We hired a car and driver from lijiang (450RMB) for the day. We were warned that it would take over 2 hours to get there and it seemed impossible that a 60km trip according to the guide books could take so long, but it did! The roads in some places are vey rough and windy, but a new road is being built and will considerably cut down the time. It is a lovely drive there through rural parts of China and you see lots of interesting sights. On the lijiang side of the river there is a flat walkway to a viewpoint where you get quite a good view of the gorge but it is not at it's deepest there. It took us less than 2 hours to do this and so we wanted to go on the road on the other side of the gorge but taxis from Lijiang are not allowed over there. So we had to walk across the bridge and get another car to take us along the gorge on the Shrangri-la side. The views this side are much better as you can see the mountains. He took us beyond the viewpoint on the opposite side and we were able to see better views of the gorge. Doing this you have to pay twice to enter ( about 60RMB each time I think). This took 1.5 hours and we returned to our original driver for the journey home. Although this is not as good as the trek for those with limited time you do get some great views of the gorge. There are places to buy food but not a lot so it is best to take your own for the day.
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