A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Upon waking I lay in doubt about the day ahead. Could it match the breathtaking and unearthly wonders of yesterday? Upon rising I figured that I was being more than selfish with my expectations.

After leaving the guesthouse I retraced last night’s steps and once again whilst standing at the 'Arranging Battles Platform’ I found myself gazing across the Shentang Valley so filled with mysterious peaks thrusting towards the sky that it’s almost unbearable to even consider turning your back on it. As usual given such a situation I wondered how on earth I was blessed with such a wonderful life yet at the same time thanked the stars above for giving me the courage to leave my life of normality, rid my belongings and simply walk (or fly for that matter) into an unknown future with a totally blank canvas with which paint.

Or should I actually say an unknown future with a blank blog with which to write. There I stood transfixed and blessed by the reality of the life I have come to live!

Located in the northern part of Wulingyuan, Tianzi Mountain is named after Xiang Dakun who led the local farmers' revolt and called himself Tianzi (the Son of Heaven). It lies on the highest point of "Golden Triangle", its highest point being 1262.5m and it has an area of sixty seven square kilometers. The majority of scenic spots are formed of quart stones, belonging to a sandstone ground feature which is the same as Suoxiyu Valley which evolved from rocks that subsided from oceans 380,000,000 years ago.

My tranquil moment led me slowly towards the Tianzi Mountain Scenic Zone and Helong Park where I was suddenly woken by a couple from Israel who were just as amazed as me to see another foreigner with whom to sit and chat. They have been travelling around China for several weeks and since leaving the big cities behind they had hardly seen another foreign person with whom to share their experiences with. We got to know each other over overpriced cold canned Nestle coffee, crappy cold tourist noodles and several tea eggs. After our fix of G’Day Mate, Howzitgarn and Catchya Round (for those who are confused with the Aussieisms, they spent several years living and working in Australia) we said Seeya Later Mate.

They then began their journey deep down into the deep depths of the Shentang Valley. I decided to hang around for a while and take in some more of the observation platforms.

I spent an awesome hour racing up and down stairs between observation decks but when it came time to begin my journey downwards it all became a little confusing. It seemed that no matter where I went I couldn’t actually find the one pathway that would allow me to descend. I shared maps with many Chinese tourists, some of whom gathered their tour guides and no matter what information I followed I simply arrived at one of the observation decks that I had already visited.

So with weary legs I decided to head across to the only pavilion that filled my views/ Behind the Pavilion I finally found the pathway that slowly led to the valley below.

Shentang Valley a gorge shaped like a huge basin walled by lofty precipices. The bottom of the gorge is veiled in mists and clouds all day, adding to its mysteriousness. As the saying goes, the most beautiful scene is seen from the most perilous peak. There are almost no roads to Shentang Valley, only a quite dangerous flight of stairs that is as wide as a foot being available. Local people say, ‘Every step kills one soul’.

After what seemed an eternity of stairs and a well over priced coke I finally made it down to the ‘Sightseeing Mini-Train’ which was begging to take me to the next bus station. After looking around me I wondered why anyone would have first thought to build a rail line through such beauty so I of course opted to place one weary leg before the other and walk the rest of the way.

What I would do upon arrival I actually had no idea! Thankfully my answer came in the form of a mother and daughter. From this moment I was adopted by a bus full of some of the most wonderful people!

Visiting Wulingyuan all the way from Huangshan in Anhui Province was a group of teachers along with some of their children. I spent my walk with Maria and her daughter Susie and I was surprised at how good Maria’s English was until I found out she was an English Teacher at a Middle School in a small village near Huangshan Mountain. When we arrived at the bus station I had a billion photos taken with Susie and Maria and what seemed like a town full of people who then asked me to spend the rest of the afternoon with them.

Being the adventurous type I simply said YES!

