Hunan, China

 

WANT TO SEE THE HALLELUJAH MOUNTAINS IN JAMES CAMERON'S AVATAR MOVIE?


Come to Hunan--- one of the most beautiful provinces in China.

Not only this is the home of Mao Zedong but this is also the province where you will see the "Avatar" mountain AND where you will also experience the most horrifying and scariest and longest cable ride and glass walk on planet Earth!

There are so many places to see and visit in this province, that you need a full two weeks being there. But for this trip, we specifically focused on one place that offers two amazing wonders--- Zhangjiajie.


1. TIANMEN MOUNTAIN


Or Tianmen Shan is located within the Tianmen Mountain National Park, and have the longest passenger cableway of high mountains in the world", with 98 cars and a total length of 7,455 meters (24,459 ft) and ascent of 1,279 meters (4,196 ft). The highest gradient is an unusual 37 degrees!


It was the most awesome and scariest cable ride of my life! I was even calling all the saints and gods in heaven to keep us safe and make us land in one piece!

           I don't look scared here but believe me my stomach was churning the whole time!

           I don't look scared here but believe me my stomach was churning the whole time!

I don't look scared here but believe me my stomach was churning the whole time!😊

As if the cable ride was not torture enough, but this mountain, is also where tourists can walk on kilometers of paths built onto the cliff face at the top, including sections with glass floors!

So you're all literally walking at the edges of the mountain with all these made up glass walk, wood walk, and bridge walk!

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Sadly, we came on a rainy weekend at that time, so the view of our surroundings was more or less blurry and foggy.☹

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FrenchieatPinay Tip: Wear comfortable shoes. It was a quite a walk and quite crowded, too (well given the fact that we were there on a national Chinese holiday). Just don't wear stilettos just like these ridiculous girls! 

ENTRANCE FEE: 216.00RMB/ person which includes the round trip cable ride. The park open from 8AM to 6PM, daily.


2. WULINGYUAN


Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. It is comprised of several national parks, the most famous of which is Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a 243 square mile park full of stunning pillars of sandstone, covered with sub-tropical rainforest.

This is one of the inspirations for the Hallelujah Mountain in James Cameron's movie, Avatar. So for the locals, it has become the Avatar Mountain.

                                                         taken from google image

                                                         taken from google image


ENTRANCE FEE: 245.00RMB/ person. Good for three days of exploration, all inclusive of all the bus rides inside the park. Unfortunately, they don't sell one day tickets.


The park is huge and quite tricky. You will find yourself at loss when a) you don't have a good guide map, and b) when you don't speak Chinese. Luckily for me, Frenchie mastered map reading and Chinese speaking. 😉


FrenchieatPinay Tip: Take the West gate entrance. Lesser tourists get inside through this gate.



Sadly, as it was raining again, we didn't enjoy the place as much as we would have when it would have been a sunny, clear day.

Although, the park is also very beautiful on a foggy day. But just not on the day we visited. 


We also queued-- for almost an hour, just to take the tallest elevator ride in the world! You all should know by now, that the Chinese wants to outdo all countries in may fields that are tallest, biggest, and longest! 


And oh, they also have the famous love locks up there.


The more disappointing part of this trip was--- we didn't have enough time and we spent too much time queuing up to every entrance gates and bus stops, because apparently, it's where millions of Chinese go for their holiday.


But at least, we did enjoy the Hunan cuisine when we were done from all of our mountain hikes.


HOW TO GET TO ZHANGJIAJIE FROM BEIJING?


There are daily flights from Beijing to Changsha (the capital of Hunan Province). www.ctrip.com

In our case we took a fast train from Beijing West Railway Station to Changsha South Railway Station. 6.5 hours for 649RMB per person. Then took a bus from Changsha bus station to Zhangjiajie bus station. 5.5 hours, including weekend holiday traffic for 112RMB per person.

Little did we know that there was actually a train from Beijing to Zhangjiajie and a bus from Changsha train station to Zhangjiajie. I mean you don't need to go all the way to another bus station or take another train.

We spent one night in a hotel in Changsha close to the bus station. 160/night and comes with an awesome mahjong table! 

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In Zhangjiajie, we stayed in Zhanjiajie Zhongtian International Hostel. 160RMB/night for a double bed room. 


Would you dare walking on the glass bridge or take the longest cable ride?