Tiger Leaping Gorge

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The Tiger Leaping Gorge trek (虎跳峡; Pinyin: Hǔ Tiào Xiá), near Lijiang in Yunnan, is one of the finest treks through some of the most naturally beautiful and diverse landscapes China has to offer. The trail runs high on the northern side of the gorge passing through quiet villages, shady forest, blustery precipice and verdant terraced farmland. The snow covered peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山; Yùlóng Xuěshān; 5,596m) and Haba Snow Mountain (哈巴雪山; Hābā Xuěshān, 5,396m) shadow either side of the gorge.
From Lijiang, you can go to the Bus Terminal southwest of outside the Old Town, and tell the counter you are going to Qiaotou. As usual, you would need your Passport to make the purchase. There are bus leaving to Qiaotou every 30-60 minutes, ¥24-33 (different price for different time). The journey takes about 2.5 hours (as of Mar 2019).
An open ended ticket to the trail is ¥45 (as of Mar 2019) (reduced for students under 25, half-price for seniors over 60) purchased from the ticket booths at either end of the trail. There are travelers saying that each side of the Gorge requires different tickets. Some trekkers have avoided the entry fee by setting off early before the ticket booth opens or sneaking past when the guard is out.
Typically the hike is spread over two days (one and half to three days) but a slower pace will afford you to time contemplate the natural surrounds and unwind in the villages quietude.
The trail stretches between Qiaotou and Walnut Grove, the more adventuresome types can continue to Daju or Baishuitai. Maps showing distances and guesthouse locations are available from the ticket office.
A little used side-trail to a remote waterfall just outside Walnut Garden is not shown on most maps but is marked with yellow arrows. The path is a challenging but worthwhile detour, passing through shady stands of bamboo to the base of the waterfall where the crashing water flows into a series of tranquil water pools.
If you prefer to visit without any (strenuous) hiking, a road along the south side of the gorge enters from the west and goes for a couple kilometers before stopping at a parking lot. After that there is a fairly level paved trail to Upper Tiger Leaping Stone. Tours can be arranged in Lijiang or you can try to hire a driver to take you as a day trip from Lijiang, though drivers from Lijiang are not allowed to cross the river as that's outside their allowed territory.
If you prefer to see the Tiger Leaping Stone, you can take the special bus from Lijiang Bus Terminal, southwest of outside the Old Town. There are two morning buses at 08:30 or 09:30 for ¥24-33 (different price for different time). You will be driven to the ticket counter, and then dropped on the parking lot of the Tiger Leaping Stone. You still need to take the stairs a little bit to the gorge, but everything is furnished with wood planks and stone steps. The same bus is going back to Lijiang at 14:30 and 15:30, costing ¥50 (as of Mar 2019).
If you want to avoid any hassles of figuring out your own transportation and directions you can go with a guide and a group from Lijiang for about ¥500 (covers transport, one night lodging, and any fees; no food).
There are a few ATMs in Qiaotou; however, they are only likely to take Chinese bank cards. The best idea would be to take the money you require for your time at Tiger Leaping Gorge from an ATM in Lijiang, to be on the safe side. There are no ATMs at any point along the trail.




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