We boarded their tour bus back to their big hotel where we all sat for huge and delicious meal full of tender fish and fresh vegetables after which we once again filled the seats of their bus and headed to a foot massage place somewhere between Wulingyuan Town and the Yellow Dragon Cave. The foot and shoulder massage was free but it was all about business and once the ‘You Buy You Buy’ lady had soon said her thing…..buy they did. Hundreds upon hundreds of Yuan was handed over for what seemed to me was nothing but Tiger Balm repackaged

It was warm, it smelt and it was jived upon. So it was the ‘be all end all of pain and weight gain! I silently sat thinking, just buy some tiger balm and do more exercise!’

<u>Yellow Dragon Cave</u>

Upon entering the Yellow Dragon Cave one must prepare themselves for not only scenery of a different kind but also for a lot of stairs and walking. The cave has four levels and has a vertical height of over one hundred meters. It would be lovely to walk at your own pace and meander amongst the impressive collection of stalactites and stalagmites (all of which are illuminated in a variety of colored lights) but this is China and in a place such as this the tour groups become the tribe and their guide the Queen.

Everyone else must walk at a brisk pace somewhere in between!

The caves most outstanding feature is an almost twenty meter high stalagmite that has been named the Holy Needle. In legend it protects the Dragon King who resides in the caves darkened depths. This delicately balanced stalagmite (which is only ten centre meters in diameter) was reportedly insured in 1998 for 100 million Yuan.

That’s around US$12.1 million!

Halfway through our darkened adventure we more than happily boarded several small boats that slowly took us along the caves underground river passing by more colourful stalactites and stalagmites, some of which were grotesque and others so beautiful that they filled their part of the cave with enchantment and left me wondering if I was to meet my own Snow White sometime soon. Sadly she never emerged from the colourful world below so at the end of our journey those of us who had not had enough happily hand over an extra fifteen Yuan and ventured down into the caves last level.

Here there were no colourful lights to create a dynamic world of Disney. Here there was only silence and different shades of white frozen in time.

Above ground and beneath the blue sky I said good bye to my bus full of new friends who would be attending &#8216;some production thingy’ several hours later. After waving good bye I spent some time walking around the small and attractive park that surrounded the caves entrance.

I had been told that there were no buses leaving the Cave Park back to Zhangjiajie city and once I left the gates I was set upon by Mini-Bus Drivers who DEMANDED that I pay them fifty Yuan to take me to the nearest bus station in Wulingyuan Tourist City which I knew was only a five to ten minute drive away. Another driver began arguing with them because he was happy for me to pay him one hundred Yuan to take me all the way back to Zhangjiajie city which was about an hour away. As it was less than a night’s accommodation in Wulingyuan city, if needed he would have won my favor.

I though, had other ideas as I knew there was a public bus that I could catch to the station. The problem was I just didn’t know what number or what time it finished. Help came in the form of Chinese Patrick and his happy family. Bus No: 1 which finishes at or around seven pm! Thanks Patrick, see you on QQ!

It’s now late evening and I’m being stared at by everyone in Mc Donald’s.

I don’t think they are happy with me because I took the corner booth which doesn’t allow a million people to fill a booth behind me to see what I’m writing on my computer. Several people who have occupied the booth beside me have asked to check out my Lonely Planet, one of whom asked if she could keep it as I was the first foreigner any of them had ever spoken to.

As she wore a cross I wanted to ask her if she’d attend Church without her bible. Well sorry mate, I prefer not to travel without mine either. It was unspoken but we had a happy understanding.

No need for a Big Mac, Quarter Pounder or even a thick shake this evening (the ElcheapO coffee was more than awesome as always) , Connie and Monique have just arrived and are taking me out for street side BBQ (meat and vegetable sticks) that will be washed down by too many cold beers over much laughter.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by a JJJ Hottest 100 compilation. The album was &#8216;The Year 2007’. Thanks Jude! ____________________________________________________________

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day Two CAVE

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

I am absolutely tuckered out mate! Couldn’t walk another step even if I was twins!

