Shudu Lake (also known as Shu Dugang Lake) is in the north-east of Shangri-La County in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province which is 35 kilometers away from the county. It has an altitude of 3,705 meters, with a catchment area of 15 square kilometers. Surrounded by mountains, the annual average temperature of Shu Dugang Lake is 5.4°C(41.7°F) and the annual rainfall there is about 580 millimeters. The rainy season is from June to October.
It is said that "shu" means cheese in Tibetan while "du" means stone. In ancient times, an eminent monk visited this place and herdsmen served him some cheese. When he noticed that the cheese in the pasture of Shu Dugang Lake was as firm as stone, he felt happy and prayed, "May the cheese here be as firm as stone forever", which is how it got the name of Shu Dugang.
Shudu Lake is one of the biggest lakes in Shangri-La County. Filled with crystal clear water, Shudu Lake teems with "Shudu Schizothorax" which are golden and have a crack on their abdomen. The fish tastes delicately fresh and delicious. Moreover, there are numerous fowls, such as wild ducks and yellow ducks, perching on the lake, with water hyacinths growing in it.
Around the lake are green mountains which are sheltered from the sky by the primeval forests. To the east of the lake there are vast stretches of birch forests which turn golden yellow in autumn. Tall and thick spruces and firs on the mountains thrust into the sky; their dense and green crown provides shelter from storms and rain. Many rare fowls and beasts, such as musk deer, bears, leopards, golden cats, Elaphodus cepalophus and Tibetan eared pheasants, inhabit the mountains.
The Shu Dugang Lake is a well-known pasture with vast and lush meadows and abundant water in Zhongdian County. In late spring and early summer, flocks of cattle and sheep wander around the lake where sheds are scattered. Strolling around the lake, you can face the crystal clear water with the green mountains behind you. There you can see black dots of cattle in the distance and hear the music of reed pipes. All of these make you experience the joy of the easy and simple life of the highlanders.
Shudu Lake is a poetic place. In spring and summer, numerous flowers bloom, with clusters of azaleas inflaming the whole lake. Various wild flowers come into blossom on the ground, which look like scattered stars. In autumn, your eyes are filled with the golden yellow of the birch forest. In winter mornings, shadowy and intangible mist rises from the lake because of the temperature difference, which creates conditions for the production of a beautiful scenic film.
Ticket: 110 RMB
Opening times: 08:00-18:30
Transportation: There are rural roads connecting to Shangri-La. You can go and come back in a day, however, there are no buses and you can only take taxis to get there.