Day 1, Got jaw Dropped
Zhangjiajie (张家界), the most difficult name of a place in China for foreigners to pronounce, but it can not be hid away from being explored by many tourists. I have heard a lot about Zhangjiajie, never got a chance to visit. Finally it's on my backpacking list, and it does live up to its fame. It took me 4 days to explore most parts of the park, got in there in the morning, out in the afternoon, stayed at hostel nearby the "Iconic Entrance" in Wulingyuan. Below is my favorite picture I took from my first's day hike.
Met a young man at the hostel, we hit it off immediately, then we decided to explore the national park together after a happy nice dinner the night before. We got a travel map and some tips of the national park from the ladies at the hostel after we had a awesome dinner in a local restaurant.
248 Yuan/person was paid to get into the park and that included the use of the park inner buses, but you could only get on and off at certain stops/view points in the parks, so it's better to prepare your itinerary the night before. The map and tips given by the ladies were really helpful. By the way, the ticket was a 4-day entry pass, which is quite good enough to see everything in the park.
When the bus dropped us off at the stop where most tourists would use to get an elevator ride we sure were amazed by the awesomeness of the rock formation there. To be honest, I'm from a beautiful mountain area, but nothing like that. The mountains are higher and steeper than what we have in Yangshuo. You may wonder how's there an elevator in the park, well, first of all, it doesn't seem there's a lot of tourists would like to spend too much time hiking around or up and down the park, so they hired German engineers to build this what they call "Hundred Meter Elevator" that takes tourists all the way up to the top of those mountains, sure it helps lots of tourists don't have much time, but a bit pricey though, one-way ticket is like RMB 75. It also counts as one of the attractions to do in the park.
Taking this lift up to the top of the mountain without hiking was no fun for us, so we decided to use the hiking trails to get up. We took another bus to get us to the starting point of the hiking trails. There are many view points scattered in the park, some of them are very close to each other, some of them are not, what you can do is take good use of the inner buses, it's free after all. Pictures below are from our first day's hike. A bit foggy, but it added a bit flavor to the scenery. I've been living in Yangshuo long enough to know that: tour whatever weather that day is like, there's always something to see.
First day's plan: Wulingyuan Entrance -> Yuanjiajie -> Wulongzhai -> Back down to Wulingyuan Entrance.