Floating Mountains

The famous 'Avatar' floating mountain

The famous ‘Avatar’ floating mountain

The plan was to go from Yangshuo to the ancient town of Feng Huang but I heard it was not that good & not worth the long travel. So I decided to skip it and travel directly to Zhangjiajie, getaway to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, known for it’s unique ‘Stone Peak Forest’ or ‘Floating Mountains’ as it features in the blockbuster ‘Avatar’

From Yangshuo I took the bus to the city of Lui Zhou (65Y), than a direct overnight train to Zhangjiajie (174Y – hardsleeper / 11h30)

Xie Hui & Xiao Yong Ou

Xie Hui & Xiao Yong Ou

Back in 2012 I hosted Sam, Zhuo & Zichen, 3 Chinese exchange students in my home. I met Sam back in Hong Kong and I planned to meet Zhuo & Zichen later in Shanghai.  When Zhuo heard about my plans to travel to Zhangjiajie in the Yong Ding district, he gave me the details of Xie Hui, one of his friends who lived in Zhangjiajie and who was eager to meet me to improve her English. And there she was, waiting for me at the train station with a friend of her, Xiao Yong Ou. Xie Hui & Xiao Yong Ou were 2 lovely young students.  After a short introduction, we took a bus (12Y) for about 40 minutes to the National Forest Park in the Wuling Yuan district. The entrance fee for the park was 248Y.

Xie Hui & Xiao Yong Ou in the village of Jing Xiang Rong

Xie Hui & Xiao Yong Ou in the village of Jing Xiang Rong

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first National Forest Park in China which was set up with the approval of the state Council in 1982.  It was included into UNESCO World Heritage in december 1992.  The natural scenery in the park is miraculous in its peaks (more than 3000), serene in its valleys & so elegant in its forests.  After a whole day of hiking along the Golden Stream, enjoying the scenery & the beautiful voice of Xie Hui as she loved to sing, climbing stairs for hours in the Yian Jia Jie area, we were exhausted and were glad to reach our homestay (60Y) in Jing Xiang Rong, a small village high in the mountains where we had some Si Ji Dou Chao Rou Si as dinner & where we enjoyed a good night rest.

The Scenic train in 'Ten Miles Gallery'

The Scenic train in ‘Ten Miles Gallery’

The next morning, we visited Yang Jia Jie & Tian Zi mountain with again breathtakings views of the ‘Stone Peak Forest’ towering vertical being separated clusters of sandstone formed by erosion.  After hiking a few hours, Xiao Yong Ou went back home and Xie Hui and myself visited marshall He Long’s bronze statue before we took the cable car (68Y) back down.  Beautiful ride along the Stone Peak Forest!  We than visited the ‘Ten Miles Gallery’ and enjoyed the scenic train (38Y) offering fantastic views as well before heading back to Zhangjiajie.

Back in Zhangjiajie, Xie Hui brought me to the Art Gallery of Li Junsheng, artist & founder of sand & stone paintin after which we had dinner with Xiang Yong Ou before I took a flight to my next destination… Shanghai!

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Comments
One Response to “Floating Mountains”
  1. Dong says:

    wonderful trip !!! keep going, man.

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