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Stashed away in a remote northwestern corner of Hunan Provice, bordering Guizhou and Chongqing, is the Wulingyuan Scenic Reserve, better known as Zhangjiajie. Wisely set aside in 1982 as one of China's first nature reserves, Wulingyuan protects as astonishing variety of flora, fauna and minorities. The area has been given a UNESCO World Heritage listing, so extensive protection is in place, such as a complete fire ban( including smoking ), conveniently placed rubbish bins and flagged erosion-resistance paths. The reserve is home to three of China's minorities , the Tujia, Miao and Bai who continue to carry on their traditional ways. Low cloud coveraged and an endless array of streams often leave the reserve covered in a primordial mist. Original vegetation still covers 60% of the park and includes some 550 different species of trees. In the less crowded parts live wild animals and many species of rare bird. Rhesus monkeys, giant salamanders, civets, golden pheasants and tragopans populated the vast expanse of forest. It's a fairytale land of sandstone cliffs and fractured limestone pinnacles and lush subtropical foliage laced with clear, fast green streams covers the forest floor.
★ Fast Facts on Wulingyuan Scenic Reserve
■ Chinese name: 武陵源风景名胜区
■ Main Scenic Spots: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yellow Dragon Cave, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Baofeng Lake
■ Facilitie:Yellow Stone Village Cablecar, Bailong Elevator, Yangjiajie Cablecar, Tianzi Cablecar, Mini Train, The Glass Skywalk in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
■ Suitable for: Hiking Lovers, Natural Lovers, Backpacking Lovers
★ Main Scenic Spots
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is located in the southern part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Zoon. The several thousand mountain peaks of quartz stand rise abruptly from the ground. Streams flow through the Jinbian (Golden Whip) Stream Grand Canyon which is flanked by sheer cliffs. The Sightseeing Platform at Tianzi Mountain is shrouded in mist. Wild animals play freely in the primeval forests. The scenic zone is like a fairy land with the beaury of wild nature. The National Forest Park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and now a popular tourist attraction within the park. The three-character name can be interpreted as follows: Zhang is a common surname in China; jia can be translated as family; and jie can be translated as homeland, giving the completed translation of Zhang family homeland. It has been reported that at least one tourist guide has said that the name may have been chosen to convey the idea or impression of Open the family door to welcome the world, but this is not the locally-accepted and directly translated meaning of the name.
■Time needed: at least 2 Days
■The popular scenic spots in the park: Yuanjiajie, Tianzi Mountain, Yangjiajie, Golden Whip Stream
■The best travlel route: After entering the national forest park, you can have a relaxing walk to Golden Whip Stream for 1.5 kilometers, then come back and head to Yangjiajie Cablecar Station by shuttle bus, enjoy the classic scenic spots in Yangjiajie: One Step to Heaven, The Stone Wall, The Air Corridor. Go to Tianzi Mountain in the afternoon and take Tianzi Cablecar down mountain.
Yellow Dragon Cave is a typical Karst cave in Zhangjiajie, consisting of an area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, underground streams, and caverns. So far, the discovered cave area is about 15 kilometers long and 140 meters high, and covers 48 hectares. The Cavern can be divided into two parts. One is the dry cave and the other is the water cave. In the Yellow Dragon Cavern are caves inside caves, and one cave may lead to many others. Sometimes there are also underground caves. Stalactites, stalagmites, stone blossoms, stone curtains, stone branches, stone canals, stone pearls, and stone macrospores can be seen in various places in the cavern, constituting a fantastic yet natural scene. In the cave there’s a stalagmite length at 19.2m in the cave, in 1998 the Yellow dragon cave company has bought 100 million insurance for it.The features of the Yellow Dragon Cavern can be summarized into six sentences. First, the cavern features numerous mysterious caves. Second, it is one of the largest Karst caverns in China. Third, the limestone in the cavern comes in a variety of fantastic shapes. Fourth, the limestone here is colorful, glittering and translucent. Fifth, the limestone and the water sometimes create attractive sounds, like music from heaven.
■Time needed: 3 hours.
■The popular scenic spots in the cave: The Dragon King Palace, Sea-Suppressing Needle
Notes: You cannot use mobile phone for there is no signal in the cave, what's more, there are a lot of ways inside, please follow your guide to visit this cave.
