Monday, April 29, 2013

Lijiang Day Trip II: Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world's deepest gorges (if not the deepest), is located at the confluence of the Jinsha River, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and Haba Snow Mountain.  It takes its name from a legend of a tiger and a hunter -- it is said that the tiger lept across the gorge at its narrowest point to escape the hunter.  That would have been a 25 meter leap!

The tour group stopped at various tourist traps (ahem, attractions? opportunities for you to part with your money? scenic overlooks?) on the way there.

A beautiful stop on the way there.  
I'm pretty sure we only stopped in case anyone wanted to pay to go rafting.

 And up we climbed, through the throngs of tchotchke sellers, to a scenic overlook.
Where, if you wanted, you could take a picture with that yak.

The roads leading to the gorge are windy, not quite two lanes wide, under construction, and abut the rock face on one side and a sheer drop on the other.  I'm glad I wasn't driving.

Pardon the blurriness in the foreground.  By this point, I'd fastened my seatbelt tightly and switched the camera to "spray and pray" mode (i.e. hold the lens up to the window, take lots of photos, hope some of them come out)

The hike down to the gorge followed a steep path.  To climb back up, they gave us two options: return the same way we came or pay to use an easier route (essentially a more-direct ladder).  We chose the harder route -- the only crazy Americans in a largely Chinese tour group.  We were also the first ones to reach the top!

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