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Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve


Tianzi Mountain is one of the four major Wulingyuan scenic areas, originally named the green rock hill after the ancient Tujia leader Xiang Dakun, who led the local peasant uprising claiming to be” the son of heaven”. Boasting a scenic area of 67km², Tianzi Mountain presents a full view of the surrounding myriad of peaks and abysses. Scattered in its six sections are one" celestial bridge", two" heavenly pools", three ancient temples, four" gates to heaven", five waterfalls, six caverns and eighty-four lofty natural terrace for sightseeing. It is a fantastic combination of magnificence, gortesqueness, perliousness, gracefulness, tranquility and wilderness, with the forest of pinnacles, the sea of clouds, the splendid sunrise and virgin snow in winter as the four woners.

★ Fast Facts on Tianzi Mountain
Chinese name: 天子山自然保护区
 Main Scenic Spots: The Fairy Maid strewing Flowers, The West Sea
Admission fee: 245RMB/PAX, the ticket is valid for 3 day
Suitable for: Hiking Lovers, Natural Lovers, Backpacking Lovers
Time needed: 3 hours

★ Main Scenic Spots
The Fairy Maid strewing Flowers is an inspired work of Zhangjiajie, it is a weird peak looking like a maiden that is strewing a basketful of blooms over her worshipers. The Imperial Brush Peak is a representative scene of Zhangjiajie. The solitary pinnacle on the right resembles a huge upside-down writing brush, while the shorter pinnacles on the left are in the shape of a brush rack Legend has it that the brush belonged to King Xiang, the so-called son of heaven, hence the name of the peak.

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He Long Park, built in 1986,ten minutes walk from Shenzhen Tower, just lies in front of the former residence of Marshal He Long. The bronze statue of He Long, the largest one ever cast in Zhangjiajie, even in China, towers in the park. It truthfully reproduces the glorious image of the general, whom the locals are forever proud of. Unbelievably, there is a tract of reed growing luxuriantly in the Park, which is located on top of the high mountain. Of course, the natives are always ready to associate the rarely seen phenomenon with the military feats of Marshal He. Besides, there in the park are several terraces that provide a bird's eye view of the fathomless gorge lying just below and the peaks popping up from the bottom.

Shentang Gulf, a gorge shaped like a huge bucket, is as deep as 400 meters. The pond at its bottom is veiled in mists or clouds all day to add to its mystery. Walled by lofty precipices, it is difficult of access, and several explorers got killed when attempting to get to the bottom. Legend has it that King Xiang,a hero in Zhangjiajie, pretended to have committed suicide here after his military failure; and now visitors can still hear the neighs of his battle steeds echoing at the bottom.

The Immortal's Bridge, a breathtaking sight of the nature reserve, is 26 meters long, 1.5 meters wide and just over 1 meter thick. Like a rainbow, it spans the abysm veiled in mists below. A mile from the bridge, the Pinnacle One Stride Apart, 20 meters in length and 2 meters in width, rises from the bottom of the 100-meter-wider rift; the natural terrace for sightseeing is rather difficult of access, though only one side is needed to cover the crevice. Other well-known scenic spot include Lovers Dating Secretly,the Eastern Gate to Heaven, the Double Joining Caves, the Assembly of Heavenly Troops, the Hanging Terraced Fields, the Couple Waterfalls, Son of Heaven's Welll, the Celestial Pool, the General-like Rock, the Sky-Scraping Peak and so on.
No visitor to Tianzi Mountain is not filled with admiration for the various looks of the numerous pinnacles, which rise sheer out of ravines like a forest of swords, spears and halberds, or like a legion of galloping horses. Stand in the enchanting forest, and visitors will surely feel more of the great mystery and fabulous feats of nature. Tianzi Mountain in winter has its distinctive charm, it is a scene conveying  purity, beauty and strength: the ground is clad in white, the peaks are snow-capped and the pines are dressed in flashing armor. The Mountain is picturesque in the morning sun when the queer rocks are clothed in gold, Tianzi Mountain is encompassed in a sea of changeable clouds. Sometimes they are as turbulent as tidal waves or as quiet as coy virgins; at other times they rush a long distance down or drift like gossamers. Seen from different angle or at different times, they form various wonderful scenes like mists, waves, rivers, lakes or even seas.

