Shudu Lake in Shangrila, Diqing

Why is Shudu Lake So Special?

Shudu Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Shangri-La City. Also, it is a well-known pasture with vast and lush meadows and abundant water in Shangrila. The famous fish in this lake “Shudu Schizothorax” are golden and have a crack on their abdomen. Around the lake, there are dense forests of fir spruce and birch. These are filled with wild animals such as musk deer, bears, leopards, golden cats, and pheasants etc. 

Where is Shudu Lake – Location

Shudu Lake is a plateau lake in Shangri-La City, Yunnan Province, southwest of China. Located to northeast of Shangri-la, it is 43 km from the city. The lake is located in Pudacuo National Park and has a total area of about 1.1 square kilometers, with an elevation of 3705 m.

What “Shudu” Means?

“Shu” means cheese in Tibet, and “Du” means stone. Legend has it that an ancient monk came here and the herdsmen offered him cheese. He saw that the cheese in the Dogang lake pasture was as strong as stone, and he was so happy that he prayed: “may the cheese here be as strong as stone forever”, from which he got his name.

How to Get There

By Bus: At Shangri-La Bus Station, there are buses running to Pudacuo National Park at 08:00, 08:30, 09:30 and 10:00. And the return  time is 14:00, 14:30, 15:00 and 16:30.

By Minivan Rental: Tourists can hire minivan to Pudacuo National Park at the square in Dukezong Old Town. 

By Taxi: It takes 40 minutes from Shangri-la County; a single trip costs CNY 80 and a round-trip costs CNY 150.

Main Attractions

Crystal Water of Shudu Lake

Shudu Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Shangri-La County. The lake water is so clear that you can see the fish swimming around. One special fish in the lake is called Shudu Schizothorax for the crack line strangely running across its stomach. The fish is delicate and delicious. The lake is also home to a large number of wild ducks, water gourds, yellow ducks and other birds.

Mountains and Trees around Shudu Lake

Shudu Lake is surrounded by lush green mountains, which are sheltered from the sky by the primeval forests. The birch forests on the east of the lake are golden in autumn. The spruce and fur in the mountains are tall and stout, straight into the sky, whose dense and green crown can provide shelter from storms and rain. There are many rare birds and animals in the forest, such as musk deer, bear, leopard, golden cat, hairy deer, Tibetan horse and chicken. 

Pasture around Shudu Lake

The pasture around Shudu Lake is well-known with its vast and lush meadows and abundant water. In every late spring and early summer, herds of cattle and sheep wander around the lake and sheds are scattered. Facing clear water and back to the green mountains, one can deeply experience the relaxed and simple life of local highland people.

Recommended Visiting Route

There are two routes to explore Shudu Lake. One is by 1-hour plank road hiking for 3.3 km. Hiking is the best way to appreciate the lake scenery. The other is by boat for extra CNY 50, taking only 10-15 minutes. It can save you time and energy at the same time by boat cruise.

Best Time to Go

Pudacuo is suitable for traveling all the year around. Different season has different scenery. In spring and summer, countless flowers bloom, and clusters of azalea light up the entire lake. The ground was covered with a variety of wild flowers that looked like stars. In autumn, your eyes are filled with forest of golden birch trees. Misty and invisible mist rises from the lake on a winter morning because of the temperature difference, creating the conditions for making a beautiful landscape film.

Nearby Attractions

Bitahai Lake

Bitahai Lake is another plateau lake in Shangri-La County, Yunnan Province, southwest of China. The lake is located in Pudacuo National Park and has a total area of about 1.4 square kilometers, with an elevation of 3539 m. It is regarded as a pearl of the Plateau, the most charming view is the tower-like hill and this clear, peaceful water. 

Militang Pasture

Militang Pasture lies between Shudu lake and Bita lake. It is 4,500 meters long from north to south, 500 meters wide from east to west, and 3,700 meters above sea level. Militang refers to a long, slender, eye-shaped meadows named for a narrow Buddha eye. Meadows, wetlands, curving streams, leisurely cattle and sheep, all these make people relaxed and happy. One amazing spectacle is the beautiful meadows, which bloom until September, and it’s the most fascinating view of Pudacuo National Park.

Useful Travel Tips

►Make a detour to Sangcuoka Tourist Service Center for meals is available during the sigheseeing bus ride, please tell the driver in advance.

►To avoid high altitude sickness, please avoid strong activities or prepare two bottle of oxygen before visiting.

►Temperature in Shudu Lake is lower than that in Shangri-La city and weather changes a lot, so bring some warm clothes whenever you visit.

► Charge your camera before visiting due to the stunning scenery will make your camera busy.

Tours including Shudu Lake

4 Days Shangri-la City Tour

5 Days Lijiang-Shangrila Tour

8 Days Yunnan Classic Tour by High Speed Bullet Train

10 Days Yunnan Classic Tour with Dongchuan Red Land Photography