Trekking in Yunnan China, where dragons stand guard

For sheer dramatic natural beauty, Tiger Leaping Gorge in China’s Yunnan province takes some beating. Situated around 60km west of the historic city of Lijiang, the 15km-long gorge carves its way through steep-sided and snow-capped Himalayan peaks that line up like a rugged roll-call of nature’s tough guys.

Most people walk part or all of the one-day Low Way, a 21km flat and paved path through the bottom of the gorge. However, the 22km High Path – a more physically demanding two-day trek through remote Naxi hill farming terraces – is the ultimate way to discover the region’s beauty.

The High Path is widely considered to be one of the finest treks in China due to its unbeatable mountain and gorge views. It is also one of the most accessible treks in the world. While most great mountain treks require multi-day supported and guided backup, this well-marked route does not require a guide or any technical mountaineering skills. In addition, you’re far from the tourists hordes below.

Starting from the small town of Qiaotou, the gateway to the gorge, trekkers simply need to pay the entry fee, pick up a free trail map from the visitor centre and start walking.

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