Tiger Leaping Gorge

Described by the Lonely Planet (LP) as a "can't miss" experience being "worth while the hype", the Tiger Leaping Gorge became one of the most famous trekking spot of all China, after walking on the Great Wall North of Beijing. One of deepest gorge in the world (15 to 16km long and nearly 4km from the yangzi river to the both Haba and Yulong summits), its name come from the legend of a wild tiger, chased by hunters, who would have jumped from one side to the other side of the river...

The LP advises to take 3 to 4 days to walk inside the Gorge and enjoy the scenery. It is definitely a good plan if you have enough time to walk on side ways, linger under the sun and chat with local people. Otherwise it is doable to it in a shorter timeframe: the trekking part itself is 24 kilometers long and can be done in something like 8 hours if you are fit. The aim is of course not to rush up but few travellers have that much time to take 3/4 days just for the Gorge considering all the other interesting places in Northern Yunnan. You can check some piece of advice in the section Trekking by yourself to organise wisely your hike.

About 100 km north from Lijiang, the Gorge is precisely located between the Yulong Mountain (玉龙雪山, Dragon Jade mountain in English, in the Yulong Naxi county, part of the city-prefecture area of Lijiang) and the mountain of Haba (哈巴雪山, in the the Shangri-La county, part of the Diqing prefecture). Wikipedia says the Gorge attracted adventurers since the 1980s bu was officially open to foreign tourists in 1993 only.

Please note that you will be required to pay a
65 yuan
entrance ticket (used to be 50 yuans but increased in 2011-2012 with the end of the lower road renovation scheme) to enter the Gorge (half price for students with valid student card).

A lot is being said about a potential hydroelectric dam on the Yangzi River (called Jinhsha River in Yunnan). Proposed in 2004 by the national government, it seems the provincial Yunnan decided to abandon the project in 2007. This project would displace dozens of thousands of people and definitely "cause massive environmental damage and the destruction of thousands of cultural sites".

You can trek in the Gorge nearly all year long, with a may be preference for Spring or Fall, but try to avoid the rainy season (late summer mainly) as the Gorge is sometimes dangerous and closed to travellers if there are too many landslides.

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Guesthouses in the Gorge

  Most of guesthouses in the Gorge have now hot shower 24h a day since they combine electric water-heating to their solar system. But it doesn't cost much to ask them before confirming your booking.
Another important issue is to remind staff when you order food in all guesthouse that you don't want any MSG (wèi​jīng​ in pinyin, 味精, monosodium glutamate) in your food!


A few hundreds meter away after the ticket booth at the entrance of the Gorge, Jane's guesthouse is the best spot to leave your luggage if you intend to hike with a light bag. The former boss could speak good English and cook pretty well! But Jane passed away a few years ago. The guesthouse remain open and you can still get precious up-to-date information about the Gorge and the bus timetable.
0887-8806570, mob 139 8872 7787.

Naxi Family

Likely to be your first stop if you depart from Qiaotou in the afternoon, the Naxi Guesthouse is may be the best of the Gorge with a nice staff, good food at cheap price and a nice cosy environment. It can also be a good trekking start if you intend to explore the Yi villages of the Haba mountain instead of carrying on the usual hiking route. Ask the female boss to help you get a Yi guide from the villages above in the mountain.
0887-8806928, mob1 139 8875 8424 and mob2 139 88740169.

Lu Ye

An alternative to the Naxi Family, just a few hundreds meter down in the same village (Nuoyu Cun). Less famous and so surely less crowded in peak seasons.

Tea Horse

After having trekked up the so-called 28 bends, you will appreciate making a break in this nice wooden guesthouse. Staff is very friendly (both Naxi and Hui people - Hui are muslims speaking Chinese, different from those in the province of Xinjiang) and food delicous.

Half Way

Located in the village af Bendiwan, it is becoming more tedious now to reach the Half Way guesthous (but no choice if you intend to do the whole hike) as locals replace a good part of the old path with a 3 meter wide roadmade of concrete. The guesthouse itself used to be a first-choice place until they decided to seriously increase their price and loose their good service. Definitely very successful in terms of making money, we would not encourage backpackers searching for a more smiling environment. The guesthouse is very easily to be full since lots of travellers come by car up to the guesthouse to enjoy the location and the view...

Forest Inn

This guesthouse is no longer open.

Five Finger's
Slightly off the trail, this little simple guesthouse should please you if you search for a quiet environment. The owner knows well about the mountain and can take you for a hike or two.


Most famous guesthouse of the Gorge since most backpackers stop there to hike instead of carrying on to Walnut Garden or to Daju, Tina's is clearlt not the most sexy guesthouse of the Gorge but very well located (stunning view), exactly where the high trail and the lower road meet. Apart from good food at reasonnabe price, you will be able to catch easily a minivan back to Qiaotou or to Haba Village (and also back to Lijiang since recently), the staff will help you to book a vehicule. Rather a small Chinese-style hotel rather than a cosy guetshouse, don't expect much from the rooms.
0887-8202258 or 0887-8806079,
mob1 139 8877 1688, mob2 139 8875 0111, mob3 133 0887 1952, mob4 139 8871 7693, mob5 133 2043 5880, mob6 133 0887 2999.


No info yet.

Tian Ti

No info yet.


No info yet.

Tibet Guesthouse

Run by a Han-Tibetan couple (he's Han whereas she's Tibetan),this simple guesthouse has several rooms and can provide decent food. The man can take you for a day-hike but you should negotiate tough since his prices are pretty high.
0887-8202613, mob 131 7079 4506.


No info yet.


One of the oldest guesthouse of the Gorge, Sean's still have good reputation. Rooms might be overpriced, it is your job to negociate!
0887-8202222, mob1 139 8874 5942, mob2 158 9436 7846.

Chateau de Woody

Completely at the end of Walnut Garden, this guesthouse is 500 meters after Sean's.
mob1 139 8871 2705, mob2 130 8742 8371, mob3 130 8742 5772.

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