Zhangjiajie. The beautiful, mesmerizing, mysterious, untouchable Chinese natural gems in the middle of the country. They are located in the province of Hunan, the province known by the exquisite cuisine and the rich nature.
You may have never heard of them, it is after all, a complicated name to pronounce or to write. But for sure, you have seen them, either on google pictures listed among the most beautiful mountains or in the movie called Avatar. Remember all those misty mountains just hanging in the air? Well, the filming location was in China, Zhangjiajie national park. Of course, the real mountains are not floating in the air, however when the fog comes they might look like they are.
So, if you have a list of dream places, do wonder to these parts, as well. It is definitely worth it.
What should you visit?
Hallelujah mountains are the mountains where you can find Avatar mountains. I found this trail the most enchanting, maybe because it was snowing that day and the mountains looked more charming or maybe because it had the nicest path to walk on with less tourists and breathtaking views. There is one viewpoint platform favoured by the tourists; it is easy to get there by the free shuttle bus, that is indeed the busiest place on that trail. Otherwise, it is a quiet hike/walk that you will very much appreciate.
Tianzi mountains were a bit of a disappointment after seeing Hallelujah/Avatar mountains. You will arrive to the viewing platform and you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of other mountain hunger tourists. But after all, the place will also provide you with unforgetful views.
Tianmen mountain. It is a huge mountain that is not located in the park but on the other side and it is accessed from the Zhangjiajie town by a cable car. It is said it is definitely worth going there. However, when I was taking the trip, it was during Chinese Spring Festival, one of the peak seasons, so that meant unwanted 7 hours of waiting in the line just to get there. Moreover, it was so foggy that on the top you have seen absolutely nothing. So, a tip for you, plan this particular trip with care with better time management and the knowledge of weather forecast.
Baofeng lake. This part of the park is accessed from Wullingyang town. You can spend the whole day there. There are no hard hikes there. The most interesting parts of this park are the lake with free boat that takes you around, unfortunately the guide is in Chinese, the Monkey trail, where you can usually spot wild monkeys and then there is one more trail which will take you around the valley away from the lake. It is kind of a hidden trail with lots of steep stairs up and then down, however, if you long for silence, it is perfect for you. Also, as a reward when you come to the highest possible part, you will get a great view on the surrounding mountains.
All in all, there are many, many places worth visiting in Zhangjiajie. The most important fact is to plan your trip thoroughly before coming to China and to give yourself enough time to properly enjoy it.