Tickets were purchased for 80 yuan pp (£9) from a pretty random office about half KM from the entrance. Honestly, no one ever checks if you have a ticket so you could easily just walk the first day of route without one. Be warned though, the locals will charge you separately for the middle and lower routes on the second day! Our mini van chucked us out on a dusty track and we started the walk towards the TLG upper pass. We were lucky, this day had gifted us with blue skies, warm sun and good company. Luckily we had a native speaker in Dan who asked for directions a few times, without him it may have been a bit confusing. The upper pass is the one you will take from the very start, both medium and low passes can only be found after a days walk on the upper pass. Just head up the dirt track roads, eventually you’ll see a sign for TLG. That’s it, you don’t need to think any more it’s just one path the whole way, one of the best trekking paths you’ll ever walk!
The 28 Bends
In Lijiang’s hostels, pre Tiger hike, you will hear much about the infamous 28 bends which marks the end of TLGs long upwards climb. In all honesty, for any walker with a few big climbs under their belt it’s not so challenging. The biggest hurdle was the heat! We made sure we stopped to refuel on water, sun cream and to tighten those caps firmly to our heads. Those without caps used T shirts, travellers are so thrifty. The 28 bends passed quite easily as we were deep in chat and in awe of the growing view of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain on the opposite side of the gorge. Every step of this walk supplies views which can only be describe as remarkable. It was a welcome change as many of the other hikes in China only provide views at the end of the trek.