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Tiger Leaping Gorge

by André on September 16th, 2011

Like I said before is China a lot more developped and touristy than I imagined. That was a reason for me to travel a bit beyond all the touristy hot-spots and discover the rural area’s of the Yunnin province. After being sick for a little while (damn shaksouka!) I made it to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Here I hiked on the edges of a giant gorge with some amazing views hunderds of meters down in the canyon and hundred meters up at a beautuful mountain scenery.

The hike was quite strenuous and you are hiking at heights of almost 3000 meter so the air get’s a bit thinner. So I am glad to say that, even though I didn’t have the most healthy lifestyle the last year, I managed it quite well. Who would have thought that this year of travelling was actually good for me! Also I have to say that I have some nice companions on my trip that kept me going quite well.

Next up: My adventures through the remote and culturally Tibetan villages in North Yunnan.

For the other travellers that might read this
When you arrive by bus you get dropped of at Jane’s guesthouse after you payed an entrance fee of 50 Yuan to the gorge. At Jane’s Guesthouse you can drop your big-bag and continue with your small bag with stuff you need for a one-night stay in one of the guesthouses up on the gorge.

From Jane’s Guesthouse you can start the hike, and there is a description on how to get to the high path. From the start you will probably be followed by a local that’s trying to sell you a horse ride, so they can also show you the way. Most travellers would decline the offer at the beginning but the horse will pretty much follow you like a vulture, waiting for you to break!

At the beginning of the track you’ll find some local women selling water and snacks. There are also some woman asking for money if you take a picture. They say that the locals have build the path but don’t see any of the money of the entrance fee. I can’t tell what’s the truth in this, but I can say that the 8Yuan viewpoint further on in the track is absolutely stunning.

The first part of the track consists mostly of hiking uphill and can leave you breathless for a little bit, but the hardest part is defenitly the 24 bends. Make sure you get some water before you get there, but there is a little store just before. When you finally reach the top you will be rewarded with some amazing views.

Most people try to get to the Halfway Guesthouse on the first day, this one is technically halfway on the gorge but most people only go to Tina’s Guesthouse to catch a bus (4:00PM) to either Jijang or Shangri-La. The second day hike is mostly downhill and is a lot shorter than the first which leaves you some time to climb down into the gorge which is can be reached when you cross the bridge next to Tina’s Guesthouse – and yes, there is someone charging you to get there again.

Although the hike can be potentially hazardous it is not as bad as the Lonely Planet might led you to believe. I did the hike on a pair of Converese and never felt it was really dangerous. Of course weather plays an important role and if it gets rainy it can get a lot more slippery so you might want to check the weather before you go.

From → China

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