Zhangjiajie – China

I had decided to explore the Chinese country side again and this time I visited Zhangjiajie – China’s first national park. This place was also made famous to the outside world by the movie Avatar.

I won’t even try to describe what I saw as words are useless, gravity defying, floating mountains do not do it justice. I regret that I did not have a high quality camera with me, I just used my iPhone camera. I could look out at the mountains all day… this view will never get old.

We decided to stay at Wulingyuan as the City of Zhangjiajie and Zhangjiajie National Park it self is over an hours drive apart.

I visited three sections Zhangjiajie, Tianzi mountain and Tianmen mountain. All three areas are worth your time. Zhangjiajie is a huge park with a complex bus system, learn a few words, or print out everything in advance as it can get confusing – if not pre arrange a guide if you have limited time.

A large tower servers as the gate to the national park. There was lots of construction to build a visitor experience center.

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Bailong Elevator is the world’s tallest outdoor elevator, the views do not disappoint, but at high tourist season, the wait can be upward to 3 hours. There was no line when I went because I went right after Chinese New Year so everyone had gone back home or back to work. You can see below were the line snakes around this long tunnel before the elevator. IMG_1140.1

The view before the elevator ride. IMG_1142IMG_1146

The elevator ride itself feels like only one minute, but the views are worth the trip. IMG_1152

The morning mist creates a mysterious atmosphere, looks like the paintings I saw growing up… IMG_1155

And a selfie at the top. The path ways on top of the mountain were well paved and easy to walk about. IMG_1163IMG_1174

Then one of the highlights of this national park is this pillar, its breathtaking… IMG_1186IMG_1201

Close to the edge… even with the barricades the cliffs are so high up and dramatic that I got a bit scared taking a selfie…  IMG_1203IMG_1208

The monkeys jump from tree to tree hanging off the cliff. They also wait for tourists to feed them… IMG_1210

A natural bridge, naturally called the world’s first bridge. IMG_1213

Then it was lunch time, there are not many options on top of the mountain, but there is a large building that was built for mass tourism to accommodate the flood of people in their high tourist season. Also note that there is a KFC as well. This day there was two other tables in a hall that could fit hundreds of people. IMG_1217

After lunch I headed over to Tianzi Mountain, the peaks were slender and looked more delicate… again words are useless… pictures look underwhelming… the only way to enjoy it is to see it for yourself…  IMG_1223IMG_1228IMG_1254IMG_1256IMG_1258IMG_1261IMG_1268IMG_1278

Before leaving, I visited a tower with a temple on at the top, even more views and wishes written on red ribbons that flap in the wind… IMG_1291The views don’t stop, this is the view from the drive from our hotel at Wulingyuan to the city of Zhangjiajie.

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Then I headed over to Tianmen Mountain via the world longest cable car from downtown Zhangjiajie. I am not usually scared of heights, but this ride was something else. Some of the angles this ride goes on was truly terrifying.  IMG_1320.0

This place is famous for a few things, one of them being Heaven’s Gate, you can see the hole in the mountain, sadly closes in the winter time. So this is all I got to see on the way up. IMG_1320.2

The road the Heaven’s Gate is something else, I was told it had 99 sharp turns like this… They even have car races here… IMG_1320.1IMG_1320

Once at the top there are many cliff edge pathways as seen here, some of it is even glass bottom pathways. Again, I am not usually scared of heights, but I was holding the hand rails and walls for dear life. IMG_1330IMG_1333IMG_1336IMG_1337IMG_1340

Red ribbons with wishes and prayers on them, but who and how and why could some one tie it off the ledge???!!!IMG_1343

You can still see some snow covered trees.IMG_1348IMG_1351IMG_1353IMG_1356

Another selfie filled with fear… IMG_1357IMG_1363

There is a glass floor plank walkway… Testing my limits…IMG_1365

The view from the edge of the glass floor plank walkway… IMG_1364IMG_1372

All that cliff walking got me hungry.. gotta eat! IMG_1383

At the airport, even the airport has a nice view of the mountains…  IMG_1385IMG_1386

 

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