I just got home from a wonderful adventure getting lost here and finding myself over there in the Wulingyuan Mountains. Right now I’m kicking back in a little caf&eacute; I found just off Zhangjiajie’s main road with a well earned beer relaxing my weary legs and checking out the girls as they shop their way past me. Those that see me stop for a second, say 'Hellow’ and continue about their journey with a giggle and a delightful smile.

Yep I’m thinking I’m going home real soon…NOT! Anyhow let’s get to the blog, lots to write about and such little battery time left.

I figured that as I was more than a little confused when I came here and found it almost impossible to find someone who could clearly explain how it all worked I thought I’d do my best to make it easy for anyone who was searching for information on the Wulingyuan Nature Park.

So I will simply take you the reader through what I got up to each day and give a little information on buses and a short run down on each part of the park and for those who don’t really care, scroll down and check out the photos.

<u>Today In Short</u>

I made my way along the Golden Whip Stream to the Suoxiyu Area and then bused it to the Yuanjiajie Area where I caught one of the world’s largest elevators to walk a freaky plank walkway where I got to check out the awesome &#8216;Pillar of Heaven’ that is so identical to James Cameron’s &#8216;Hallelujah Mountain’ that not even I am silly enough to believe his idea came from Huangshan in Anhui Province. I then bused it up to the Tianzi Mountain Area where I grabbed a room in a small local house for the night.

For those who are coming with me for the adventure, go grab a coffee or a cold beer and for everyone else….begin scrolling.

<u>The Wulingyuan Nature Reserve</u>

Due to its position between the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and Dongting Lake, Wulingyuan boasts thousands of strange-shaped peaks and rocks, hidden valleys, wandering waters and limestone caves. If you are going to visit make sure you put aside two days for your adventure and if you are thinking of doing it in one day then you will be paying the same price as those who do stay overnight in a sixty Yuan guesthouse.

So why not relax and take your time!

Small guesthouses can be found in the Tianzi Mountain Scenic Area and where I stayed there was a group of about five or six of them so simply grab a bus and get off at the &#8216;Arranging Battles Platform and head back a little or if you end up at the Helong Park Bus Station there is sure to be a tout or two awaiting your arrival.

<u>Buses to and from Zhangjiajie City</u>

Wednesday morning I left my main travel pack at my hotel, packed my tiny day pack with a few things and around nine in the morning I headed down to the bus station on Huilong Lu. After about five minutes I figured out (by the fact that everyone pointed in that direction) that the buses to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Gate (the South Gate) could be found just to the right as you walk into the bus stations busy driveway.

Each trip costs 10 Yuan and the journey takes around fifty minutes.

<u>Entrance Prices & Park Gates</u>

There are four entrances to the Wullingyuan Scenic Area.

The East Gate (Wulingyuan) ticket office is five kilometers from Suoxiyu County, the West Gate (Yangjiajie) ticket office), the South gate (Zhangjiajie) ticket office is fifty kilometers from the city center and the North Gate (Tianzi Mountain) ticket office

Admission price is 248 Yuan and even though it sounds expensive and will have the extreme budget Backpacker throwing their arms in the air while saying, SheezusKwiste I can’t afford that, I can’t believe they want so much for a flippin park ticket!’, the actual ticket not only lasts for two days but it also includes all buses to and from all sites you wish to see and it also includes the entrance fee for the Yellow Dragon Cave.

The park is huge and is made up of several Scenic Spots that at one stage I believe were all separate so you will need to use the free buses as it is impossible to walk between some of the scenic areas and sites.

<u>Zhangjiajie Scenic Spot</u>

I began my day at the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park which is located in the southwest of Wulingyuan where I found pavilions, bridges, caves and several small waterfalls. Like most I chose to slowly make my way along side &#8216;Golden Whip Stream’ which after looking at the map I believe is named after Golden Whip Rock The stream is around six kilometers long, it joins Lute stream in the west and Suoxi Stream in the east and the small adventure takes from an hour to two hours depending on how many photos you take and how many people stop you to ask you where you are from.

