Zhangjiajie and Mt. Tianmen are some of the most stunning places in my travels so far – and that’s saying something! I’d read about them, but actually being here is jaw-dropping.
The city of Zhangjiajie is an 8 hour drive north of Guilin, but we took a short flight. Near the city is Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. This is where many of the stunning photos are from. The landscapes include hundreds of high and skinny pillar-like formations as far as you can see! This is actually the area where the movie Avatar was filmed. When you see this place, it’s almost seems too amazing to be real!
Getting around this park is really easy, as you can ride elevators, gondolas, or shuttles. We even stayed overnight in the park at a hostel. I recommend staying at least 2 days in the park, and 3 if you have time. After the park we headed back to the city for a night. We then checked out a nearby mountain, Tianmen Mountain. The road going out to the mountain is unbelievable. The only road that compares is the Transfagarasan road in Romania. Check out the photo below. Once you get up to the mountain, you then take an escalator THROUGH the mountain. Yes, they actually drilled through the mountain and built a massive escalator! The engineering here is amazing.
Once you get near the top, you can take a stroll on a glass bridge bolted to the side of the mountain. They even give you slippers to put over your shoes – everyone looks so tidy! You can check out the Buddhist Tianmenshan Temple near the top that was built over 1100 years ago.
Zhangjiajie is an absolute must for anyone travelling to China. While a little out-of-the-way, you can catch planes or trains to get out here. Our next stop is Shanghai – a solid 20 hour train ride away!
Photos by Jon Lang
Asia Trip – Early 2016