In recent years Zhangjiajie has become known for being one of the most amazing parts of all of China. If you have seen the famous film Avatar you will see why, as the landscape of Pandora is said to have been modelled on the scenery in Zhangjiajie.
The national park here is actually called Wulingyuan National Park, but most people call it Zhangjiajie. Much of the reason for this is that the actual city of Zhangjiajie, some 30 kilometers from the park, has little else to recommend it.
When it comes to the park itself however, it is a truly spectacular sight, and it is known for its dominating stone columns. There are over three thousand of these in the park, and some of them can reach up to 200 meters high. The park is often covered in mist which gives it a magical feel, and much of it is also covered with bright green moss, so you may well feel as if you are on another planet when you arrive here. Aside from the stone columns, there are also waterfalls and rivers that snake through the area and the water has shaped the rocks over the years. There are viewing points set up along the way here where you can take in the beautiful views such as Tianzi Shan viewpoint.
The park is truly spectacular, but be warned- this is not a well kept secret. Instead, over twenty million domestic tourists come here every year (not counting foreigners) and so don’t expect to have the place to yourself. It can get crowded and even taking photographs without anyone in them can be difficult at times.
For those willing to make the trip, Zhangjiajie is one of the most spectacular places to visit on the planet. The unique geography here is like something from another world, and for many it is the highlight of a trip to China, especially if you are a fan of the film Avatar for which it inspired the land of Pandora. If possible, it is best to come here in the low season as it can get very crowded with tourists which can potentially ruin your experience if you don’t like crowds.