Hello Again. If you read my previous post, you may recall that (back in November/December) I spent a few weeks in China’s Yunnan Province — and that I stayed in a small guest house in the pretty town of Lijiang — using Lijiang as my base to explore outlying areas via single-day and multi-day side trips.
Yunnan is situated in the Himalayan region of western China and is renowned for the beautiful mountain scenery and a clean environment. This post features various photos that I took during my side trip from Lijiang to Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is the longest, deepest, and narrowest gorge in the world. The gorge is a scenic canyon on the Jinsha River (Golden Sands River), which is a major tributary to the Upper Yangtze River. According to local legend, at the narrowest point along the gorge, a tiger leaped from one side of the gorge to another to escape hunters – hence the name. The gorge is part of the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Area.
To get to the gorge from Lijiang, I decided to join a small group of about 8 people with a guide. The guide was necessary to ensure not getting lost when hiking from the clifftops down Jinsha River at the bottom of the gorge. We drove in a small van for 3 hours to get from Lijiang to the gorge. Not everyone in the group was interested in the hike. Those folks stayed at the top of the gorge at many of the hike-less viewpoints.
When we arrived, those of us up for the challenge, embarked on the 3+ hour hike down to bottom of the gorge, and spent some time down along the river. Throughout the gorge, the river is made up mostly of intense, raging whitewater with a decibel level that made it difficult to hear the person beside you talking. The 3 hour hike back up to the top was especially grueling, given the elevation of 18,000 feet above sea level.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is about 10 miles long and, as I mentioned, the river is swift and dangerous (far too dangerous for even professional rafting). The river bed sits at approximately 18,000 feet above sea level, with the cliffs on either side of the river as high as 6,500 feet. The gorge is truly a spectacular site to see!!! At the narrowest point in the gorge, only 82 feet separates the cliffs on either side of the river — this is the point at which the tiger supposedly leaped :). Several years ago, a few adventurous souls decided to raft down the Jinsha River from one end of the gorge to the other. They have not been seen since — not a trace.
The inhabitants of the gorge area are mostly the indigenous Naxi people. They live in several small villages along the Jinsha River. They make their living primarily through grain production and tourism (making and selling traditional crafts, serving as trekking guides, owning guest houses, and so forth). The gorge has been open to hiking since 1993.
For your viewing pleasure, below are 12 more photos. And, remember, clicking on any of the photos in my posts brings about a more enhanced and larger and brighter image of the photo. Be sure to scroll down and check them out.
Finally, as a reminder, if you scroll to the very end of this post, there is (as in all my posts) an area to leave comments or ask me any questions that you may have. As always, I would love to hear from you. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post.