After which in my case, to be told that there are many sheep in Australia.

On the way not only can you be entertained by several beautiful girls from Tujia who will sing traditional folk songs to any tourist who is willing to pay but and you can also be entertained by the Chinese who are feeding the monkeys right beside the &#8216;Do Not Feed the Monkey’ signs.

<u>Suoxiyu Nature Reserve</u>

Today I passed through the Suoxiyu Scenic Spot as I visited the Yellow Dragon Cave on Tomorrow’s Adventure. Today I chose to take a journey up the &#8216;Bailong Elevator’ instead of grabbing a boat and floating on the lake or heading beneath the earth and checking out the Yellow Dragon Cave.

Suoxiyu Nature Reserve is adjacent to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and has many places of interest such as the Bao Feng Gorges, Bao Feng Lake and the Bao Feng Waterfall. Another popular destination is the Yellow Dragon Cave which is a system of limestone caves that includes an underground stream, a waterfall, ninety-six passageways and thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.

For those who want information on the cave you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s entry. .

<u>Zhangjiajie Bailong Elevator (aka Shuiraosimen Sightseeing Elevator)</u>

The glass elevators run up a cliff face in the north of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Wulingyuan. Designed and operated by Bailong Elevator Company the structure consists of a one hundred and fifty four meter deep underground shaft and a one hundred and seventy two meter aboveground derrick.

Three double-story glass elevators run abreast up the side of the cliff to a plateau near Shuiraosimen, one of the key scenic spots in the park. It takes about two minutes to complete the journey from the base of the cliff to the top. Each elevator can carry fifty people per trip, with a total daily capacity of about eighteen thousand people.

<u>Yuanjiajie Scenic Area</u>

This my friends, was the absolute highlight of my days adventure!

Located in the northwest part of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area is a naturally formed platform mountain surrounded by higher summits which are divided by deep valleys. Added to this scene is an array of amazing lesser peaks and grotesque rocks. Each one stands in the valley and possesses its own peculiar shape. The foremost attractions in this area include: Back Garden, breathtaking Mihun Stage, Qiankun Pillar (lit. the Pillar of Heaven and Earth, some say the pillar is the prototype of the "Hallelujah Mountains" in James Cameron's film Avatar), Goat Village, and the First Bridge in the World.

At the small bus stop I met two delightful students from Changsha who along with me had no idea what the elevator actually was. Don’t get me wrong, their English was almost as good as mine and we all knew what an elevator was but none of us could figure out what an elevator would be doing in the middle of such an extraordinary environment.

We then came to the conclusion that there was a misprint on the park map.

When we got off the bus we all looked above us and there wasn’t a cable car to be seen anywhere. What we did find was a ticket office that was selling tickets for a ride in an elevator. After once again looking around us all we could see were many freaky looking mountains that towered above us. As we had nowhere else to go we handed over our money and walked through the &#8216;Entrance’ gate. Soon we were shown to an actual elevator door and after tens of others were crammed in behind us we then rose thirty something floors through the middle of one of the freaky mountains.

We were then ushered into a second elevator but this one had a glass back/front to it.

Several seconds and thirty or forty floors later light filled our cabin and the forty or fifty people in the elevator all at once said &#8216;Oi Yor, which is usually kind of like us saying WOW but in this case I’m sure it was more like one of those moments where &#8216;we’ use a couple of F words in our description after seeing something amazing!

Admittedly I did and I can honestly tell you that it was truly &#8216;F’arking amazing!

At the top we were greeted by many AVATAR posters and as we had all seen the movie we then went about asking why the posters where here and just like the elevator ride we were all amazed that one of the mountains several minutes away was used in the film. Over the next several minutes I was introduced to how different the two girls I was with actually were. The quiet one was much more like me, we found a sign post, read it and then wanted to continue. The more outspoken of the two was more like a &#8216;white glove sign post girl’ as she wouldn’t use sign posts.

