I now know how I want to die.
I hope this is not too morbid a topic, but I have realized that if I cannot die peacefully from old age, then I want a totally epic way to die. People have suggested jumping out of planes and the like, but no, that’s too tame for me.
I have been inspired by Tiger Leaping Gorge, located an hour and a half outside of Lijiang City.
Relatively few foreign tour groups stop at Tiger Leaping Gorge. It’s more of an attraction for Chinese people, since most have probably visited the big name sites (Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an) many times. So if you want to see where Chinese people go on their vacations, head to Tiger Leaping Gorge.
The gorge is about 15 kilometers long and is situated below Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The Yangtze River carved out the gorge, and apparently this gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world. It got its name because, according to legend, a tiger who was being chased by hunters got to this gorge and did an EPIC leap across the water to the other side (it’s a pretty big distance).
Suffice to say that this impressed the hunters enough that they named the gorge after Tigger. There’s even a statue built of a tiger where the striped wonder himself had jumped.
Anyway, the gorge has a couple different trails through it. I went on the lower trail that’s around 2 km. If you don’t want to walk the distance, there are rickshaws available for 20 RMB. My friend and I took one, but I have to say that we both felt so so bad for our rickshaw man. He was this skinny young man who was a head shorter than both of us. And we could tell that he was getting really tired of carrying two tall Asian American girls (combined weight probably around 300 pounds, give or take) up the gorge. What’s even more embarrassing were the people who were outstripping our rickshaw. I felt bad, and mentally willed myself to be lighter so poor Rickshaw Man would stop suffering.
We ended up tipping him, though not nearly enough for what he went through.
I’m still currently trying to scour this situation from my memory.
After the 2 km hike, you end up in a viewing area where you can get up close and personal to the waters of the Yangtze. I personally didn’t want to descend the stairs and be splashed by brown water, but you can if you want.
One thing to look out for, this area of the gorge is prone to rock slides. If you’re there on a bright and sunny day like I was, and all of a sudden hear a sound like thunder, it might be rocks jumping to their death.
So, what is my plan for an epic death? Well, I plan to get an old, blind tiger (something akin to Jake from Dr. Dolittle) and have it attempt to jump the gorge. I seriously doubt that even Tony the Tiger (who’s you know…grrrreat!) can make the gap, and we shall plummet to our death in the mighty waters of the Yangtze.
And of course, Eye of the Tiger will be playing the background.
Oh, as for the title of this post, I did find the Bat Cave. Although it was not at Tiger Leaping Gorge but in the 9 Villages Scenic Area.