We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies

arrow Register here

Forgotten password?


Day 81: Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake, China 
click to enlarge 
file size
Last-night celebration dance in the hotel courtyard. The American West and the Chinese West seem to have a lot in common.
Michael Palin - HimalayaTonight is our last night at Namu's and she has ordered a lamb to be grilled on the spit. First of all, though, there's entertainment around an open fire in the centre of the courtyard. Everyone's expected to sing. The crew is terrified and have been practising 'The Lumberjack Song' for days. The Mosuo women sing powerfully Ė hard, back-of-the-throat sounds that are often harsh and strident to our ears Ė but their range and control as they fly up and down the keys can be thrilling.

Then, with the men dressed like cowboys, they go into what they call Mosuo disco. Music thumps out from loudspeakers, but the movements owe more to line dancing than John Travolta. Namu talks often of East meeting West and Mosuo disco does seem to have brought Yunnan and Idaho a lot closer together.

Finally, a few rounds of circle dancing. Namu pulls me up and seems unfazed by my inability to get the footwork up to Fred Astaire or even Fred Flintstone standard.

'It's good exercise,' she says blithely, and suddenly I see the real Namu. She tries hard to be the vamp, but at heart she's the gym mistress. Must tell Joshua.

The drink flows and Namu's brother, who runs the hotel, is full of bonhomie. After bottles of Dynasty Red, gin and cognac have been passed round, he insists we have one last toast in the local corn wine.

'Tashi Delek!' we all shout, clinking our glasses and knocking back the smoothly fierce brew.

Namu is nowhere to be seen.
Choose another day from Himalaya


  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 81: Lugu Lake
  • Country/sea: China
  • Place: Lugu Lake
  • Book page no: 191

Bookmarks will keep your place in one or more series. But you'll need to register and/or log in.


  • China
  • Day 43 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 53 
  • Full Circle
  • Day 44 
  • Around the World in 80 Days

  • Booze
  • Day 1 
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day 5 
  • Full Circle
  • Day 2 
  • Pole to Pole