At every turn she had to ask at least three people which was the way to &#8216;such and such’.

Quiet girl and I simply stood by the sign and after Outspoken Girl had gone about her business she came over to us, took charge and said &#8216;it is this way’. Quiet Girl and I always looked at each other, smiled and thought &#8216;yep, that’s exactly what we and the other thousand people around us thought when we saw this freaking sign that has both English and Chinese and an arrow pointing that way that has been here for a dozen years!

When travelling with other people you sometimes have to just kick back and observe! Never the less, she had both of us in hysterics every few minutes so it was well worth it!

For those who want to head to the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area simply grab one of the shuttle buses that stop just across from the tourist stands (just up from the beautiful stone bridge) at the Suoxiyu Scenic Area. I’m not sure where the buses at the bus station go but I do know they are for a longer journey so grab one of the small shuttle buses as they will take you around the corner to the Bailing Elevator (see above). If you don’t want to wait for the bus then walk across the stone bridge (checking out awesome camel hill on the way), walk to the roundabout and then head left passing the one way arrow on the road pointing towards you and you will soon come to the elevator.

For those who plan to visit the Tianzishan Area before hand simply grab a free bus.

<u>AVATAR the Movie</u>

"Avatar" has sold 1.841 billion U.S. dollars worth of tickets worldwide, making it the biggest international release of all time. It has also become China's most popular movie ever by making around 80 million U.S. dollars here. James Cameron, director of Avatar, told the Beijing premiere of Avatar that the alien mountain, where the science fiction took place, came from east China's Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province.

Cameron's claim was soon challenged by many who said the Hallelujah Mountain was almost identical to South Sky Pillar Mountain in Zhangjiajie. According to one report, the main "Hallelujah Mountain" in the movie is modeled after the South Pillar of the Heaven, on which a major cameraman for the movie spent four days shooting photos.

<u>A Wonderful Sleep Upon Pillars In The Sky</u>

To end my amazing day Quiet Girl, Out Spoken Girl and I grabbed a bus to the Helong Park Bus Station in the Tianzi Mountain Area where I was told that small and cheap guesthouses could be found. Thankfully as it was getting late there were several touts waiting at the bus station, once we had agreed on a price we boarded a bus back the way I had came for a short distance and after a wonderfully cold shower we all sat for a huge and delicious meal of rice, home grown vegetables and chicken.

We sat watching the sun go down over the Arranging Battles Platform with several cold and much deserved beers

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Daglo Abortions The album was &#8216;Feed Us Fetus’ ____________________________________________________________

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR


Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Wulingyuan Nature Park Day One AVATAR

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

A Day Floating With Connie & Monique

This morning Connie asked if I was leaving for my next adventure. She then asked if I would like to spend the day with her and Monique floating on a boat.

Um.....was there an actual question there? And if there was did it actually warrant an answer?

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

A Day Floating With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique


Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Pool Day With Connie &#38;amp; Monique

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

The Majestic Tianmen Mountain Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Coffee’s good. I can’t write without coffee. I also can’t write sitting in my hotel room. For some reason I have to be in a fast food eatery. Also the fast food eatery has to be noisy and busyish. I like the constant jibber jabber that buzzes all around me.

Sometimes what comes with it is rather funny and I kind of like that too!

As usual I’m on the second floor with a window seat overlooking a busy intersection and also as usual the seating section behind me continues to fill with people who think that I don’t know that they are looking over my shoulder to see what I am typing and also to see if they can understand it. As usual it’s the young children that race over and openly check out what I’m doing and then race back to their table to tell the rest of the family.

On several occasions I’ve even been lucky enough to meet a fast food beauty!

