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With an area of 147 k㎡, the Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve abuts upon the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park on the southwest and Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve on the northwest. It boasts a combination of grotesque peaks, clear water and deep caves. It has the picturesque rippling Baofeng Lake, the fairyland-like underground palace--The Yellow Dragon Cave, the mysterious One-hundred-Zhangjiajie Deep Gorge, the Ten-Mile-Long Art Gallery sculpted by nature, the attractive Couple Waterfalls, as well as a myriad of weird rocks and knife-cut peaks emerging from the West Sea.
★ Fast Facts on Tianzi Mountain
■ Chinese name: 索溪峪自然保护区
■ Main Scenic Spots: The Fairy Maid strewing Flowers, The west sea, Shenyang Bay
■ Suitable for: Hiking Lovers, Natural Lovers, Backpacking Lovers
■ Time needed: 2 days
★ The Main Scenic Spots
Yellow Dragon Cave, including a dry cave and a water cave, is the biggest cave in Zhangjiajie with 20 hectares in area and 15 kilometers in length. In its four layers and found one reservoir, two Brooks, three waterfalls, thirteen halls and ninety-six passages, which belong to the Celestial Hall, the Stone Zither Hill, The Celestial Water and the Sounding River. Undoubtedly, the cave is a huge treasure house of stone stalactites, stone curtains, stone shoots, stone whips, stone flowers and stone falls, all of which are dazzlingly colorful.
Baofeng Lake, located at the foot of the Baofeng Mountain, is a quiet lake dammed up in the tableland with a length of 2.5 kilometers and a depth of about 70 meters, which is the only place combining water and mountains in Zhangjiajie, in its middle are two emerald-green islets, and along its winding lakeside grotesque peaks rise high into the sky. Boating in the lake, the Hawk's Nest Fort offers a bird's eye view of all the neighboring attractions, most strikingly, there at its top is the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy, a small monastery alighting on a terrace walled by huge steep rocks only to seclude itself from the madding crowd. Yet it cannot be reached without climbing the hundreds of stone steps zigzagging between rift valleys.
The One-Hundred-Deep Gorge, squeezed between towering peaks, is strategically situated and difficult of access. One legend says that the peaks rise precisely 100 Zhang(one Chinese Zhang equals 10 feet), and another legend explains that King Xiang, who is a hero in Zhangjiajie, fought 100 battles here against the government troops of the Ming dynasty, hence the name. And associated with the battles are such scenes as the General-Detaching Platforms, the Flag-Planting peak, the horse-Tethering stake and Fire-Exchanging Bridge.
Ranges of weird peaks, which,shaped like human beings, flank the Ten-Mile Gallery, a gully 5 kilometers in length. Vividly carved by nature, they form rolls of superb three-dimensional landscape paintings. Rambling through the gully will surely contribute to an unforgettable memory of the stunning pinnacles, the meandering streams, the diverse flowers and the old vines that vie with one another for exotic splendor. Of the numerous sights here, the most remarkable are the Old Man Gathering Herbs, which is one of the top ten scenic spots in Zhangjiajie, the Two-Faced Immortal and the God of Longevity Greeting Guests.
In the northwest of the Suoxi Valley lays West Sea, a gorge of several square kilometers in the shape of a bucket. There hundreds of weirdly shaped pinnacles and rocks pop up from the level ground, forming a graceful and magnificent scene. When clouds nestle down in the gorge, the summits of these peaks emerge dimly in mists, and sightseers may feel as if they were immortals in a fairyland. Towering aloft side by side by the West Sea, the Eastern Heavenly Terrace and the Weatern Heavenly Terrace provide an excellent view of the West Sea and the rising sun. Shockingly isolated on three sides, they are connected by an iron stairs of 80 degrees.
★ When to visit
■ 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 OK.
■ The One-Hundred-Deep Gorge:It is free to enter and you should pass it when you are on the way of Wulingyuan downtown, anytime is ok to visit.
■ Ten-Mile Gallery and West Sea: The best time to visit Ten-Mile Gallery and West Sea is September and October, the weather is comfortable, what's more it is not crowded in the park. April to June is the rainy season, so roads in the mountains are slippery but the mountains get the best cloud cover.
★ How to get there from Zhangjiajie City
|Yellow Dragon Cave||Zhangjiajie Bus Station(near to Zhangjiajie Railway Sation)has regular tourist buses to Wulingyuan Downtown every 5 minutes and the bus journey takes about 45 minutes. Bus fare is around CNY 12, then take public bus No.3 or taxi to reach Yellow Dragon Cave|
|Baofeng Lake||Zhangjiajie Bus Station(near to Zhangjiajie Railway Sation)has regular tourist buses to Wulingyuan Downtown every 5 minutes and the bus journey takes about 45 minutes. Bus fare is around CNY 12, then take public bus No.2 or taxi to reach Yellow Dragon Cave|
|Ten-Mile Gallery||Entering Zhangjiajie National Forest Park from Wulingyuan Downtown, take tourist bus to get off at Ten-Mile Gallery station|
|West Sea||West Sea is a part of Tianzi Mountain, take Tianzi Cablecar up Tianzi Mountain to get there|
★ Where to stay
We recommend our customers to stay in Wulingyuan most of the time, as it is convenient for sightseeing in the national park, and you have more choice: from hostels to 5-star hotels, even international 5- star hotels, such as Pullman Hotel, Crown Plaza and so on.
The karst landform
The Karst landform is the geological result of limestone eroded and dissolved by water flow. Water erosion commonly forms limestone hill, cluster of peak, strange stone, stone funnel, sinkhole, depression and solute platform on the ground, while underground are karst cave and underground river.
Karst area are always closed related to human life. Fossils found from karst caves indicate that primitive man used to live in karst caves. The underground water resource is abundant in the karst area and can be used for industry, agriculture and living. Minerals and limestone itself in the karst cave are also precious resources.
However, the shortcoming of the karst area is apparent, its underground water is harmful to mining and tunnel engineering, and also can move or sink industrial and civil buildings. Dams and reservoirs can can be destroyed by limestone water leak.
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