8 Days Lijiang Tour and Gemu Mountain Goddess Festival Tour At Lugu Lake

Lijiang has a history of at least 800 years and may date as far back as the Song Dynasty. As a popular destination in Yunnan, Lijiang is considered as a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by Naxi ethnic minority. Lugu Lake is the native place of “The Females’ Kingdom” composed of the Mosuo people, a branch of the Naxi nationality. This tour will offers not only the charming landscape of Lijiang, but also the Gemu Mountain Goddess Festival. Travelers can know more about Mosuo people.


  • Appreciate the charming landscape of Lijiang, like clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains.
  • Experience the featured culture of Mosuo people and enjoy the Gemu Mountain Goddess Festival.

Brief Itinerary:

  • Day 1 Arrive in Lijiang 
  • Day 2 Lijiang-Lugu Lake
  • Day 3 Lugu Lake
  • Day 4 Lugu Lake
  • Day 5 Lugu Lake-Lijiang
  • Day 6 Lijiang
  • Day 7 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang
  • Day 8 Depart from Lijiang

Google Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Arrive in Lijiang, Lijiang Old Town, 
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Lunch

Lijiang Anceint Town

Today, the local tour guide and driver will meet you at Lijiang airport and then send you to hotel. If time is enough, you will visit Lijiang Old Town by yourself.  

-Lijiang Old Town has a history more than 800 years; it was listed as the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. Here you will see the wonderful wooden architecture of Naxi ethnic people. Lijiang Ancient Town is a largely Naxi settlement first built 800years agao, located at the foot of the Lion Hill and completely surrounded by the new city of Lijiang.In December 1986, the State Council designated it a famous ancient historical and cultural city of national caliber. In 1997, UNESCO made Lijiang a World Cultural Heritage Site. Most of the dwellings, scattered at the foot of a mountain or by the river, are brick-and-tile structures with carved doors and painted windows. Traffic across the river is facilitated by a large number of tiny stone bridges. The town is similar to the Zhouzhuang Water Town in the south of the Yangtze River.

Day 2 Lijiang-200KM-Lugu Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Liwubi Island, Mosuo Bonfire Party,  Lugu Lake
Accommodation: Lugu Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, drive 6 hrs on the spectacle mountain road to visit the mysterious Lugu Lake. On the way, enjoy the beautiful view among the huge mountains and rivers. In the late afternoon, you will take the canoes to visit Liwubi Island in Lugu Lake. In the evening, take part in Mosuo Bonfire Party with ethnic dance and singing performance.You will dance and sing with Mosuo boys and girls around a big bonfire in the outdoors theatre.

–Matriarchal Society of Mosuo Ethnic People As in many other matriarchal societies this one is both matrilineal and matrilocal. However beyond the lack of property ownership and policy making decisions the men are also placed in a subservient role in sexual matters as well. A woman of the Mosuo selects a partner during a ritualistic dance. Such unions last at the woman’s discretion, lasting as briefly as one night to becoming a lifelong partnership. With such a highly fluid relationship pattern in effect many men are in a marriage system called tisese. They are Tibetan Buddhist by religion.

Day 3 Lugu Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Celebration of Gemu Mountain Goddess Festival, Goddess Temple, Gemu Mountain and the Goddess Cave
Accommodation: Lugu Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Lugu Lake in Lijiang

Today, you will enjoy and witness the sacrifice of Gemu Mountain Goddess Festival and start your photograph tour. You can visit Goddess Temple with local people. When the religious rites finish, a great banquet begins, during which men and women, old and young, dance together in the Jiachati dance, enjoy horse racing. At noon , Mosuo people will have a picnic, you can have your lunch with them. Afternoon, if you wish, you can take a cable car to visit the Gemu Mountain and the Goddess Cave. You can see beautiful panorama of the Luge Lake by standing at the viewing deck of Gemu Mountain.

