Tiger Leaping Gorge


Most of travellers will come to the Gorge from Kunming, Dali, Lijiang or Zhongdian (renamed as Shangri-La after 2001) and will leave the Gorge either the usual way (going back to Qiaotou to go further on to Zhongdian or to Lijiang) or explore either Haba & Baishuitai villages or the village of Daju on the other side of the Yangzi river. It is also possible to reach the Gorge from Daju village and trek it North to South.

Coming from Dali
If you intend to go from Dali old town (or even Xiaguan) to the Gorge without stopping in Lijiang, you are then supposed to get on a bus going to Shangri-La and getting down at Qiaotou. It takes 5 to 6 hours and the bus goes along the old road through JianChuan. Depending on the season, you might have to pay full fare (to Shangri-La, so 70 yuan) if buses are full or 50 yuan if you lucky. Several buses depart par day, all of them in the morning (latest one around 12), local bus ticket offices in Dali old town will tell you precisely.

From Lijiang
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From Zhongdian (Shangri-La)
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From Kunmming
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Leaving the Gorge for the next step
   


For the travellers who would like to avoid spending or wasting to much time after the hike, it is advised to reach the Tina's Guesthouse before 5pm at night, so you still have time to take a minivan the staff of the guesthouse will arrange for you (count 60 to 80 yuan per person) and so be back at the entrance of the Gorge, Qiaotou, early enough to catch a bus going to Shangri-La or one going back to Lijiang. The Tina's guesthouse has been organising recently a taxi-service to Lijiang. Check more on the spot

To catch a bus going directly to Dali Old town and Xiaguan, it is a bit more tricky as less buses are available and they are sometimes full. If you nevertheless want to give it a try, best it is to be back in Qiaotou before 2pm and you can go the muslim (Hui zu) small restaurant at the main cross in the South part of the village (check google map on the right) where buses are stopping for passengers to get on board or disembark.

There is alsways the option to hire a minivan but do note the driver will depart only when the minivan is full or if you pay the remaining seats. A full minivan can hire to go Shangri-La for 200 yuan, up to you to negociate better, the ride is 2 hours long. You are more likely to find other passengers (lots of locals) willing to go to Lijiang, count 25 to 30 yuan per person and 3 to 4 hours.


Going to Haba Village and BaiShuiTai
  

If you have time and want to escape the touristic flow, you could consider going on the other side of the Haba Mountain where the villages of Haba and Baishuitai are located.
Public buses or minivan could drive from Tina's guesthouse (or any other place by Tina's have the interest of gathering most of minivan inside the Gorge) to the village of Haba. Count 200 yuan to hire a minivan and a bit less than 2 hours to reach Haba Village. There, several guesthouses exist but one is attracting most of travellers - the Haba Xueshan Kezhan - as it is also a good spot for mountaineering (several climbers summit the 5396m peak every year).

In Haba vicinity, you can walk in Naxi, Yi and Hui (muslim) villages or decide to hike up to Black Lake (4200m high). Ask the female boss (laobanya) from teh Haba Xueshan Guesthouse to bring you up (count on 200 to 300 yuan per person). This is a demanding hike (1700 meters up) and only experienced people with good equipment (starting from teh shoes) should go fo it as it is sometines muddy and always snowy close to the lake.
Other options consist in hiking up to the Base Camp (4800-4900m) or other places, ask the staff at the guesthouse but please do remember that this kind of hike are potentially dangerous, local guides are rather locals who know the way rather than real guides waiting for you and helping in case, no rescue exist in the mountain and local people will no risk their lives to save yours! That being said...

From Haba Village, you can also trek to the village of BaiShuiTai, famous for its white water terraces. The boss of Haba Xushan Kezhan should be able to guide you. Otherwise, you can consider taking a public bus (one or two per day) going to the village itself (count 45 minutes by minivan).
From Baishuitai on, public buses will bring you further on a stunning mountain road until the Bita Lake and finally Shangri-La.


Daju's vicinity
When the Gorge opened to foreign backpackers and Tina's guesthouse was less famous, travellers where starting hiking from Qiaotou and walking until Daju (or the reverse way). It gave its name to the Half Way Guesthouse (which is not half way anymore as most travellers stop at Tina's). From Daju, you can reach Lijiang by car.
To cross the Yangzi river, two boats (one old, one new) are available. To find them, ask Tina's or go to Walnut Garden village (also called Walnut Grove, Hetaoyuan in Chinese pinyin) and ask the several guesthouses there.