Tiger Leaping Gorge
Gingerly stepping along a trail swept with scree to allow an old fellow with a donkey to pass; resting atop a rock, exhausted, looking up to see the fading sunlight dance between snow-shrouded peaks, then down to see the lingering rays dancing on the rippling waters a thousand metres away; feeling utterly exhilarated.
Straddling the remote Yúnnán–Sìchuān border, Lúgū Lake (泸沽湖; Lúgū Hú) is an absolutely idyllic place, even with the rise in domestic tourism. The ascent to the lake, which sits at 2690m, is via a spectacular switchback road and the first sight of the 50-sq-km body of water, surrounded by lushly forested slopes, will take your breath away.
The main reason to come to the Nù Jiāng Valley is to visit isolated, friendly Bǐngzhōngluò (丙中洛), a village set in a beautiful, wide and fertile bowl. Just 35km south of Tibet and close to Myanmar (Burma), it’s a great base for hikes into the surrounding mountains and valleys. The area is at its best in spring and early autumn. Don’t even think about coming in the winter.