-Gemu Mountain Goddess Festival is celebrated on the 25th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, to worship Gemu Mountain. On that day, everywhere on the mountain you can find the Moso, finely dressed for the festival, carrying food to celebrate with a banquet. Some walk, others ride horses. After making a circle of the mountain, each one goes to their suokuaku place, where they burn incense and carry out reverences to the mountain. They will hang a portrait of the Goddess of the Mountain, and they will pray to the goddess Gemu, asking her to liberate them from all misfortune, to let their grain grow, and to allow the people and livestock to prosper. They also worship the Goddess, offering her fruits, clean water, wine, and meat.

When the religious rites finish, a great banquet begins, during which men and women, old and young, dance together in the Jiachati dance, enjoy horse racing, or take advantage of the festive atmosphere to find new love partners, with whom in the future they may establish an Azhu relationship.

Day 4 Lugu Lake

Sightseeing and Activities: Zhamei Lamaist Monastery, Mosuo Market, Mosuo Family, Lugu Lake
Accommodation: Lugu Lake
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Zhamei Monastery in Ninglang County, Lijiang

In the morning, you will drive about 20Km to vist the Zhamei Lamaist Monastery which is the biggest lamasery in Moso area Yongning Town. Tibetan people call Yongning as “taluo”, meaning “the way to heaven”. The place the Zhamei Lamasery lies in is called “Zhameige”, which means “no war”. The coincidence of these two names make the Lamasery even famous in Tibet. Yongning Town is an important town of the Ancient Tea-Horse Trade Caravan from Yunnan to Tibet. Located between Yunnan and Sichuan, Yongning keeps the original ethnic life which is still not damaged by tourists. You will visit Mosuo Market in Yongning Town. We will arrangea Mosuo family to visit and have lunch in Mosuo family, enjoy the Mosuo real life in a village. Afternoon, you will walk along the Luguhu Lake by yourself. Enjoy the sunset wonder of Luguhu Lake in Luoshui Village.

–The area where the Mosuo lived was named “Yongning”, i.e. “a place of eternal peace and stability”. The army of the Yuan Dynasty took camp for a time at the valley in Yongning, which is called “Riyuehe”, which means “the place where sun and moon are in harmony.” Here the army was able to recover and the Mosuo were not bothered. The Mosuo live at the shores of lake Lugu, situated on the South-West of China, it has common borders with the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan. The population of the ethnic group of the Mosuo is 30.000. They have their own distinct language, but no script. They have their own native Daba religion and some are adherence to Tibetan Lamaism. The highest elevation of the area they inhabit is 3.200 meters and the lowest 800 meters. They have inhabited this area more than 1600 years according to the documents of the Han Dynasty. Due to the very mountainous terrain they inhabit the Mosuo have not had much contact with the “outside world” except through and ancient “Tea-Horse-Road”. Many of their daily needs are met through trading with a caravan. There is also a Southern route which is further and it takes the caravan one whole year to make the journey to Tibet and back. The Mosuo community has been isolated for a very long time and has lived a self reliant and self-managed lifestyle. This provides very clear evidence of the validity of its culture and traditions.

Day 5 Lugu Lake-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Mosuo Culture Museum, Pumi Ethnic Village, Visit Pumi Family, Baisha Old Town
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

In the early morning, you will pay a visit to Mosuo Culture Museum and learn the Mosuo ethnic custom in the museum. Drive drive back to Lijiang. On the way to Ninglang Town, you will stop to visit a Pumi Ethnic Village and Pumi Family. The ancestors of Pumi were a nomadic tribe living in the southern part of Gansu Province and the eastern part of Qinghai Province. Later, their descendants moved south to warmer areas along the Hengduan Mountain Range. After the 13th century, the Pumi ethnic group gradually settled down in Ninglang, Lijiang, Weixi and Lanping counties.
In the late afternoon, you will arrive in Lijiang and drive to Baisha Old Town. Sroll in Baisha village and enjoy ethnic life, such as visit Naxis architecture. Baisha Old Town was part of ‘Lijiang Old Town’ – World Cultural Heritage. 

