China – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Haba Village Trek with Jade Dragon Mountain

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  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Grading: 1A
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Tiger Leaping Gorge – Haba Village Trek, is one of our new Start Trekking treks. The trek is divided into 2 parts, with a 2-day trek in  2 days in the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge area, followed by a day trek to a peak in the less touristy Haba Village.

Tiger Leaping Gorge 虎跳峡 (1800m) is a world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas in Yunnan, China. The scenic gorge is wedged between two majestic mountains – Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山/5596m) to the south and Haba Snow Mountain (哈巴雪山/5396m) to the north. Stretching across part of the Jinsha River, a primary tributary of the upper Yangtze River, legend has it that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point, forming one of the world’s deepest gorges. The stone where the tiger has leaped is called Tiger Leaping Rock.

Around 18km long, Tiger Leaping Gorge is divided into three parts: Upper Gorge (上虎跳), Middle Gorge (中虎跳) and Lower Gorge (下虎跳). Trekkers can trek  from Upper Gorge to Lower Gorge or the reverse way. At present, there is only one main trail, named the Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail (茶马古道), that runs the length of the beautiful valley. The Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail trek is commonly completed in 2 days.

About The Trek

Our trek includes a 2-day Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail and a 1-day hike to a 3500m peak in Haba Village (2600m). Haba Village, located about 1 hour drive from Tiger Leaping Gorge, is a small and quaint village, known for its snow mountain and high mountain lakes. One of the best preserved nature reserves in China, Haba Village and its surrounding mountains are rarely visited by tourists. It is mainly used by climbers as a base to climb Haba Snow Mountain.

The first day of the Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail trek covers a distance of around 11km (6-7 hours). The trail officially starts from Qiaotou (1865m), across a bridge, on the main road leading to a school, before entering into a village, where there is a Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail signage. Our transport will bring us directly to start the trek at the village, saving the walk from Qiaotou to the village on tarmac road.  After the village, the trail narrows and enter into a dirt path, where it turns left into the gorge. From here on, the trail snakes gradually uphill and the Upper Gorge can be seen several hundred metres down from the trail. Lunch stop will be at Naxi Family Guesthouse, which is around 1.5-2hours walk from the start point. The most challenging part of the Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail trek, named the 28 Bends, comes after lunch. It takes around  2-2.5hours of steep ascend to hike up to the highest point (2650m)Descending from the highest point of the 28 Bends, day 1 trek ends at Teahorse Guesthouse. On a good day with clear sky, the sunset view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from the guesthouse is spectacular.

Day 2 is a shorter trek of around 3 hours. It starts with a relatively flat trail (1.5 to 2hours) to Halfway Guest House (literally the halfway point of the Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail). The trail then opens up to several beautiful water cascades and falls. The most beautiful fall is called Quanyin Fall and the Middle Gorge can be seen here together with the switchbacks of the Low Road. Continue to trek for about 1 hour, then climb up a small ridge (2480m) on a narrow and steep cliff. The trail begins to descend after the ridge and ends at Tina’s Guesthouse (2100m). Have a well deserved lunch and visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge before the drive to Haba Village.

In Haba Village, the stay is in a home-stay lodge where one gets to experience a modern farmer’s lifestyle. From the lodge (2600m), the day trek begins by walking pass the village houses to enter into the alpine forest filled with pine trees. The beaten trail is set on a gentle slope that leads to a nice view point at 2900m, continue further will be a steeper incline slope that leads to the highest point of the alpine forest at 3500m. The round trip trek takes about 6hrs with a lunch stop at one of the farmers’ shelter in the woods.

We will visit Jade Dragon Mountain (via cable car), en-route our drive back to Lijiang from Haba Village.

Trekking Season

There are 3 seasons suitable for the Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail trek – spring, autumn and winter.

Spring (April to May) is said to be the finest season for the trek. The air is crisp and dry with bright sunny days. The trail is filled with green trees and spring blossoms. In the day, the temperature is at a comfortable range of around 20°C.

Autumn (October to November) is the next best season. While colder than spring, the air is also crisp and dry with bright sunny days.

Winter (December to early March) is the fringe/low season. Though the coldest season, the days are still mostly sunny, dry and clear. The temperature in the day is around 12°C and dips to 0°C at sundown.

Summer (June to September) is the rainy season and the most unsuitable time for the trek. Heavy rains can make the trail hazardous with landslides and rockfall. The trail and road might also be closed during or after a heavy downpour.

Experience Required

This trek is graded 1A and part of our Start Trekking programme.

No trekking experience is required. Anyone with an average level of fitness can complete this trek. The trek will bring you to an elevation of (2650m) on the 2D/1N Ancient Tea Horse Trail/High Trail trek and up to a 3500m peak on the day hike in Haba Village. You will be trekking on an average of 4-7 hours a day with a 4-5kg backpack load.

