Archive for the ‘Lijiang Travel’ Category

Tiger Leaping Gorge: the Trekking Delight of Yunnan

Monday, April 9th, 2012
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Tiger Leaping Gorge Promises an Extraordinary Trekking Adventure 

 There are many places in China that are known for their natural beauty. But the sense of adventure that the Tiger Leaping Gorge instills in the trekkers is unlike any other place in the country. The gorge is flanked by some of the highest cliffs and it takes one to some of the most exotic mountains on the way downriver. However the latest decisions of the government in trying to develop the area have threatened its natural ambience and resources.  

The Beauty of Tiger Leaping Gorge 

Tiger Leaping Gorge has been so exotically named because of its location and looks. This phenomenal site is a part of the World Heritage plan. It has been a popular destination for tourists and students alike. All those who visit China to learn Chinese or to do gap year jobs in the country always take time out from their work to visit this site. The Tiger Leaping Gorge is known for its natural beauty, and the opportunity to indulge in the lap of nature here bypasses the beauty of some of the biggest heritage sights in the world.
The gorge itself is one of the most precarious places. The river at the bottom is not navigable. Both sides of the gorge are flanked by cliffs and mountains which rise up to a height of almost five and a half kilometers. The river is said to have category six rapids and non-navigable areas. In the early 1980s, four rafters first attempted to raft down the river but they were never seen again. It was not until 1986 that the first expedition successfully managed to sail down the river. The name of the gorge itself has been derived from a legend which talks of a tiger leaping across the river (at its narrowest point) to escape a hunter. This was a remarkable feat that impressed everyone who ever heard of it. As a result, this adventurous site earned its name. If you are in Yunnan on Chinese language programs or just to learn Mandarin, you will be able to visit this stupendous place very easily.  

 Backpackers and trekkers have found this to be one of the most wonderful places to spend their time. There is the hiking path or the “high road” that has been marked clearly which exceeds the length of 14 miles. The trail takes the trekkers to variegated places which include micro-ecosystems, waterfalls and guest houses. The longer trail which goes through the lower portion of the gorge extends to 121 miles in length and is used by expert trekkers. There is a point where the high road descends to meet the lower road and this is near the point where the tiger is said to have leapt across the gorge. However, officially, the trekking trail was closed for construction work in 2010, but despite this closure, a lot of professionals and trekking enthusiasts are still known to take the trail.  

Tiger Leaping Trail Sketch


Tiger Leaping Gorge Sketch Map ( from



Tiger Leaping Gorge 1


Tiger Leaping Gorge 1



Tiger Leaping Gorge 2


Tiger Leaping Gorge 2



Arrving at Half Way


Arriving at Half Way



Continue to walk along the walking path in the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Continue to Walk in the along the Tiger Leaping Gorge trail.


Tiger Leaping Gorge also shows the downside of development taking place in China. All those who are visiting China on study abroad programs will know of the dam project that was planned by the central government was scrapped by Yunnan Province. This was done to prevent the destruction of natural resources in the process, but despite the cancellation of plans, there are other projects which have continued in the periphery of the gorge, devastating the area in the process.

What Makes Lijiang so Attractive

Saturday, February 18th, 2012
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Lijiang Captures the Essence and Beauty of China

Lying in the northwestern part of the Yunnan province is the sleepy town of Lijiang which was a discovery in the late eighties and was brought to the forefront by the devastating earthquake that hit China in1996. The city has preserved a history of more than 800 years and even today is a town that is a perfect place to relive the lifestyle that has remained untouched throughout centuries. It is a cultural hub of many ethnicities and marked by the scenic natural beauty and ancient buildings telling tales of bygone eras.  

What Makes Lijiang so Attractive? 

Lijiang is a small city in Yunnan Province of China. It has become an integral part of the itinerary of summer programs for high school students and gap year programs alike. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit when one is in Yunnan for gap year jobs or Chinese language programs 

The city has an 800-year-old history which incorporates the life and times of the late Song dynasty. It has been included in the World Heritage list because of the history that it incorporates. It also is resplendent with Naxi culture. The city is marked by its ancient buildings which picture a serene lifestyle and make one want to stop and ruminate just the way countless philosophers would have done while passing through over centuries that have gone by. Lijiang first drew the attention of the Western countries when it was mentioned in a book written by a commissioner.  He traveled to the city in the late eighties when China’s liberal policies allowed foreigners to travel deeper into China. The city was discussed along with Shangri-La and became famous.  

