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Zhangjiajie City is located in the heart of the wilds of western Hunan Province. Covering an area of 9,516 square kilometers (about 3,674 square miles), there are four areas under its governance: Yongding District, Wuling District, Cili County and Sangzhi County. With primeval forests, rocky crags and rushing streams, Zhangjiajie is a sublimely beautiful place to explore nature's boundary. Most of its major scenic spots are scattered along the following four tourist routes: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Wulingyuan Scenic Reserve, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve and Tianmen Mountain. Each year, more than 30 million visitors come to Zhangjiajie.
★Fast Facts on Zhangjiajie
■ Chinese name: 张家界市
■ Main Scenic Spots: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Wulingyuan Scenic Reserve and Tianmen Mountain.
■ Population: 1.7 million
■ Airport Code: DYG
★ Highlight Places in Zhangjiajie
■ The two must-visit places in Zhangjiajie are Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and Tianmen Mountain. Generally speaking, most travellers choose to spend 2 days in forest park and 1 day in Tianmen Mountain.
■ Wulingyuan Scenic Reserve, located in the northwest of Hunan province, has been given a UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1992. it consists of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Suoxi valley( including Tianzi Mountain, Baofeng Lake, Yellow Dragon Cave), Zhangjiajie Gradan Canyon and so on.
■ Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, set up in 1982, is the first authorized national forest park in China. The area covers 480 thousand square meters (185 square miles). This park, together with Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve, Tianzishan Natural Resource Reserve and Yaozizhai makes up the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, also known as Zhangjiajie Scenic Spot. It is located 32 kilometers (19 miles) from urban Zhangjiajie and 28 kilometers (17 miles) from Wulingyuan Scenic Reserve.
■ Tianmen Mountain, the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie, is located in Zhangjiajie City, with a good location near to Zhangjiajie Railway Station, Zhangjiajie Bus Station and Zhangjiajie Airport, Tianmen Mountain is often the first place the travellers visit when they arrive in Zhangjiajie. The most popular scenic spots on the mountain includes: Tianmen Natural Cave, Tianmen Cablecar and The Glass Skywalk on the cliff.
■ Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon will become another must-visit scenic spot in Zhangjiajie after completing the freaky glass bridge and open in May 2016, well-known for the numerous waterfalls and fresh air in the valley, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon is a paradise for photographers and adventurers
Zhangjiajie Airport--Zhangjiajie Airport is 10km west of Zhangjiajie City,which is still 33km from the entrance of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, about 45km from Wulingyuan Downtown, but there are shuttle buses and the public bus NO. 4 are running from airport to the city. Zhangjiajie Airport has connections to most major Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Shenzhen and so on.
Zhangjiajie Bus--Zhangjiajie Bus station is near to Zhangjiajie Railway Station, only 50 meters away. Minibuses stop in front of the city's train and bus station and take about 40 minute to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, 45 minutes to Wulingyuan Downtown. Some highways connects Zhangjiajie to big cities, such as Changsha, Shenzhen, Shanghai and so on.
Zhangjiajie Railway-- Take train to get to Zhangjiajie is the most economical easiest way,there are now direct trains which conveniently connect Zhangjiajie with many other large and medium-size cities, such as Changsha, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and so on.
It belongs to the sub-tropical climate of Central Asia. Splendid mountains and luxuriant trees help form a favorable climate: warm in winter and cool in summer. The average temperature is 13C (55F), the highest 17C (62F ) while the lowest is 10C (50F) on average in winter. The charm of the park varies with the alternation of seasons; therefore, it attracts visitors all year round. Besides its pleasant climate, the environment and air quality also provide visitors a chance to breathe healthy air which is believed to be rich in negative oxygen. It is also believed that hypertension patient may have their blood pressure lowered if they stay in the park for a period of time. This is due to the fact that dust particles in the park are 88% lower and the air 10% mistier than outside.
Temperature difference between day and night in Zhangjiajie is quite large. The temperature difference between the downtown and mountain area in scenic spots is about 5-10℃. If you travel in Autumn and winter, Cardigan and thick coat is necessary. If you travel in summer, board short and T-shirt is enough. By the way, it usually rains in spring and autumn, so prepare umbrella and rain jacket and pants.
How to plan a trip to Zhangjiajie
The rock pillar landscapes of Zhangjiajie are renowned all over the world. The picturesque natural scenery and rich ethnic culture in Zhangjiajie is charming and well worth a trip. Generally speaking, three or four days are enough to see the main things in Zhangjiajie, one day in Zhangjiajie National Forest park, one day in Tianmen Mountain and one day in Wulingyuan Scenic Area, of course you can spent 2 days in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park if you have enough time, Yellow Stone Village, Golden Whip Stream, Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountain are the popular scenic spots in the park.
You'd better book the glass bridge tickets in advance before starting your trip to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, after reopening the glass bridge in October 2016, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon becomes another must visit scenic spot for the travelers, but only 800 people are allowed to go to the bridge at one time. The best way to book the tickets is to find a local travel agency.