Mountains are good! I love visiting mountains. Mountains are a great way to meet people. Today I met a beautiful girl while walking on a freaky plank road The plank road was suspended one and a half kilometers up on the side of a cliff. Maybe she felt sorry for me slithering along the cliff face trying not to be near the rail.

Located just eight kilometers south of Zhangjiajie Cities downtown area is the Tianmen Mountain (Heavenly Door) Scenic Area which has been designated as the second national forest park in Zhangjiajie region. Rising nearly one thousand five hundred meters, Tianmen is the highest peak in the Wulingyuan Mountains and is regarded as the 'soul' of Zhangjiajie city.

The park is not only full of beautiful girls scantily clad in tiny denim shorts and high heels but it also comes complete with graceful trees, karst peaks and medicinal herbs and plants, a temple at the top, a freaky mountain top with a big hole through it, the longest cable car in the world along with a chairlift or two.

The mountain boasts its own 'seven wonders' that we will visit during this blog.

I started my day early (honestly I did) and grabbed Bus Number 4 on Huilong Lu that took me across the river to the other side of the city. All up the journey took about five minutes and when the bus lady told me that it was my stop I thought she was trying to be funny until she pointed out the window to the passing cable cars.

So yes, the cable car station is in fact right in the city.

<u>The Tianmen Mountain Cableway</u>:

For cable car buffs this is one hell of a ride and for those like me who are scared to death of them (yet always seem to end up on them) this is the ride for you. It is the longest passenger cableway in the world with ninety eight cars and fifty seven towers. It has a total length of seven thousand four hundred and fifty five meters (7455) and a height of one thousand two hundred and seventy nine meters.

This beast takes you from within the city, across farm lands where it only begins to rise and once you pass the middle station that is when you begin to get nervous. From there it is up and I mean UP and from what I can gather, like today what you can see in front of you are cables that disappear into thick white clouds.

When I arrived at the top my 'car friends (two sisters and a friend from Chongqing city) and I headed out of the cable car station and were left a little confused as to what to do or where to go next. We were expecting a large board with a map of the mountain on it but what we found was a &#8216;You Buy You Buy’ store and no map. After a few minutes we finally found a trail that led behind the &#8216;You Buy You Buy’ store and not far along that we found a sign that offered to ways to go.

I chose the Plank Road and the sisters chose the observation in the other direction. As you do when you are on a mountain top covered by thick clouds.

<u>The Ghost Valley Plank Road:</u>

As above with cable cars, for those who like walking on a tiny walkway suspended on side of a cliff nearly one and a half kilometers in the air with only a small rail between you and a not so instantaneous death then just like Huangshan’s plank road, this is the one for you.

This is the first of two plank roads upon which you can breathtakingly walk along the side of a mountain with nothing beneath you except the planks under your feet. Both combined are a total length of nearly one kilometer and on the map they are called the &#8216;Plank Road Along Side The Guigu Cliffs’ but on older boards they seem to be known as the &#8216;Ghost Valley Plank Road’.

The walk is totally awesome and only the children went any faster than an almost crawl.

The rest of us with Golem like actions slithered along the cliff wall and when we spotted someone coming in the opposite direction we pretended that we hadn’t seen them in hope that they would be the ones to risk their life with polite offerings of allowing the other to pass.

<u>The Immortals Air Garden:</u>

The mountain is an integrated geological unit which has the landform of middle mountain karst platform with peak groups and canyons. The hillocks spread wildly to form wonders of stone forests in the air and with moss &#8216;spreading all over the place (I had to add that in Brad!), wild vines that twist and turn around everything in sight what the locals like to tell you is that is becomes the sight of natural bonsais like grand gardens which were created by the immortals. <u></u> <u>Tianmenshan Temple:</u>

Just as your vertigo begins to subside your plank road adventure is over and after a short but lovely stroll Connie and I came to the Tianmenshan Temple. The temple was first built in the Tang Dynasty (AD581 to 618) as a center of Buddhism in the area of western Hunan. The present temple has an area of around then thousand square meters and now adopts more of a Qing style (AD1614 to 1911) than the original Tang.

