Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tiger Leaping Gorge - Yunnan, China

4th - 5th Aug 2014: 

Via Timeless Hostel in Lijiang we arranged an early bus to take us to Tiger Leaping Gorge. After being taken to an office to buy our tickets (completely avoidable if you travel independently) we headed up the path away from the road with our new trekking buddies and shadowed by donkeys and meek sherpas who, like some monitor lizards after biting and injecting their prey with poison, were tracking us hoping for us to wilt so they could charge a fee for carrying us and/or our belongings. 

Molly and Rose being trailed by donkeys

Others had wisely left the crux of their possessions at the hostel. Not wanting to return to Lijang after the trek, I was tasked with carrying the heavy burgen burden along with us. The majestic views of the trek are better represented by pictures than words so I wil leave the thesaurus be. We are not trekkers (I assert this time and time again yet every trip we always end up trekking) and found the going tough. It was mostly uphill and my back and shoulders were hurting from the heavy bag. 

A wet uphill trek but absolutely stunning
Fortunately we had some light, cooling rain and having set off around 10:30am we arrived at Half way hostel at around 5:00pm. Mo, the youngest member of our group could definitely have made better time but the rest of us Molly, Kat, Rose, Kate and myself were happy to plod along (alas we shirked the sherpas!). There were a fair few small stalls selling useful items like water, bananas and chocolate although the most novel thing on offer had to be the bags of marijuana sat alongside the other commodities as though it were nothing out of the ordinary, just in case you fancied a spliff on your hike. China really is a weird and wonderful place! Really recommend you get to Halfway Hostel as although fairly basic, the views are amazing, food is good and staff are friendly (try to stay in the older rooms towards the front for best views). 

Enjoying a liquid reward of Dali Beer (2.5%) at the Halfway Hostel

View from Halfway Hostel Tiger Leaping Gorge

5th Aug 2014: 

We originally fancied staying here at Half Way Hostel another day and at first lingered around the hostel enjoying our surroundings and licking our wounds from the previous day whilst the others set off shortly after breakfast. However, thinking that even in paradise we might risk boredom we soon decided to make the shorter second day walk to Tina's guest house. Meeting two new friends, Manou and Pim we took our time enojying the splendid views in the sunshine, sharing the walk occassionally with goats who were going about their goat business. We passed waterfalls and excellent scenery which to me seemed better than the first day although this may be because it was less strenuous and we had better weather. 

Setting off with new friends

Goat herder

Kate enjoying the view

Crossing a waterfall 
Enjoying some green tea with Massimo and Pablo

At Tina's we decided to pass on the steep walk down to the Tiger Leaping Stone and instead appreciated the overlooking view from the bridge. Those we saw coming back up from visiting the stone looked shattered and satisfied in equal measure. We wanted to move on to Haba from here and thought it possible based on advice in Lijiang, however the reality of the situation meant we would instead move on to Shangri-la (three hours) on the more direct route via Qiaotou. From Tina's it is also possible to take a bus to Lijang via Qiaotou (three hours). Buses depart from just outside Tina's, if possible find out times and book in advance as buses are small and we were lucky to get seats. 

Tina's Guest House

The long way down to the Tiger Leaping Stone

Tina's Guest House Tel: 0887-8202258

Are you a student thinking about coming to China or boosting your CV and employment prospects?
Come for an internship with InternChina and you will never regret it.

No comments:

Post a Comment