Located in the northwest of Hunan province, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first authorized national forest park in China which set up in 1982. In 1992, it was recruited in the World Natural Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Covering an area of 480 sq. km. (185 sq. mi.), this natural scenic spot are separated into 6 main attraction areas, which includes Yellow Stone Stronghold (Huangshizhai), Yuanjiajie, Golden Whip Stream and more.
What to See in Zhangjiajie
About 98% of the area is covered with vegetation. Travelers will find more than 720 species of the 102 families, including all the five most important floras, namely, the rose family, pulse family, grass family, composite family and orchid family. Some of these trees are rare and regarded as national treasure. For instance, the Dove tree, known as living fossil, can be traced back as early as the Fourth Ice Age.
While wandering in the exuberant forest of Zhangjiajie natural scenic spot, travelers will be able to hear birds singing and see monkeys playing in the tree. Additionally, the park also boasts a variety of animals, and most of which are under the protection of Chinese Government, such as Golden Pheasant, Rhesus Monkey, Giant Salamander and Musk Deer.
When to Go?
Main Attraction Spots
The park is endowed with many attraction spots, such as the Yellow Stone Stronghold (Huangshizhai), Yaozizhai, Yuanjiajie and the Golden Whip Stream.
Yellow Stone Stronghold (Huangshizhai)
Golden Whip Stream
A 300 m. (984 ft.0 walk) from the gate of the park will lead travelers to the entrance of the Golden Whip Stream. The road along the stream perhaps is one of the most enchanting route in Zhangjiajie. Named after the Golden Whip Rock that it flows by, this stream, 5.7 km. long (3.5 mi.), joins the Lute stream in the west and Suoxi Stream in the east. Flanked by ridges and peaks, the crystal clear water makes it possible to observe every action of the fish in the water. Wild flowers are in abundance here.
The northern part of the park is the essential tourist route. Yuanjiajie is a natural platform that faces giant rocks rising from deep valleys and surrounded by higher mountains. Unique in their shapes and covered with pine trees, these rocks resemble a vivid Chinese painting.
After visiting Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang, a tranquil ancient town located about 3.5 hours drive away from the national park is a good place for travelers to extend their trip. They can also have an ethnic tour by visiting Guizhou province, which is also not far away from Zhangjiajie.