Fenghuang Ancient City is also a good place for you to have a leisure walking, it takes you about 4 hours from Zhangjiajie to Fenghuang Ancient City, you can stay one night in the ancient town and come back to Zhangjiajie next morning.
Where to stay in Zhangjiajie
Though the entire reserve covers some 370k㎡, most people base themselves at either Zhangjiajie City near the train station or at Wulingyuan downtown. For reasons of convince and beauty, most notably the surrounding rock walls and towering peaks, the latter is preferable. Although both areas are filled with noisy Karaoke joints and overpriced restaurants, the natural paradise of Zhangjiajie is close by.
Most Hotels in Zhangjiajie are concentrated in four areas:
● Zhangjiajie Downtown
● Wulingyuan Downtown
● Zhangjiajie National Forest Park village
● Inside Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Traveling or living in Zhangjiajie can be a great fun, Besides the amazing places of interest, the city offers a lot inviting activities for visitors and expats. Sampling having a leisure walking in Xibu Street, there are a lot of local products you can buy and delicious food to eat; Watching a wonderful show in the evening, the most popular shows in Zhangjiajie are Fox Lady Show and the Charming of Xiangxi Dance Show. It is also a good choice to have foot message after hiking for a whole day in the mountain, our guide are glad to recommend some nice foot message places to you. If you like night life, you can pay a visit to Yun Ding Bar near to railway station and airport. Yun Ding Club is a big comprehensive entertaining club,including opera house,performance & art center,KTV, bar and western restaurant with an opening-closing lotus dome with largest diamater around the world,360-degree panoramic luxury theater,fluctuation revolving stage and 3,800 seats.
● 1369：Dayong City was founded in the Ming dynasty
● 1982：Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was recognized as the first forest park in China
●1992：Wulingyuan Scenic Area was officially designed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
● 2004: Zhangjiajie Geopark was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark
China's mountainous regios are known for eating strange food and the Hunanese are known for loving 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. Most of food is quiet good but beware of the ubiquitous tourist trap. Enquire about the price before you order and beware of eating any expensive dishes that may contain endangered species.
Tujia flavor predominate with dishes like Tujia hotpot; deep-fried bee eggs are typical dishes. Tujia snacks such as Ge fen, rice wine, cold noodles are tasty.Tuanniancai, which means something like" yearly reunion", is traditionally eaten by the Tujia during the New Year, a time when they would reflect on and pay tribute to their ancestors. Other local specialties include wild rabbit, snake soup and dog meat hotpot. For lovers of spicy food, try the wild mountain pepper beef.
Zhangjiajie City is located in the heart of the wilds of western Hunan in a region that most ordinary people have only begun to explore. Local tribes, however, have lived here for hundreds and thousands of years and continue to make many of the handicraft that were passed on to them through the generations. Minority handicrafts include finely woven baskets with black line patterns and intricately embroideries shoe insteps. Weavings and embroideries make up the bulk of the handicrafts. Wooden buckets and bamboo cradles are some of the other local specialties.
Also plentiful in this region are Chinese medicinal plants and herbs. Many different kinds of mushrooms are for sale and locals often display their goods along the trails. Ask for advice from local experts before buying or consuming anything that has medicinal properties--they can be dangerous if used improperly.
The Junsheng Gallery on Ziwu Lu is where artist Lijunsheng displays his sandstone art. Using different plants, his creations infuse the natural colors of the sandstones with the artist's imagination. Price range from RMB 200 to 10,000RMB. Tujia embroidery is a popular buy here. You can get some good samples at the museum of Tujia Culture.
Chinese Dark Tea has a history of over four hundred years. It is one of the six tea categories and only exists in China. It is also an indispensable beverage for the Chinese ethnic minorities in their daily life. The most well-known dark tea in China is produced in Anhua County, Yiyang City. Dark tea has a pleasant earthy and strong bouquet yet soft on the palacte, and this aroma distinguishes itself from the other 5 major tea groups. It is great to drink this tea especially after meals. The beneficial tea microbes, formed as a result of 100% fermented and hand crafted, is the King of all teas. It is a century's old treasure art form for the process of making dark tea. Throughout history, royalty and tea lovers have highly recognized the taste and the health benefits of drinking dark tea. As the complexity of the tea develops and matures over time, the value of dark tea increases with age.
In November 11, 2010, the International Workshop on Sandforms- Zhangjiajie, China was held in Zhangjiajie. A consensus was drawn that Zhangjiajie Landform is a typical sandstone landform and issued the bulletin. It is of great academic significance because this is the first Chinses geomorphlogic recognized by the main leaders of IAG through discussion.
Some Useful Numbers
Zhangjiajie Post Offices
■ Address: Daqiao Lu
■ Telephone: 0086 0744-8226898
Zhangjiajie People's Hospital
■ Address: Tianmen Lu
■ Telephone: 0086 0744-8222270
Bank of China
■ Address: Dongmen Qiao
■ Telephone: 0086 0744-8262561
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
■ Address: in the northwest of Zhangjiajie City
■ Telephone: 0086 0744-5712357
■ Address: Yongding District, Zhangjiajie City
■ Telephone: 0086 0744-8369999