Where is ZhangJiaJie (张家界 in Chinese) and Why it is so popular now?
Located in the northwest Hunan Province and with typical quartz sandstone land-form view, Zhangjiajie is known as a popular tourist destination for its thousands of peaks, plants and sea of clouds, the natural scene of movie Avatar. The unrivaled views and unique appeal in this area never fail to attract any traveler who visits China. Since the Hollywood big science fiction film Avatar has been released in 2009, more and more foreign tourists have been driven here for a glimpse of this “Real Pandora World”.
Wulingyuan Scenic Area (also called Zhangjiajie National Forest Park)
Located around 30 km/45 minutes van ride to the north of downtown Zhangjiajie city, Wulingyuan Scenic Area, the most important scenic area in Zhangjaijie city, includes Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (the first National Forest Park in China since 1982, which includes Yuanjiajie, Golden Whip Stream, Yellow Rock Village), Yangjiajie, Natural Reserves of Tianzi Mountain (Tianzi means heavenly son or emperor), Natural Reserves of Suoxi Gully, and Baofeng Lake (or translated as Treasure Peak Lake, which is not included in the RMB 228 entrance ticket pass to Wulingyuan), Huanlong Cave (Yellow Dragon Cave, which is not included in the RMB 228 entrance ticket pass to Wulingyuan), and covers an area of over 500 square kilometers, was a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration since 1992.
Yuanjiajie Avatar Scene:
The core of Wulingyuan (Zhangjiajie) World Heritage is Yuanjiajie. This is a mysterious, magic and primitive area. Here you will view the First Bridge Under Heaven (a natural stone bridge connecting two mountains with the highest drop has been found so far.), and the Hallelujah Mountain (Qiankun Column), the prototype of the floating Hallelujah Mountain in the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. When clouds and mists rise, you may feel like standing in a fairyland. Although Yuanjiajie is only a part of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, it became even more popular than the forest park itself after the Avatar was released in 2009. On January 25th, 2010, the South Sky Pole, a peak in Yuanjiajie that looks like the mountains in Avatar the most, was renamed as Hallelujah Mountain. So you will feel even more close to the Avatar in Yuanjiajie. You can go down the mountain by Bailong Elevator (Hundred Dragons Elevator). With the perpendicular height difference is 335 meters and the working height is 326 meters, it is claimed to be the highest outdoor elevator with the largest carrying capacity in the world and is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge:
Around 30 km/1 hour drive to the east of Zhangjiajie Forest Park, there is the worlds longest and tallest Glass Bridge, Yunjiandu Bridge (Yuntiandu means Cloud Sky Ferry), old name Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge. It is 536 meters long and 6 meters wide, can host 8000 people at the same time. On June 11, 2018, at the 35th International Bridge Congress, the Yuntiandu Bridge Project won the Arthur Hayden Award. CNN listed it as one of the 11 most spectacular bridges in the world. This is definitely one of the major attractions in Zhangjiajie. Anyway, the visit to the bridge is a short one, which means you can spend the rest of the day touring other parts of the area, the Grand Canyon under it. You can take an elevator to get to the bottom of the valley. The canyon might not look that impressive from above. Once there, you can hike about 2.5 hours through the Canyon and enjoy the beautiful, tranquil sceneries of breath-taking cliffs, lush forests, caves, colourful streams and rivers that surround you. You even can find a lake where you can take a boat-ride.
Tianmen Mountain (Tianmen means Sky Cave), or Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park, which is to the south of downtown Zhangjiajie, in fact, it is by the side of downtown city, is another famous scenic area in Zhangjiajie. The cableway between downtown city and Tianmen Mountian is the longest cable car way in the world, 7455 meters long with a horizontal height difference of 1279 meters between the upper and lower stations! It is the longest single-track cyclic detachable ropeway in the world. Sightseeing here would take around 4-5 hours with round trip cable car between downtown Zhangjiajie city and the mountain. Another highlight at Tianmen Mountain is Guigu Skyway (Guigu means ghost valley). It is as long as 1600m and the average elevation is 1400 meters. Unlike other skyway, the whole Skyway is neither on the top of the cliff nor on the side of the cliff, but in the middle of very high Cliff, giving people the feeling of ups and downs together with the cliff. The most spectacular natural scene in the mountain is Tianmen Cave, which is suspended on a cliff over 1300 meters above sea level. It is 131.5 meters high, 57 meters wide and 60 meters deep. The highway there is also amazing.
Main Tourist Attractions in the Itinerary:
Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park,
Wulingyuan Scenic Area, includes Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Yuanjiajie with the Hallelujah Mountain, the prototype of the floating Hallelujah Mountain in the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, Golden Whip Stream, Yellow Rock Village), Yangjiajie, Natural Reserves of Tianzi Mountain).
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge and the Grand Canyon
Experience in the Itinerary:
* Indulge in the Real Pandora World, witness the prototype of the floating Hallelujah Mountain in the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar, and be impressed with the breathtaking views in this mysterious, magic and primitive area.
* Enjoy the hike trip along Golden Whip Stream, for its pristine waters, steep cliffs and green mountains, it is titled as the most beautiful valley in the world.
* Take the longest Cable Car in the world from downtown Zhangjiajie to Tianmen Mountain.
* Walk across the longest and highest glass bridge in the world.