it gives me the feeling that it is very much the sailing in bay area. I do hope one day, the west part of China raise up to be another bay area.

The owner (a couple) of the inn came from Chengdu. The husband came from Chengdu and was a teacher for Computer Science in Tianjin. He is in his 40’s. He bought a house with 100 years of history from the village, moved it to be lake side within 3 days and opened this inn and cafe about one year ago. After that, he settled down by the lake. The music of the bar is great. Last night, during the dinner time, the music was an album from Sara Brightman…

He said he had run after many dream but turned out to be very disappointed. So he settled by the lake. “Have you found what you want here?” Asked Wendy. He replied: “Still not”. Maybe it is all about “Enjoy Doing or Being Able to Do“.