For those who are starving by the time they reach the temple then for 35 Yuan you can pile yourself a plate full of vegetables in the temples Vegetarian Restaurant. Even if you’re not a vegetarian (like me) the food is absolutely delicious and you quickly forget that you have no dead animals on your plate ready to sink your teeth into. <u></u> <u>Yunmeng Fairy Summit:</u>

<u></u>At one thousand five hundred meters above sea level the summit of Zhang Jiajie offers views unlike that of many of the other sixteen mountain peaks that surround it that make up the Tainmen Mountain park area. While visiting the temple Connie and I noticed a solitary yet glorious pagoda on the latter summit so being the adventurous kind we decided that we couldn’t leave the mountain without climbing to the top of it. To reach the pagoda you need to catch a twenty two Yuan chair lift from the Tianmen Temple or if you please you can take the forty minute walk.

Sadly though, at the moment the beautiful pagoda has been gutted. Restoration work has only just begun and will continue for several months.

Once you have visited the Yunmeng Fairy Summit your adventure at the mountain peak is pretty much at its end but and you will need to walk a small part of it again. For those like me, who unhappily thought their day was at an end and quickly began to question the ticket price you also need to meet a Chinese Beauty whilst walking the plank road.

Happily Connie told me that we still had the Tianmen Cave to visit. It was then that I remembered the awesome mountain top with a hole through it.

After our short walk along the part of the Plank Road we grabbed the cable car down to the Lower/Middle Cable Car Station where we began the second half of our day together. <u></u> <u>Avenue Leading to the Sky</u>:

From the Lower/Middle Cable Car station you need to board one of the free shuttle buses. Thankfully you don’t have to walk and that the price is included in your park ticket.

The Avenue Leading To The Sky is the amazing road you see snaking its way up the mountain as you sit comfortably in your cable car far above. The locals say that it has ninety nine turns which symbolizes that the heavens above have ninety nine palaces. The locals also like to boast that the avenue runs up ward with a posture of the mountain like the soaring of a great dragon and that it also hangs like a jade belt with zigzag turns circling the hills.

&#8216;They’ also say that one reaches directly the taint-celestial ladder! Which I do believe they mean that it takes you to the stairs that lead to the Tianmen Cave.

<u>Tianmen Cave</u>:

The Tianmen Cave is a natural water eroded cave that supposedly has the highest elevation in the world. I can’t say that for sure but I can tell you that Yangshuo’s Moon Hill is less than a doughnut in comparison. In the year AD263 (the Wuyong Period of the Three Kingdoms) the thousand meter high cliff of Songliang Mountain suddenly broke open into a door like cave which became a rare wonder of the world and not long after it became Tianmen Mountain and attracted the attention of emperors, officials, sages, hermits, dignitaries and men of letters.

Not so long ago eight hundred million people around the world watched as some crazy pilots flew through it and not so long after that some world renown Spiderman Guy actually free climbed it in forty minutes.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: Connie said to tell you that she loves coffee too! _________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Chemical Brothers The album was &#8216;Exit Planet Dust’ _________________________________________________

Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

New Beers Deep in the Wulingyuan Mountains

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Can you guess where I am now? Will the following help you?

Rising sublimely from the misty subtropical forest of northwest Hunan Province are two hundred and forty three peaks surrounded by over three thousand karst up thrusts, a concentration not seen elsewhere in the world. The picture is completed by waterfalls, limestone caves (including one of Asia’s largest chambers) and rivers suitable for organized rafting trips. Nearly two dozen rare species of flora and fauna call the region home and botanists delight in the three thousand odd plant species within the park. Even amateur wildlife spotters may get a gander at a clouded leopard or a pangolin.

