This tour will take you embark on a trek of the legendary trail of one of the world’s deepest gorges - Tiger Leaping Gorge! You will find yourself lost in a world full of cliffs, steep lifts and drops, loose and rocky earth, raging river and epic towering snow mountains. With rhythmic sheep bleating and clip-clop of horses, stories of Ancient Tea Horse Road will also emerge in front of you. The level is intermediate, thus all the hiking lovers slightly above average physical condition will be welcomed.
Notice: Because of the road upgrade, the Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking tours to the Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge have been suspended since June 29, 2021. We will update the news once it reopens. You can also contact us to get the real-time info. The classic visits to the Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge are still available.
Day 1 Lijiang ArrivalPick up at Lijiang
Ni Hao! Welcome to Lijiang, a very impressive ancient city! Upon arrival at the airport or railway station, your guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall and transfer you to the hotel in ancient town area with a private car which is comfortable, air-conditioned and non-smoking. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the Lijiang Old Town.
Lijiang Old Town: Established in the Ming dynasty as a commercial center, Lijiang Old Town (or known as Dayan Ancient Town) is a well-preserved 800-year-old town for Naxi ethnic group, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Stroll the so many old alleys, old bridges, featured shops and bar to feel its past prosperity and today’s lively atmosphere. Lijiang Old Town will certainly jolt your senses!
Arrival Ideas: There’re direct flights from Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing, Lhasa, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Guiyang, etc to Lijiang Sanyi Airport. Trains are available from Kunming (about 3-3.5 hours), Dali (about 2-3 hours) to Lijiang Railway Station.
- Lijiang Old Town Waterwheel
Day 2 Lijiang - Tiger Leaping Gorge (B)Lijiang - First Bend of Yangtze River - Qiaotou - Naxi Family Guesthouse - 24 Bends - Tea Horse Guesthouse
This day, get ready to start your breathtaking in-depth Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking tour!
After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. First, drive about 52 kilometers from Lijiang to view the First Bend of Yangtze River. The upper reach of the Yangtze River is Jinsha River coming down from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and when it arrives at Shigu Town, it is obstructed by Hailuo Mountain and forms a V-shape turn. Then it changes the direction and goes to the northeast. You’ll reach the observation deck to catch a panoramic view of the bend, an extraordinary turn nearly about 180 degrees with beautiful and marvelous views like a wonderful landscape painting unfolding before your eyes. You’ll have a look at local market and Red Army’s Long March Memorial Monument in Shigu Town.
Then drive further north for about 50km (1 hour) to Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyon in the world and a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site called Three Parallel of Yunnan Protected Areas. For the rest of the day, you will trek this great gorge along its Upper Trekking Route, one of the top 10 classic hiking trails in the world that famed among worldwide backpackers.
Your amazing trekking tour starts from paths near a local primary school of Qiaotou Town (Hutiaoxia Town). The following part of trails will lead you to several rural villages and farms of the Naxi minority people first. And then you will arrive at Naxi Family Guesthouse in the early afternoon. Treat yourself one cup of cold beer or coffee there if you like before continuing your tour for some trail miles in the warm afternoon sun. The walk will then wind through pine forests, past waterfalls and snaking along the cliff edge with spectacular views of the muddy churning Yangtze River below and the looming ridges above. Later you will pass by the famous 24 Bends, where trails ascend with 24 swirling twists await your challenge. With every step upwards, the rugged terrain will introduce you a new perspective of the depths that make up the Tiger Leaping Gorge. Once complete the 24 Bends, you will be rewarded with the broadest view of the gorge. Look up to see the awe-inspiring Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Snow Mountain, then down to see the lingering rays dancing on the rippling waters a thousand meters below, congratulations, you are embracing Tiger Leaping Gorge on the highest point of this route! Take plenty of breaks to enjoy the gorgeous views. And then continue on for an hour or so, you’ll descend a few hundred meters in altitude to Tea Horse Guesthouse for your night stay.
