Most of my travels since moving to Hong Kong have been in and around Asia, but there have been quite a few trips back to the U.S. in the past several months especially. Last holiday I actually spent some quality time in the good ol’ USA.
One of the stops on the itinerary was a 3D2N visit to Yosemite National Park, and though I did not have much expectation for it, I would definitely recommend it as one of the world’s must-do’s, and I am so proud for this natural treasure to be in my home country!
The beauty of the nature itself is just absolutely stunning. Having now seen so many incredible natural sites across the world, including Guilin and Halong Bay to name a few in Asia, Yosemite ranks as some of the finest I’ve seen. As soon as our little rental car approached the valley, and out appeared some of Yosemite’s finest landmarks – Half Dome, Cathedral Falls, etc., my jaw just dropped.
What’s even more commendable about this national park – it’s incredible beauty is accessible to all and there’s something for all physical types to enjoy. The open top valley floor tour is a must for anyone, and all you need to be able do is sit and enjoy. The ranger will give you an incredibly informative tour, as you check out all the main highlights. The drive along Tioga Road is not too scary during good weather conditions and you can achieve a lot of altitude. Also easily accessible from Taft’s Point is an incredible view of just about all the major granite formations in Yosemite, including Half Dome, Mount Hoffman, Mount Dana, and Clouds Rest. Again, you can drive to this spot and take a short walk. I believe there may have even been some wheelchair accessible roads here too.
Then there’s plenty of challenges for those looking for some wild rugged times – we chose to do Clouds Rest, and the view after the death defying ridge at the end, was well worth the courage. The climb itself was rated “extremely strenuous,” but for the average Hong Kong hiker, this was really nothing! When we practiced on Maclehose 4, we found Clouds Rest a piece of cake!
It’s odd that I’d visit this US treasure from so far away, and I have none other than my boyfriend to thank for that. We were visiting NYC together for the first time on this trip, but he didn’t want to spend the entirety of our time on the East Coast, and urged that we do some other US travelling. So Yosemite, along with San Francisco and Las Vegas became a part of our itinerary. And surprisingly, our multi-city flight from HKG – SFO – LAS – EWR – HKG was considerably cheaper than any direct round trip flights between Hong Kong and New York that we could find at that time.
So top lessons learned – Yosemite is a truly grand site that everyone should aim to see if they can, no matter how far the trip, and if you’re having trouble finding an affordable round-trip to the US from HK, try a multi-city. I may just be stopping in on some West-coast based friends more often in the near future!