Baofeng Lake Scenic Area is an artificial lake formed by blocking gorge with the dam. The lake extends along the mountain and appears as a irregular long shape, about 2.5 kilometers long as a whole and with an area of 274 hectares. The average water depth is 72m. The water of the lake comes from precipitate, mountain spring and underground water. There are two islands in the lake, with strange peaks standing and water flowing around, The water of the lake likes a precious mirror reflecting surrounding mountains. The scene makes the mountains greener, the water cleaner, being full of endless poetic. The famous poet Wang Zeng-Qi used to visit the Baofeng Lake and wrote the poem as A deep hidden mirror among green mountains. As if the Three Gorges moved here and set around. Travelling boats sailing in the green mountains startle couples of Mandarin ducks flying away. Baofeng Lake, with its beautiful lakes and mountains, is thought a blue gem embedded in Zhangjiajie sandstone peaks and is called the lake of the world classic.
Mount Baofeng, at a height of 1,212.8 meters, is nearby and points straight up to the sky. Yingwo Stockaded Village is strategically located in the terrain and is difficult to access. By reaching the top of the mountain, you can look down upon many smaller peaks. Within the green background is Baofeng Temple, gracefully ancient in color and style, half hidden and half visible, and radiating the ethos of a religious culture. Lake Baofeng lies calmly, like a goddess, outstanding and pure, projecting a sense of peace. If you boat in the lake, you can see the reflection of the marvelous stone peaks and green trees in symmetric display, creating great pleasure for visitors.
■Time needed: 3 hours.
■ The popular scenic spots in the Lake: The Peacock Mountain, Baofeng Lake
Notes: When you are boating in the lake, please take care of your mobile phone or camera for the lake with a depth of 70m. You can buy VIP ticket and take the shuttle bus reach Baofeng Lake if you don't like hiking.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is a new discoveried scenic spot outside Zhangjiajie National Park. Situated in Sanguansi, Cili County Zhangjiajie city, 20 km east to Wulingyuan world natural heritage site, with a total area of over 370 square km, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon incorporates mountains, streams, caves, cliffs and numerous waterfalls. It will take you 35 minutes by bus from Wulingyuan to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, when driving close to the entrance a expanse of bamboo disappears, you find a deeply lower valley with cutting-edge cliffs, a hill path cutting through narrow crevice leads vertically to the bottom of the valley.
The Glass Bridge is the highlight of Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, located in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is the highest and longest transparent glass bridge with a length 430 meters and a width 6 meters. It is 300 meters above the ground level and it can bear 800 persons standing on it at the same time. It was paved with transparent glass, in the middle of the bridge there is a bungee jumping platform which is the highest in the world. There is no steel structure in the bridge which is made entirely of glass. It would be the first suspension glass bridge in canyon when the project finishes.
■Time needed: 2.5 hours.
■The popular scenic spots in the valley: The Freaky Glass Bridge, One-Line-Sky, Family Portrait
Notes: Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon will be closed in winter,there is no restaurant in the valley, please bring some snacks when you are visiting. The Freak Glass Bridge is supposed to open in June.
Xibu Street is located in Wulingyuan District which is north of Wuling Avenue, south of Suoxi River, east of Zhangjiajie Grand Theatre and west of Baofeng Bridge. The project covers an area of about 100 acres, and the total construction area of about 70000 square meters. The whole distribution planning of Xibu Street combines street and courtyard, architectural shape and volume with a linear drift theory as principle to do the organic arrangement. The building pursues romance, elegance and happiness, and reflects the fashion and simple quality, but also meets people's aesthetic needs. Using Tujia and Miao traditional language as showing elements for the construction makes facade styles unified and rustic. Xibu Street consists of water bar street, the Chinese snack street, xiangxi folk shopping street, leisure inn and creative mate. Now it is becoming a complex tourism commercial pedestrian street which can't be copied in Wulingyuan downtown.
■Time needed: 1 hours.
Notes: The best time to go to Xibu Street is in the evening, you can bargain when you are buying some local products in the street
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: Any time is good for visiting Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, four seasons in the park present different beautiful sceneries. Spring, Summer and Autumn are highly recommended, Winter is cold in the park and the mountains are often covered with snow.
