You know how in nursery rhymes the cow jumps over the moon? Well here in China, the tiger leaps over the gorge and we have pictures to prove it.
Tiger leaping gorge (虎跳峡) is one of the deepest gorges in China and one of the most popular treks one can take in this country. The trek got its name from a myth that a tiger escaped hunters by leaping over the gorges narrowest point (which is a rock in the middle of rapids that you now can go take pictures of for 10RMB). Northwest of Lijiang about 100km hiking the trail gives you another glimpse into the beauty and diversity of Yunnan province. Last Sunday and Monday we did 14 of the 18 mile trek (including a rather arduous 28 switchbacks up a mountain) following Jinsha Jiang river starting in Qiaotou and ending in Walnut Grove.
The trail is dotted with villages, guests houses and goats and lined with the beautiful Jade Dragon Snow mountains and Haba mountains on either side. We really enjoyed watching the cloud cover rise and fall over the peaks as we walked under sunny blue skies. The guest houses are cozy, cheap and friendly with backpacker fare and electric blankets (we ate breakfast at Naxi Family, lunch at Tea Horse Guest House, stayed at Halfway House and caught a bus back to Lijiang at Tina’s). The trail had demanding spots and some dodgy trail upkeep here and there but overall it was well marked and pretty peaceful. Above all the vistas are gorgeous and worth the walk.