Today’s trekking ends. Before going to bed, you can share today’s memorable hiking trip with your partners while appreciating the beautiful sparkling starry sky.
- Challenge Yourserf to Take the Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking
- Magnificent First Bend of Yangtze River in Yunnan
- Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking
Day 3 Tiger Leaping Gorge - Lijiang (B)Tea Horse Guesthouse - Halfway Guesthouse - Tina’s Guesthouse - Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse - Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge - Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse - Lijiang
After breakfast, you’ll set off for descend. For about 2 hours later, you will arrive at your first stop - Halfway Guesthouse, which marks the halfway point of the entire journey. Make a short stop at their top deck of “Star Lavatories”, where you will feast your eyes with an unbeatable view of surrounding towering snow-capped mountains. Next, wind the path hewed out of cliffs down while taking in the sensational vistas and hugging small waterfalls until you arrive at Tina’s Guesthouse on the main driving road. Then trek the main road for about 1.5km more to Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse, the vital starting point of goat paths leading down to Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge at the bottom. As you approach the bottom, you will hear a loud sound of the Jinsha River relentlessly pounding giant boulders in its path. The churning river splits the mountain into two towering cliffs, forming a giant gate that seems to welcome you. And finally, you will stand just steps from the raging river with a huge rock in its center. According to legends, there was once a tiger leaping from one side of the gorge to the other side via this rock, thus the locals called it Tiger Leaping Rock and started to call the gorge Tiger Leaping Gorge.
After your Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge visit, trek back to Teacher Zhang’s Guesthouse, where you’ll met by your driver who will escort your to Lijiang to catch your flight or bullet train to next destination. Service ends!
Departure idea: Your trekking tour will be finished at about 15:00pm. However, considering the long drive from Tiger Leaping Gorge to the airport (at least 2 hours to Lijiang Sanyi International Airport), you are suggested to book a flight departing after 20:00pm.
- Top Deck of Halfway Guesthouse “Star Lavatories”
- Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
Our guide Tenzin is an excellent guide and we had an amazing time with him. He was very friendly and very knowledgeable...
Thx for arranging a great trip to Tibet! Had great time.
Our tour is really great ! So many nice moments.
we made it back to Shanghai. It was a great trip even with rain, COVID, and Sophie's personal issues.
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The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
Few people will get altitude sickness while trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge, because the elevation rises up and down between a moderate 1,600m and 2,650m. Therefore, all the hikers with physical condition slightly above average will be welcomed. However, you are suggested to get suggestions from your doctor before you go if you have heart problems or serious acrophobia.
Usually, April, May, June, September and October are the best time to trek Tiger Leaping Gorge. Try to avoid to rainy seasons from June to August, because the road will be extremely sloppy and there may be occasional dangerous falling rocks.
Usually, following items are suggested to pack with you when do Tiger Leaping Gorge trekking, including a light backpack, at least 2 litres of water, snacks like cookies, candy, dried fruits and nuts, toilet paper, toothbrush, sunscreen, comfortable walking boots, middle-sized backpack, trekking pole, outdoor jacket, fleece jackets, underwear, sun glasses, bataclave, sun-blocking cream, rainproof, enough snacks and food, some cash, vacuum cup, warm water, camera, backup battery, cellphone, power bank, anti-high altitude drugs, etc.
All the trails are in traditional looks littered with slippery stones. Some parts are hidden in the forest and others are close to the edge of cliffs. There is no protective railing device and the trail can be very narrow and slippery at times so you do have to be extra vigilant with each step, especially in wet weather. The toughest part comes at the 24 Bends, where trails ascend with 24 swirling twists. On the last part down below the highway to the raging river, there are optional adventurous straight iron ladders. In general, trekking trails at Tiger Leaping Gorge are unique and challenging, but can all be pleasantly conquered.
Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La
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