Yellow Dragon Cave: The temperature in the cave is about 18℃ throughout the whole year, any time is good for visiting it.
Baofeng Lake: Any time is good for visiting it.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon: it will be closed in winter, summer is the best to go there, you will see the most spectacular waterfalls in summer time.
Xibu Street: Any time is OK.
When to visit it
How to get there
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
There are 4 entrances of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, you can take shuttle buses in Zhangjiajie Bus Station to different entrances directly.
|Yellow Dragon Cave|
You need to take shuttle bus in Zhangjiajie Bus Station to arrive in Wulingyuan and then change to take public bus No.3 or taxi to reach Yellow Dragon Cave
You need to take shuttle bus in Zhangjiajie Bus Station to arrive in Wulingyuan and then change to take public bus No.2 or taxi to reach Yellow Dragon Cave
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
1,You can take the shuttle bus from Wulingyuan Bus Station to Cili and get off at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon,taking about 30 minutes and costing CNY 12
2,You can also take the direct bus from Zhangjiajie Bus Sation to the canyon with a duration of 1.5 hours.
Where to stay in Wulingyuan
Wulingyuan downtown has the best location to all scenic spots, most visitors choose to stay here and there are all kinds of hotels to satisfy your needs.
Where to eat
China's mountainous regios are known for eating strange food and the Hunanese are known for loving very spicy food. Zhangjiajie comes through on both counts, the mountian's wide variety of mushrooms often work their way into the cuisine as do other ingredients known for their healing or heath boosting properties. As Zhangjiajie is a heavily toured area, many standard Chinese favorites are available as well.
Recommended Chinese Food Restaurants :
Tangshifu Restaurant, Shangougou Restaurant, Jingfeng Huang Restaurant.
Recommended Western Food:
Pullman Western Restaurant, Qinghe Jingjiang Hotel.
Notes: There are a lot of Korean BBQ restaurants in Wulingyuan Downtown, such as Bohai Restaurant, Sanliujiu BBQ Restaurant.
Admission Fee （Note: discounted tickets only for students with student card and under 24 years old ）
National Forest Park
From Mar 1st to Dec 1st: 245RMB/PAX(valid for 4 days); 295RMB/PAX(valid for a year)
|Yellow Dragon Cave|
From Mar 1st to Dec 1st:100RMB/PAX; 60RMB/PAX for students .
|From Mar 1st to Dec 1st: 96RMB/PAX; 53RMB/PAX for students; 25RMB/PAX for bus |
From Dec 1st to March 1st: 77RMB/PAX; 53RMB/PAX for students
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
From Mar 1st to Dec 1st:118RMB/PAX for Grand Canyon; 70RMB/PAX for students
The Freak Glass Bridge, Glass skywalk or Guigu Cliffside Path?
The Freak Glass Bridge is located in Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, which is the highest and longest transparent glass bridge with a length 430 meters and a width 6 meters. It is 300 meters above the ground level and it can bear 800 persons standing on it at the same time. It was paved with transparent glass, in the middle of the bridge there is a bungee jumping platform which is the highest in the world. There is no steel structure in the bridge which is made entirely of glass. It would be the first suspension glass bridge in canyon when the project finishes.
The Glass Skywalk in Tianmen Mountain is a relatively recently opened scenic spot in Tianmen Mountain, the skywalk is situated 4700 feet above the sea level, which is only 60 meters long and you are asked to wear shoe cover to protect the glass when you are walking on it. The glass skywalk offers breathtaking views when you are on the top of Tianmen Mountain, you will feel like walking in a fairy land when the mist is still heavy.
Guigu Cliffside Path, situated on the southwestern side of the peak of Tianmen Mountain, is the main route on the peak’s western path, With a toatl length of 1，600, meters and an average height above sea level of 1，400 meters, it got its name from being constructed on the mountain on top of Guigu Cave. The path is suspended high in the air on top of a precipice, with a path along what is like a cliff that has been cut out with a knife. It is too beautiful for the eyes to take in, with rising and falling ridges beneath the feet and an abyss that is hard to gauge that depth of.
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