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“Amazing views, but tough going at times”

Tiger Leaping Gorge (Hutiao Xia)
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Private Highlight of Lijiang Day Trip: One Day Upper Tiger Leaping Gorge Tour...
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Monmouthshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Amazing views, but tough going at times”
Reviewed January 31, 2014

The views from pretty much every inch of this hike are amazing, but especially at the top of the switchbacks. The going is tough at times: if you haven't been trekking before, this isn't the place to start. That said you can hire a mule to take you up and then walk down the other side. From Qiaotoa to Halfway Guest house takes about 7 hours, then on to Tina's takes less than 2 hours. If you want to even it out, stay at Tea Horse guest house in preceding village.

We caught a public bus from Lijiang at 7.30am and reached Qiaotoa at 9.30am. The bus went on to Shangri-La. We left our big backpacks at the bus station luggage office in Lijiang and took day packs (many reviews say leave bags at Qiaotoa: we saw no such facilities and the bus station would seem the safest option). From where the bus drops you off, continue up the valley, then turn right at the first junction, past the national park office (someone will come running out to make you buy a ticket), then continue on along the road for quite a way, passing a school on your left, before reaching a road to the left clearly signposted Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is the last clear signpost, just keep and eye out for the spray painted red arrows. We reached Tina's at 11am the next day. We easily caught a minibus taxi back to Qiaotoa for 10yuan each, then waited no more than 15 minutes for the next Shangri-La to Lijiang bus to pass. From leaving Half Way guest house at 9am, we were back in Lijiang by 12.30. Note we can speak no Mandarin and we got by on public transport with no trouble.

If in doubt, go to N's Kitchen in Lijiang who can provide some excellent advice.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank LKC082013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Beijing, China
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great experience (high path only)”
Reviewed January 30, 2014

The high path was amazing. Great mountains all around, terrific landscapes. We staied at a guesthouse almost hanging on the slope of the mountain. I won't ever forget that. We also encountered some curious circumstances like old grannies asking for a fee on the path. I refused they would eventuallt yell at you.

Visited July 2013
3 Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Must trek site in Yunnan”
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I don't believe a trip to Yunnan can be complete without doing the trek through the tiger leaping gorge. Some of the best views that I have seen ever. Period. The most difficult part of the whole trek was the "28 bends" but the rest of the trek was not bad (I had a bad right knee which made the going slow) and once you get over the last bend, the view is amazing. We were carrying our entire back-pack with us throughout the trek, but another trekker checked in their luggage at the beginning of the trail (Janes guesthouse) and I highly recommend doing something like that for the trail. Otherwise you can hire a pack mule that locals keep urging you to rent for a fee. It is a two day hike so we stayed at a guesthouse called Tea horse guesthouse. Most people stay at half-way guesthouse which is an hour and a half from Tea horse. We ate breakfast at half-way and found it to be extremely pricey with terrible service. We ended the trail at Tina's guesthouse although for 10 Yuan you can go all the way down to see the tiger leaping stone. After the trek, there is a bus at 330 PM that goes from Tina's to Lijiang and another one after that goes to Shangri-la. If requested, the bus driver will stop at Janes to pick up any luggage.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank RockySh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
109 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Epic experience and tiring hiking!”
Reviewed January 28, 2014

First of all, you have to be prepared if you want to do the High Track! If you never did hiking before be ready to a tiring hiking paths with sometimes difficult patterns and not helpful rocks that appear from the ground. By the way it is really worthy and enjoyable!
I will give you some tips that can be really helpful and make it easy to afford the High Track. It will last around 6 hours to reach "Half Way". If you take the first bus around 7.40 am you will arrive at the beginning of the high path around 10 45. Now, if you are smart you will leave your big backpack (or baggage) on the bus, which will bring it directly to "Tina's".
My advice is to have with you a small backpack with the stuff you may need for the whole track (food for lunch, 2L of water, money in cash, clothes' change, towel, etc) and left your big backpack on the bus.
Then you can start walking, if you are an average walker with just a small backpack you will be able to arrive at "Half Way" around 16 30. My suggestion is to sleep here, so you can relax, have a very tasty dinner for cheap prices and also some beer with travelers like you, while enjoying one of the best view of the whole track. Sleep here in a very comfortable bed and try the bathroom!! they also have an amazing view of the gorge!
The next morning in two hours, you will be able to reach Tina's, leave (or change) your small backpack and continue the hiking into the middle gorge. Less tiring but not less dangerous. Once you are on the bottom you will be able to enjoy a nice walk on a bridge and sit on the sones nearby the water for an awesome experience. This track down and up will take from 2 to 3h. Then you will be able to continue your paths to Shangri-la or back to Lijiang with the bus of the 3.30pm (last bus).
Enjoy this wonderful and unique experience!

Visited January 2014
5 Thank Leonardo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Best Hike of My Life!”
Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

At times I thought I was hiking through a photoshopped tourism poster, but it was real! I did the two-day hike, sleeping at the over-priced "Half Way" Guesthouse and ending at Tina's. The views were unbelievably beautiful. The "28 Bends" were difficult but after that the hike was easy. The first hour was on a paved narrow road with a constant stream of honking minivans and cars. But after that you are out in the countryside. There were villagers offering you to ride on their pony or mule, but they were very polite. The only really annoying thing were the trolls demanding ¥10 RMB to cross the bridges at the Tiger Leaping Rock. It's a shame the Chinese government allows these criminals to extort money on public land, especially when the government itself charges hikers ¥65 to hike the gorge. Despite this, the views and experience were worth it. At one point it hailed for about 15 minutes and the next morning I was baking in the sun. Wow! At Tina's, there were buses back to Lijiang and Shangri La at 3:30pm. The buses stop at Jane's at the beginning of the trail where you can jump out and pick up your backpack. This has to be on the top ten things to do in China.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank NehemiaGordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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