Zhangjiajie is situated in the northwest of Hunan Province, relatively close to the borders with Hubei Province and Chongqing Municipality; it is a great connection between a Yangtze river cruise to Yichang and a visit to Changsha and Guilin.
Quite naturally, this overarching geological feature of crustal extremes defines the natural landscape of Zhangjiajie, and – as the reader can well imagine – they make for a varied landscape that is beautiful as well as perhaps a little terrifying. The highest point in Zhangjiajie measures roughly 1900 meters above sea level, while Zhangjiajie's lowest point measures only 75 meters above sea level.
The major scenic sites of Zhangjiajie are divided into three parts:
- 1. Wulinyuan Scenic Area - northwest of Zhangjiajie city.
Main sites: Zhangjiajie National Park, Yuanjiajie Avatar Hallujuah Mountain, Tianzi Mountain and cable car, Bailong Elevator, Yangjiajie Scenic Area.
- 2. Tianmen Mountain - South of Zhangjiajie City Center, situated in Downtown.
Main sites: take the world’s longest cable car from the city center all the way up to the top of Tianmen Mountain, sky walk on the glass bottom walkways built on the edge of the cliff. Take the bus down the 99 Bends Road.
- 3. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon
Main sites: the world’s longest glass bridge, Baofeng Lake, Yellow Jargon Cave.
Zhangjiajie belongs to a subtropical, humid monsoon climate, but with a slight twist: Like the typical subtropical monsoon climate, Zhangjiajie has a long, rainy and oftentimes humid summer, almost 200 rainy days in a year. But it doesn’t affect the sightseeing since there is special beauty also on rainy days. Zhangjiajie has a relatively short, cold winter. The spring and autumn periods are even shorter, transitional periods.
Best Time to Go
April to May and September to October are the best times, since the weather is simply comfortable to travel; not too much rain and less crowded.
There is an international airport and a railway station in Zhangjiajie, so there is easy access to Zhangjiajie from major cities of China.
By Air: Shanghai: 2 1/2 hours, Chengdu: 2 1/2 hours, Guangzhou: 2hrs 40min, Beijing: 2hrs 50min, Changsha: 1hour, Hong Kong: 6hrs 50min (stopover in Shanghai).
By Train: There are no bullet trains to Zhangjiajie, fast trains from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha, Nanning are K-trains; they are slower than Z-Trains and T-Trains.
Guilin to Zhangjiajie: The recommended way is to take a high-speed train from Guilin to Changsha (3hrs 20min), then take a flight from Changsha to Zhangjiajie (1h 10min, 4 flights per day).