13th Jul 2012 - 14th Jul 2012
Tiger Leaping Gorge and Lijiang
Our very first stop in China was a lovely town called Lijiang. We didn't have much time to have a look around before we headed to Tiger Leaping Gorge, a gorge that was fabled to have had a tiger leap across it. Tom and I both agreed that it must have been one special tiger to make it as the river at the bottom of the gorge was very wide and the water was extremely fast moving. We enjoyed a lovely two day walk along the gorge. The first day was half uphill and half along a flat path along the side. The first bit, the uphill part, just kept going. We knew there was about an hour of uphill before you get to '28 bends' which is a particularly hard bit. However, as we were walking up there were lots of bends and we definitely thought we had done them quite a few times before finally reaching the top! The walk along the gorge to where we spent the first night was lovely, giving us some stunning pictures and views along the gorge. There were some particularly nice spots for taking pictures but you had to pay, unless you bought some fruit of the ladies guarding them!!
After quite a few hours we came upon the first inn we thought about staying in but found it full of school children so decided to carry on to the next inn, and how glad we were! We managed to get the last room with a view and got to lie on our beds looking at the gorge. We had some nice food and a gorgeous hot shower and took ourselves off to bed ready for an early rise for sunrise in the morning.
The next morning we set off after sunrise for a much shorter day of walking. We passed a few stunning waterfalls and started downhill. At the bottom of the hill we found the inn we were getting the bus back from, booked it, then headed to find Tiger Leaping Stone. We found the path down but, once again, you had to pay extra so we gave that a miss and carried on walking only to find another FREE path! We headed down that to a view spot, took a few pictures and had a sit for a bit then headed back up for some lunch as we didn't feel like walking all the way down then all the way back up again! We had a Naxi Pizza for lunch, the local peoples take on pizza which was yummy, then headed for the bus. The bus turned out to be eventful as we all clambered in, got comfortable, only to have to get back out and walk over a precarious looking rock slide that had taken out the road to another waiting bus. Finally we arrived back in Lijiang.
The next day we spent looking around Lijiang. This was my favourite place in China so far, even thought it was our first stop! It is a stunning Old Town preserved in the centre of the city and it's just gorgeous. It's exactly what you would imagine old China to look like. The food there was delicious; lots of stalls selling all sorts of yummy little bits. Unfortunately, it was absolutely packed with people, but it didn't really take much away from it, it was nice to see all those people appreciating it! Finally it was sadly time to leave and head for Chengdu.
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