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The Legend of Tianzi Mountain: The name of the Tianzi Mountain originates from the Tujia Peoples' revolutionary leader--Da Kun. He collected 30,000 soldiers and claimed himself to be Tian Zi, which in Chinese means King --son of the heaven. He swore to compete with the government at that time. After several days of fierce fighting, he was defeated and trapped at Tianzi Mountain. After realising he was defeated, he jumped off the cliff with his horse from the Shen Tang Gulf Rock at the right side of Yuan Jia Jie, and then morphed into a strange rock, called " Tian Zi Zuo Chao". Up until now, Shen Tang Gulf remains steeped in mystery, the deepest part surrounded by the biggest and most imposing rocks. Peering out over the cliff, you can feel the cold air which sends an electrifying shrill down my body.

★ When to go
April to October are golden time to visit Tianzi Mountain. In the spring, it has green grass and beautiful flowers. In the summer, the forest and waters offer a good place to escape the extreme heat, and it often has cloud sea after raining in summer time. In the autumn, the air is dry and the colors of the different plants and fruits make it appear like an oil painting. In the winter, snow covers the mountain, and this is the best time for visitors to enjoy the plum blossom.

★ How to get there
From Zhangjiajie City: There are shuttle buses you can take to reach Tianzi Mountain entrance in Zhangjiajie Bus Station. Then be transferred to Tianzi Mountain by tourism bus
From Wulingyuan Downtown: After entering the park, take tourism bus to reach Tianzi Cablecar station and take cablecar up Mountain. Or take tourism bus to get off at Ten-Miles Gallery, then hiking more than 9000 steps up Tianzi Mountain.

★ Where to stay
The best hotels are in Wulingyuan Downtown, otherwise there are some good hotels in Suoxiyu and the west gate, but farmers’ guesthouses on Tianzi Mountain can be quite rudimentary. Most visitors choose to stay in Tianzi Village if they want to stay on the top of mountain, especially for the photography lovers, where is near to Shentang Bay and convenient to see sunrise.

★ Where to eat

There are only small restaurants scattered around Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve , which serves simple local food. The food in mountainous area is spicy and oily. There is a McDonald's and you can choose it if you do not mind fast food.

Avoid the crowds

Tianzi Mountain Cable Car (waiting time: 1–1½ hours or longer) can be avoided by walking up about 9,000 steps (2–3 hours) from Ten-Miles Gallery. Alternatively get to the cableway before 7 am for a shorter queue, and descending before 4 pm you may avoid a line altogether.
Take shuttle bus to get to Tianzi Mountain entrance, where is much much less crowded and you don't need to have a long line to ride cablecar.

Sunrise
There is a platform near to Tianzi upper Cablecar station which is the best location for shooting sunrise on Tianzi Mountain, you can choose to stay in Tianzi Mountain Village and need to get up very early if you want to see sunrise.

★ The pseudoconformity Plane of Tianzi Mountian
The Zhangjiajie sandstone forest scenery was at a coastal area 380million years ago. A serial of sandstone strata were formed at that time and established the foundation of the sandstone forest. Thereafter, the Crust here was gradually uplifted by the Hercynian Movement,the sea retreated, the land occurred and the whole area was under erosions for 80 to 100 million years. The Carboniferous deposition was missing. About 300 million years ago, in the Permian, the land sunk down again and transgression occurred. The whole area became a part of the shallow sea, a set of clastic and chemical sediments were successfully deposited. Two strata of different eras, e.g., the Devonian and the Permian, formed by regression and transgression sharing with paralleled layers are called paralleled disconformity or pseudoconformity.If the strata were deposited continuously and have paralleled layers, they are called conformity.

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