Day 6 Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Baisha Murals, Wenhai Lake, Xuehua Village
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, you could see a small local market, where Naxi minority people are selling their farm products. Then pay a visit Baisha Murals which is about 600 years old, which is one part of the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO 1997. 

From Baisha village, we will drive to Wenhai Lake. Walk around Wenhai Lake and then visit ethnic villages near by and take in the magnificent views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain(Yulong snow Mountain). Hike around one hour along the slopes to Xuehua Village, a much poorer Yi village and you a chance to relax for the afternoon and learn more about local life. Interestingly Xuehua is also the home of one of the few ‘bimo’ of the area, an Yi shaman-like figure steeped in a ritualistic history infinitely longer and more complex than its newcomer counterpart amongst the Naxi – the‘Dongba priest’.

Then drive back to Lijiang Old Town.

-The Wenhai area is an ideal location for visitors to explore and learn about northwestern Yunnan’s dramatic grological formations and rich biodiversity. In the earlier times, the well- known Tea and Horse Caravan Trail that traversed between Yunnan and Tibet came through the Wenhai area. This ancient commercial corridor originated in the Ming Dynasty and was part of the “Southern silk Roud”. There are five clans in the Wenhai upper village, whose ancestors were of Tibetan and Han origins. Overtime, however, these people were regarded as Naxi by the other villagers. There are two clans in Wenhai lower village, whose bloodlines are from the Tibetans and the Bais, but are also being regarded as Naxi people now. north of the Wenhai villages is the Xuehua village where there lives a group of yis ,who still maintin their very simple and traditional lifestyle of the yi people.

Day 7 Lijiang-Shigu Town-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument, Tiger Leaping Gorge
Accommodation: Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


This morning, you’ll drive about 60KM to the First Bend on the Yangtze River with imposing gorge scenery, drive to Shigu Town, visit their morning market on the 19th of every month, you will see a multiracial market . Visit the Iron Chain Bridge, the Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in the Shigu Old Town.

Visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world. With 34 rapids of the Yangtze River, it is called the Jinsha in this area because you can find gold in the river. Afternoon, you’ll head for Shangri La, the former Zhongdian which is well-known as the paradise destination for every tourist. 

Then drive back to Lijiang.

Day 8 Depart from Lijiang

Sightseeing and Activities: Depart from Lijiang
Meals: Breakfast

Today, you will depart from Lijiang. Service ends.

Recommended Hotels

Destination 5 Star 4 Star 3 Star Hostels
Lijiang InterContinental Hotel E-outfitting Boutique Hotel in Shuhe Baishai Holiday Resort Erma’s Inn
Lugu Lake Ocean Paradise Hotel  Sealily Lugu Lake Angyue Boutique Hotel Sealily Travel Hotel Lugu Lake Liangshan Viewing Inn

Service Included:

  • Admission fees for all of the sightseeing spots listed in the itinerary;
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary;
  • Hotels as listed in the itinerary;
  • Private English-speaking tour guide;
  • Private vehicle for transfers & sightseeing with skilled driver;
  • Service charge & government taxes;
  • Luggage transfers between airports and hotels;
  • Domestic train tickets of soft sleeper;
  • Two bottles of water each day.

Service Excluded:

  • Any arrival and departure international airfares or train tickets;
  • Chinese visa fees;
  • Excess baggage charged by Airlines;
  • Single room supplement;
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Personal expenses and gratuities to service staff;
  • Personal travel accident insurance;
  • All optional programs.

Travel Tips:

  • Visitors are advised to always carry changes of clothing due to the large variations in temperature between day and night.
  • The climate is relatively dry, so drink more water every day.
  • Protecting oneself from strong UV radiation at high altitude.
  • Protecting oneself from altitude sickness. Lessen the effects of altitude sickness, avoid strenuous exercise and have plenty of rest. 
  • Respect local customs , habits, and religious beliefs.
  • When take photos, please pay attention to your safety, do not shoot in dangerous areas.