Equipment and Gear

You can wear a quick dry t-shirt, trekking shirt or light weight thermal with trekking pants. For winter, a long sleeve top and bottom is recommended.  You will need a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. Bring rain gear and waterproof your backpack.

A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page for information on the layering system and how to choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.


Arrive in Lijiang.

Overnight: Lijiang hotel (2400m)


2D/1N Tiger Leaping Gorge High Trail Trek. Visit Tiger Leaping Gorge. Transfer to Haba Village on Day 3.

Overnight: D2 Guesthouse at Tiger Leaping Gorge (2400m); D3 Guesthouse at Haba Village (2600m)


Day hike to a peak (3500m) in Haba Village.

Overnight: Guesthouse at Haba Village (2600m)


Visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Transfer to Lijiang.

Overnight: Lijiang hotel (2400m)

6 Depart Lijiang. B/-/-
10-15 May 2022 (with a Trip Leader) $1,280.00 (SGD)  / person
29 Nov – 4 Dec 2022 (with a Trip Leader) $1,280.00 (SGD)  / person

The Tiger Leaping Gorge-Haba Village Trek with Jade Dragon Mountain is part of our Start Trekking  initiative. Through Start Trekking, we hope to encourage more people to take up trekking as a way to keep fit and embrace the great outdoors.

The Start Trekking package fee includes a trip leader from Singapore and is based on a group size of 5 – 20 people.

You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at

  • Return airport transfer
  • All land transfer as in itinerary
  • Meals as in itinerary
  • Boiled drinking water during trek
  • Accommodation: Local hotel in Lijiang and Tiger Leaping Gorge (twin/triple sharing). Dormitory (mixed/non-heated) in Haba Village
  • Trek support: Trekking guide(s)
  • 1 x trek leader from Ace adventure Expeditions
  • Permits & Fees: Tiger Leaping Gorge and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain entry fee
  • International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Visa fee (if any)
  • Single supplement
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • All tipping
  • Personal porters
  • Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover agency insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel & trekking gear (Sleeping bag up to -15°C)
  • Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
  • Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg. climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items, etc.)
  • Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Pre-trip Support

1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Complimentary group training sessions
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)

Local Support

We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding Haba Snow Mountain, possess  intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in mountaineering skills.


Holders of ordinary passports issued by the following countries do not need a visa to enter China as long as their trip does not last longer than the visa-free period listed below.



30 days

Bahamas, Ecuador, Fiji, Grenada, Mauritius, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Tonga

15 days

Brunei, Japan, Singapore

For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit


In Lijiang, currency exchange services are available at the airport, hotels, malls, local banks, and moneychangers throughout the town. ATMs are plentiful, most accepting international credit cards and debit cards. Credits cards are commonly accepted in most mid-range to high-end restaurants and hotels. However, these are all scarce or not available at all in the remote towns and areas. 

In recent years, mobile payment and going cashless has become mainstream in China (E.g. Alipay, WeChat Pay and QQ Wallet). Otherwise, for foreigners, cash is still the most reliable form of payment in China.

As of November 2019, travellers can now use AliPay and WeChat Pay mobile payments. AliPay and WeChat Pay are the 2 dominant mobile payment platforms in China accepted by everybody from big brands to street vendors.

AliPay lets tourists create a prepaid account and fund it with Visa, MasterCard, JCB or MasterCard. WeChat Pay links to a credit card and supports Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club.


China’s electricity is 220V and 50HZ. There are three types of plugs used in China. Two flat parallel pins (Type A) is the most common; two narrow round pins (Type C) and three-pronged angled pins (Type I).


Mandarin is the official language spoken and taught in schools all over China. There are 56 official ethnic groups, some having their own language and writing system. Even the majority Hans which make up 91% of the population speak many different dialects and their variations, according to the region they hail from. So their common language is hence Mandarin (普通话).

English is gaining popularity in the young and professionals as a window to the world, but common usage is non-existent. It is hardly understood or spoken by anyone including those working in the tourist service industry, except in international chains of hotels.

Drinking Water

Tap water is not drinkable in China, even in major cities. Bottled water is easily available from supermarkets to hotels.


Giving a tip to tour guides is a common practice in China but other service staff in hotels, restaurants and taxi drivers in general do not expect a tip from tourists.

Travel Safety Advice

With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.

As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.

It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.

For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:

Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.

Travel Immunization Advice 

There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter China. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.

Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:

Hepatitis A

Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.

Hepatitis B

Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.



Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.



Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Typhoid Fever

Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.


A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.

For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.

For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:

Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website :