In NW Yunnan, about 4 hours north of Lijiang lies Tiger Leaping Gorge. One of the world’s deepest gorges, close to the first bend of the Yangtze River, and a popular destination for travellers wanting a decent trek for some amazing views.
Given I would be spending Christmas alone in China, I marked this out as a nice spot to enjoy what nature had to offer, and get in a bit more meditation and exercise. You could do the walk in one day, but taking three days away from Lijiang gave me time to relax a bit.
Once I arrived at the start of the walk, at Jane’s Guest House, I found there were quite a few other travellers with the same idea. I met a couple of Texans, and four friendly Australians who I walked with, or crossed tracks with several times over the three days I was out there.
We weren’t alone either with many other walkers of various abilities tackling the trail , and tour buses zooming along the road closer down to the water. Given it was cold, Christmas, and the low season, I can’t imagine how busy this gorge must be in peak season. There are actually guest houses perched on the hillsides at regular intervals, and almost all were doing some serious work to expand their number of beds.
For Christmas, I actually spent most of the day alone. And, thought I would take a set of photos looking out, and in at hourly intervals during the day. You can see a movie of these images below (or link here), the scenery (even when looking out the toilet door) being far more impressive than my face pre and post meditation. Watching it reminds me of how little I did that day – spending half the day meditating before starting to walk.
It was well worth the bus ride our from Lijiang, and was yet another one of those experiences that gave me a small taste of the wonders this part of the world would offer if I had more time. Some photos are below, and more on the Picasa site.