The Tiger-Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡

(下面有中文版!)

Yunnan has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty, but one trail takes the cake. This is the Tiger-Leaping Gorge trail, a 2-day hike in mountainous Yunnan.

Actually, it is possible to hike the approximately 15-km hike in one day, it’s just no fun. I met a hostel owner who did exactly this, saying that you basically have to run it. Most hikers do it over a 2-day period, staying in the Halfway Guesthouse overnight (with “the best washrooms in the world” because of the open walls offering stunning views of the mountain valleys.)

To get to the Tiger Leaping Gorge trail, most travelers come from Lijiang, an ultra-touristy village that I could barely stomach for a couple of days. Most hostels will offer information about the trail and even transportation, but if you want to do it on your own, go to the small town Qiaotou. From there, it’s up to the moutains!

The hiking itself ranges from comfortable walking along dirt trails (which is rare in China, most mountain hikes being a series of stairs), to the treacherous and grueling “28 bends,” which is a series of 28 switchbacks up steep terrain. Horse vendors take advantage of this, offering horseback rides (for a fee) to those unable to do it. Out of stubborn pride, I climbed all of the 28 bends without a horse, though there is no shame (well, maybe a little) if you opt for that route.

In terms of food, growing tourism has ensured that there are restaurants along the way. That being said, pack water! Prices on top of the mountain will be higher.

As for the views…well, let’s let them speak for themselves…

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云南到处都是美丽的自然风光,但是有一条无可攀比的路。那就是虎跳峡,一条需要在山里行走两天的路。

其实,一天之内可以走完这条15公里左右的路,但是一天之行并不好玩。我见过了一位青年旅社老板说他一天走完了,但是应该说跑完了因为他速度必须很快。大部分的游客需要走两天,住在“在中途客栈”(因为有“世界上最好的厕所”因为厕所的一侧没有墙壁,刚好可以看到超级漂亮的山!)

到虎跳峡,大部分游客从丽江出发——丽江就是一座过分游客化的小镇,我呆了几天实在受不了了。大部分客栈有关虎跳峡的消息和交通,但是如果你要自己到的话,就坐巴士到桥头就行了。从那儿,到处都是山!

爬山的话,有的时候不难(因为不像中国大部分爬楼梯的山路!),有的时候超级吃力的,比如一段有二十八个Z形路往上爬。租马的工人在那里等着,如果你付点钱,你可以骑马爬那一段。我自己比较固执,所以自己爬了。如果你要骑马,我不会小看你……OK会小看你一点点,但是你可以忽略我的想法。

吃饭的话,因为虎跳峡的旅游业比较丰富,路边会有一些饭店。但是你还是要带很多水!山里的价格会比较贵。

那,美丽自然风光呢?应该让图片自己来展示。

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