The Old Town of Lijiang City, Yunnan, China


The city was a lost town which was stuck in time for centuries. Its residents lived the lifestyle of their ancestors and were almost oblivious of the things happening outside. It is a well-known fact that the city was hitherto unknown even by most of the Chinese people. Apart from the book, what brought it to the forefront was a disaster. In 1996, the city was severely affected by an earthquake and the media coverage as a result of which revealed it to the nation and the world.  

It is a place that is comprised of gorgeous landscapes and scenic beauty. With its low latitudinal position and high elevation, Lijiang has an average temperature of almost 55 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year with dry sunny summers, cold winters and rainfall for almost four months. This has helped the stunning natural beauty it is marked by.  

The city of Lijiang sits at the sea-level of about 2400 meters. The Jade Dragon Mountain is an half hour’s drive and about 14 km from the downtown Lijiang. The Jade Dragon Mountain is the one of the warmest snow mountains in the world. It has four seasons for a day. It is also one of the snow mountians closest to the living place. There are three cable-car stations on the mountain.  

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang Yunnan

 Apart from the natural beauty and pristine history that has been sealed in time in Lijiang, the city is also one of the primary cultural hubs for the Dongba culture which has been passed down for generations. The town itself is an orderly place that has waterways and bridges throughout. This town was a landmark site on the trade route comprised of the Old Tea Horse Road and linking Western Yunnan and Tibet more than 800 years back! 

                 The Naxi Dongba scripts Dongba culture                 The Naxi Dongba scripts Dongba culture

One of the highlights of the city is the Mu Mansion which has been the residence of the Mu clan which reigned over Lijiang for more than 400 years. This mansion has been renovated by World Bank funding after the 1996 earthquake. Not far from the city lies the ancient town of Shuhe, which in Naxi language means “the village at the foot of the mountain”. This town is a heritage site as well as one of the country’s “Key protection units of cultural relics”.  

Mu Mansion, the residence of the Mu clan which reigned over Lijiang for more than 400 years.

If you go to study abroad in China, Lijiang is a site that must not be missed.

What to see in Lijiang

Thursday, March 10th, 2011
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I'm on the top of the Glacier Park at Yulong Snow Mountain at the sea level of 4506 meters in Lijiang Yunnan.

Plan your Lijiang Yunan Tour? Situated in the northwest plateau in Yunnan, Lijiang (the Beautiful River) got its name from its position at the middle reaches of the beautiful Jinsha River. Scattered on an area of 7,648 square kilometers, the population of 320,000 is made up of the Naxi, Bai, Lisu, Pumi, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Hui, Han and other ethnic groups. The annual mean temperature ranges from12.6 ℃ to 9.9℃.

