To walk along some of the most dramatic but least-visited sections of the Great Wall, in the company of an expert who can help bring the history to life, is an extraordinary experience. The sheer scale of the Wall is mind-boggling, as it carves across the hills and valleys of China’s ancient northeast frontiers. As you hike for several days along its route you begin to appreciate the skill and ambition of the architects and engineers involved.
Trekking among the soaring Jade Dragon Snow Mountain massif near Lijiang in China’s southwest is a very different experience: here you can hike from village to village meeting the local tribal people and staying with host families along the way. You can also enjoy a stupendous walk through the famous 15 kilometre long Tiger Leaping Gorge. Said to be the deepest river canyon in the world, Tiger Leaping Gorge carves its path between the soaring Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Haba Snow Mountain, with 2000 metre high cliffs plunging to the river below. This trekking region is a reminder that centuries-old traditions and cultures are able to survive in a country racing towards development and industrialisation, protected by their remoteness and inaccessibility.