Known as the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, the region encompasses the localities of Zhangjiajie, Tianzishan and Suoxiyu. Zhangjiajie is the best known and many Chinese refer to this area by that name. Recognised by UNESCO in 1990 as a World Heritage Site, Wulingyuan is home to three minority peoples;

The Tujia, Miao and the Bai Peoples.

Several towns give access to Wulingyuan but the most popular ones are Zhangjiajie City and Zhangjiajie Village. The city is situated near the railway line, while the village is situated nearly six hundred meters above sea level in the wuling foothills, surrounded by sheer cliffs and vertical rock outcrops.

Still don’t know! Sheeze, guess I had better continue then!

I awoke in Funky Fenghuang Old Town yesterday morning (Saturday, 24th July) and decided that I had had enough of a perfect picturesque village where I could obtain anything I wanted within a short distance from my hotel. It was so perfect, especially when Crusty Simon was there that it almost felt like being back home again except without all my friends and a descent live music scene.

Things were just too damn easy

So after packing and checking out I sat for some delicious local dumplings and two tea eggs and then headed to the top of Nanhua Lu Bridge and caught Bus No: 1 to the Minsuyuan Bus Station where I grabbed the half past two bus to Zhangjiajie City which is located in the above Wulingyuan Scenic Area. The journey was supposed to take five or so hours but after overheating both the breaks and the motor we didn’t arrive until well after half past nine in the evening.

Then came the usual Hotel Shuffle. Which being in such an area resulted in the prices I was expecting!

In the end I found a cheap hotel right across from DICO’s which is a Chinese rice and chicken KFC type thing but much better. The staff were really cool and tried to help me figure out the mess that Wulingyuan was in my head but sadly it still didn’t make much sense and reading the Lonely Planet made it even worse as it didn’t match anything the hotel staff were saying.

So to today, Sunday, 25th July.

I decided to simply stay where I was and check out Zhangjiajie City and see if any help came my way. As city’s go it really doesn’t have much to offer at all and sadly even though it is situated on the banks of several rivers they all actually offer some of the most bleak scenery that I’ve ever come across which is simply just concrete embankments without any type of park or greenery. In the center of the city is the Martyrs Park which is worth the short climb if you want some nice views of the city. Jiefeng Lu offers the usual trail of tourist fast foods etc which include coffee shops, KFC and Mc Donald’s where I can now be found sipping my ElcheapO Coffee writing this silly blog that you are all reading instead of shuffling papers doing the work thing.

Where Zhangjiajie City does get my full marks is in the sidewalk eatery department.

After dark many of the little streets that run between Huilong Lu & Jiefeng Lu turn into deliciously smoky snack filled creations where you can satisfy almost any hunger type. Last night I simply moved from stall to stall and must have easily eaten three dinners and by the time I made it back to my hotel room I was almost rolling.

THE YOUTH HOSTEL

While walking aimlessly today I came across a roof top YHA and decided to catch the lift up and see if anyone there spoke English and thankfully of the guys English was just a bit better than my Mandarin so by the time I left I had a much better understanding of what I want to do over the next few days.

ONE WILL BE: a day on Tianmen Mountain which I think is the same as Tianzishan Mountain in the LP. The LP also only has information on the closer Huangshizhai Mountain area where the Zhangjiajie village is located so I figure why do that one.

THE OTHER WILL BE: a two to three day adventure walking around the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. There are small guesthouses and a youth hostel located along the trails and buses also run between main scenic spots so being alone on a mountain won’t be such a big deal.

Today I gathered times between here and there and buses etc so it should be a great adventure. The only drawback is the fact that both adventures come with a large entry fee, but hey you know what they say;

You can’t take it with you!

Ok, day has turned in to night, the neon’s have lit up the city and my coffee is now finished which means only one thing, it is time to head out into the small back alleys in search of China’s best noodles.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Cold Play The album was 'X & Y’ ____________________________________________________________

Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure


Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Zhangjiajie City Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)