Features & Attractions
Lijiang Ancient Town
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Lugu Lake
Dongba Culture Museum
Shuhe Ancient Town
Baisha Murals
The Black Dragon Pool
Dry Sea
Lijiang Ancient Town
Lijiang Ancient Town, originally a village, is located on the outskirts of 
Lijiang city. Occupying an area of three point eight square km, Lijiang ancient town has a history of more than 800 years.
The Lijiang Old Town is built along the lie of mountains and the flow of rivers, providing a very precious sample of the research on the old-time architecture. The unique geographical location, historical background and multiracial inhabitants make the town the most special one
Old Town need friends – it needs its tourist friends too. It is really a beautiful old village that is worthy of protection.
Ticket Price: free
Opening Time: the whole day
How to get there: You can take a taxi to the Lijiang Old Town
Tiger Leaping Gorge
It is said that tiger leaping gorge is the deepest gorge in the world which is about 100km northwest of
Lijiang Ancient Town.
The 17km-long gorge is divided into three segments with an aggregate fall of 210 meters.  At the opening of the gorge, which is also the mouth of the Jinsha River, a Herculean pebble, about 30 meters wide, seems to be stranded amidst the billowing waves.
The Tiger Leaping Gorge area is the birthplace of the ancient culture of Lijing. There are many caves that were naturally formed houses for the ancient primitives. Rock paintings and carvings found in the caves depict the lives of ancient tribes. It has become one of the most popular tourist attractions at Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Ticket Price: 50Yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: There are no buses can reach the Tiger Leaping Gorge directly, you can take the Tourist Bus to the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (Yulong Mountain) is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere, which is 15km away from 
Lijiang Ancient Town. the snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resembles a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
All of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’s 13 peaks attain an altitude of more than 5000 meters. The mountain’s highest peak – and the second-highest peak in Yunnan Province – Shanzidou Ding (“Fan Peak”), reaches an altitude of 5596 meters, and is snow-clad year round. In spite of several attempts, Fan Peak remains unscaled.
Ticket Price: 120Yuan
Opening Time: 09:30-16:00
How to get there: you can rent a car for one or two days; or take Buses No. 7 to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Lugu Lake
Lugu Lake lies 200 kilometers (approximately 124 miles) from the center of 
Lijiang City, the home to the Mosuo people.
Covering an area of 50 square kilometers, Lijiang Lugu Lake is surrounded by thick forests, which make the air clean and fresh. There are 9 islands, 17 beaches and 14 bays. Tourists can get to the islands by canoe rowed by Mosuo girls. The charm of Mosuo girls, the elegance of canoe, and melody of fish songs all compel the admiration of tourists both from China and abroad and therefore are regarded as the three treasures of Lugu Lake.
Ticket Price: 80Yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-18:00
How to get there: take shuttle bus at Old Town to the Lugu Lake which will take you aroud CNY 100
Dongba Cultural Museum
Considered as the sanctuary of the culture of Naxi ancient culture, 
Lijiang Dongba Museum holds a remarkable collection of Naxi relics and cultural display.
Dongba” is from Naxi language, which means “the wise” and refers to wizard and sorcerer. More than 1,000 scrolls of Dongba scriptures have been collected in the museum, covering the branches of Astronomy, Geography, Literature, Art, History, Religions and so on.
Tourists have an opportunity to explore the rich Naxi minority culture, and learn about the “Wood and stone Prints” of pictographic characters.
Ticket Price:20Yuan
Opening Time: 08:00-17:00
How to get there: walk along Xin Street of Lijiang, you will find Dongba Cultural Museum a few minutes later
Black Dragon Pool
Black Dragon Pool, also know as Yuquan Garden, is heading north along the
Lijiang  Ancient Town.
The Black Dragon Pool is enormous, with an area of 40 hectares, and it provides a haven for bird and water-life, with spectacular plants. Surrounding the pool, within the park’s landscape, are ancient monuments such as the Longshen Temple, the Deyue Pavilion, the Suocui Bridge and the Hanyue Stage.
Ticket Price: 30Yuan
Opening Time: 07:30-18:00
How to get there: take Bus No. 9 to the Black Dragon Pool from downtown area
Shuhe Ancient Town
Shuhe, or ‘Shaowu’ in Naxi language, means the village at the foot of the high mountain. Shuhe Ancient Town is located 4km to the northwest of the
Lijiang Ancient Town. Its central part covers an area of about 5 square kilometers with a population around 3,000. In 1997, Shuhe was ranked as an important part of Lijiang Ancient Town which was already the World Cultural Heritage named by UNESCO.
Ticket Price: 70Yuan
Opening Time: 07:00-19:00
How to get there: You can take a taxi or ride a bicycle to Shuhe Ancient Town from the downtown area of Lijiang.
Baisha Murals
Baisha Murals were kept and displayed in some ancient buildings around Baisha village that is located about 10 kilometers to the north of
Lijiang Ancient Town adjoining Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to its north.
Baisha Murals is the combination of Naxi, Tibetan, Bai and Han artistic designs. Most of the murals vividly describe the religious stories of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Figures of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism might appear in one mural and 100 portraits at least would be in each of the murals.  The portraits in these paintings include not only the religious figures but also ordinary people like farmers, tourists and criminals. The murals are one of the good evidences showing the superb artistry, outstanding creativity and rich imaginations of the craftsmen.
Ticket Price: CNY 30
Opening Time: 07:00-19:00
How to get there: take Bus No. 6 from the County of Lijiang to Baisha Lukou Station
Dry Sea
Dry Sea, a vast meadow with an altitude of 3,100 meters, is located at the east foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and is 25 kilometers away from 
Lijiang Ancient Town.
Surrounded on all three sides by the superb mountains, Dry Sea is the closest and also the best place to get a panorama of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Dry Sea now is a famous travel resort, many minority villages are built here and the establishments are self-contained. Tourists can take part in many kinds of activities by daylight like skiing, grass-sliding, gliding, and racehorse, etc.
Ticket Price: free
Opening Time: 08:00-20:00
How to get there: take Bus No. 7 from Hong Tai Yang Square to get there