The Tiger-Jump Gorges
Hiking Through The Tiger Jump Gorges
There are about 20 hotels and hostels of various sizes in Xiaqiaotou. The cheapest rooms are 8 to 20 yuan per night per person and the rate for standard rooms ranges from 120 to 180 yuan per person. Daju has five hostels within the price range of 8 to 15 yuan per person per room (no standard rooms available). There are two private hostels in Hetaoyuan. One is Sean's Guest House with 40 beds, located in the direction of Xiaoqiaotou. The owner is called xia shanquan who speaks good English. His wife comes from Australia and he has three daughters who can speak English as well. Shanbailian Hostel has 50 beds and is located in the direction of Daju. It is owned by Mu Chongjun who can speak some basic English. Everyday he drives his jeep and makes round trips between Hetaoyuan and Xiaqiaotou, transporting luggage for tourists. He also hires a boatman to take charge of the ferry at New Ferry in Daju.
These hostels are priced at only 10 to 15 yuan per person per bed, and shower facilities and TV's with four channels (courtesy of a satellite antenna) are included. Sean's Guest house mainly offers programs in English but the Shanbailian provides programs in Chinese. Both of them have 24 hour dinning rooms and visitors' books.
Tour Route on Foot
The whole journey is 85 kilometers: nine kilometers from Xiaqiaotou to Upper Tiger Jump, eight kilometers further to Yongsheng Village, six kilometers to Hetaoyuan, four kilometers to Daju New Ferry, two kilometers to Huashiban, six kilometers to Jiangbian Village, 12 kilometers to Haba Village and another 38 kilometers to Baishui Terrace in Sanba.
Three Ways to Travel on Foot
1. Walk along the highway by the river to Daju. 2. Walk upstream along the Jinsha River to Xiaoqiaotou, take the boat from Daju to Jiangbian Old Ferry (five kilometers) and further on to New Ferry (another nine kilometers), but you must walk 300 meters along a highway past the cliffs to get on board at the Old Ferry and walk another 800 meters to get on board at the New Ferry. It is a strenuous route as quite a distance is covered. Actually, these places are great for walkers (and especially keen photographers) who want to enjoy the gorge's precipitous scenery and the rapids. 3. Explore on foot the ups and downs of the area along 28 kilometers of road. It takes about two whole days for tourists (with tour guide) to complete the route.
There are two transportation hubs to get to Tiger-Jump Gorges, Xiaqiaotou in Zhongdian county is a popular location that it is mere nine kilometers away from the Upper Tiger Jump, and no more than 96 and 86 kilometers away from Zhongdian and Lijiang counties respectively. In addition to the Sichuan-Tibet national highway 214 passing through the city proper of Xiaqiaotou, there are more than 60 buses and mini buses including those with sleeping compartments which make round trips between Zhongdian, Lijiang and Xiaguan everyday.
Daju in Lijiang County is also only 90 kilometers away from the county seat, but has no asphalt roads. There is no bus from Lijiang Passenger Transportation Station to Daju due to the bad road condition. So only two private mini buses leave Lijiang County every morning for Daju.
The 32-kilometer highway from Xiaqiaotou to Jiangbian Village near the Lower Tiger Jump has been completed along the side of the Haba Snow Mountains. Tourists will probably find that traveling by bus is not as exciting as touring the Tiger-Jump Gorges on foot if their intention is to truly experience the mystery of the gorges.
How to Get to Kunming
Kunming, has flights from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Guilin and Xi'an everyday. Passengers can continue their trip by air to Lijiang or Dali after landing. Buses go at regular intervals to Tiger-Jump Gorges. In addition, Kunming has trains leaving for various parts of the country everyday.
It is advised that you do not travel alone. Walking in the region is relatively strenuous and is set at a pace of 2 to 3 kilometers per hour. Tourists should not walk too close to the sides of cliffs in case of landfall or slipping. If the wind becomes strong do not stay for too long near streams, waterfalls and places with danger signs. Walking beside the Jinsha River takes quite a lot of energy especially in summer, so travelers should take with them food such as chocolate, candy and various other energy-giving foods.
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