Delve into one of the best walks recognized worldwide. Spend 2 or 3 days walking the trails of Tiger Leaping Gorge, learning the stories that the ancient streets and culture tell, exploring new places, and discovering wonderful views such as the Yangtze River or the Jade Dragon snow mountain range.
The Gorge is located 70 km from the city of Lijiang, in the Chinese province of Yunnan. It has an old town of more than 800 years, and is the main capital of the autonomous country of the Naxi tribe. You will be fascinated and captivated by walking its streets and seeing the houses, restaurants and canals. You can walk calmly during the day and even at night, since it is a quiet and peaceful place. In all directions is Lion Hill, crowned by the temple Wanga lou, and at night both light up showing one of the most beautiful urban horizons you can see in your life.
To start touring Tiger Leaping Gorge, people usually use the road from Qiaotu, but really that is a boring and small city that only has a big climb that will leave you exhausted, so we recommend you start from the other end, in Daju. From here you can avoid exhausting your energy so quickly, plus you will have a memorable trip as you cross the high peaks and the Jade Dragon snow mountain range, admiring the whirlpools of clouds, valleys and small towns.
From Daju, there is only a short walk to the river where you can take your ferry. Outside of a common cruise or ferry, this is fully functional, powered by 2 engines and a little mistreated. While you’re sailing and watching the fast-flowing brown currents of the Yangtze River, you will suddenly consider wearing a lifejacket.
When you reach the other end of the river, a path will take you to the small village of Walnut Garden, a good place to take a break, have lunch and admire the landscape. The Yangtze River reaches its narrowest point in this area, a place 25 meters wide that, according to legend, was jumped by a tiger while fleeing from a hunter.
Twenty minutes from Walnut Garden, the real high trail starts, just in front of Tina’s guest house. Climbing gently these slopes, gives you the best views along the entire Yangtze; this area is known as the Golden Sands River.
Between 2 incredible and imposing peaks, the Jade Dragon snow mountain and the Haba mountain, stands the Gorge. At 2000 meters high, along with the clouds covering the summits and adrenaline, you will get an unparalleled landscape.
You will find yourself walking and admiring the landscape, the waterfalls, the houses in the area, and the Buddhist sanctuary you find on the way, until you come across an incredible stop: The Halfway Guest House, located in the village of Ben Di Wan, where you can have a drink. The rest you can do is enjoy the town, the people, drink tea or if you prefer a beer, and admire the nature from the comfort of the terrace while the sunset falls.
After spending a few hours walking, first down a simple path and then descending until you reach the Yangtze River, there is a quiet path that will allow you to think and remember all that lived in this wonderful gorge until you reach Qiaotou.
If you prefer a guided tour, you can contact the tour operator at the base of Lijiang. You can get there by buying an airline ticket that is usually economically accessible and leaving several Chinese airports. As for accommodation, if you do not want to camp, you can choose the quiet Zen garden hotel, in Lijiang. We recommend you to wear warm clothes because of the cold climate of the area, and to not embark on this walk alone, as it can be dangerous because of the different rocks and landslides.
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