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7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

Diverse Hunan


Want to explore the charm of Zhangjiajie and its forest parks during your visit to China? This 7-day itinerary is specially designed for people who are planning a middle visit to Zhangjiajie after landing the gateway Changsha by flights or trains from other major domestic cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and so on. And you are going to have 7 memorable days from Changhsha to have a great close up of Hunan Province with its highlights of nature, culture, history, and ethnic minority customs, such as the must-see thousands of strange peaks at the real “Avatar” wonderland Wulingyuan, crossing lanes and lining wooden houses at tranquil ancient city at Fenghuang, mysterious Mawangdui Tomb culture preserved at the provincial museum, Chaiman Mao’s great hometown at Shaoshan, etc., and finally make a nice ending at Zhangjiajie. There are just more than you expect!

Highlights of this tour

  • Enjoy a classic Hunan provincial trip starting from the capital Changsha with more convenient flights and bullet trains from other major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Guilin, and so forth;
  • Have an overview understanding of the cityscape, culture, history and nature of Changsha City, the provincial capital city of Hunan;
  • Explore the influential history of amazing Mawangdui period, praisable rich atmosphere of reading and learning in Hunan by visiting its provincial museum, ancient academy, etc.;
  • Extend to Shaoshan for a visit to the hometown of the great national leader – Chairman Mao Zedong;
  • Spend two joyous hiking days to discover the world well-known key Wulingyuan scenic area which is the inspiration of Avatar’s Pandora World and the sightseeing kingdom of mysterious sea of clouds, mountain columns, verdant plantations, wide animals, etc.

Basic Trip Information

from $1065
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Changsha / Shaoshan / Zhangjiajie / Fenghuang / Zhangjiajie
Travel Length:
7 Days and 6 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You & Your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Changsha Arrival

Welcome to Changsha, the Capital of Hunan Province! Upon your arrival, your local guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall of the airport / railway station and escort you to your hotel in Changsha downtown. Your guide will help you check in. The rest of today is on your own to explore this city.

Arrival Ideas: Changsha Huanghua International Airport has flights from / to Beijing, Shanghai, Zhangjiajie, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Lijiang, Lanzhou, Lhasa, etc. While, high speed trains can go between Changsha and Zhangjiajie (3 hours), Wuhan (1.5 hours), Guilin (3 hours), Guiyang (3 hours), Huangshan (4 hours), Shanghai (5-5.5 hours), etc.

Welcome to Changsha
Day 2 Changsha (B, L)

Good morning! After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and then escort you to visit Hunan Provincial Museum, the largest history and art museum in Hunan Province. It has over 180,000 artifacts which feature the cultural relic excavated from the world-famous Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb over 2,000 years ago, the bronze wares of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, cultural relics of Chu State, pottery and porcelain works from Various dynasties... Catch the chance to have a detailed look at the precious national treasures, like the wax statue of the complete female corpse discovered from Mawangdui Tomb, Silk Coat, the Colorful Painted Inner Coffin, Dahe Human Face Bronze Pot. From this museum, you can not only have a basic understanding of Chinese civilization along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River but also know the development of the civilization in Hunan Province as well as to appreciate the mysteries of Hunan culture.

Later, move to Orange Island Park. Also called Juzizhou, it is a place with the scenery of "snow on the river", one of the eight sceneries of ancient Xiaoxiang (Hunan). When Mao Zedong was standing at Juzizhou, he threw such a question to the vast sky - "asking the vast land, who will determine the ups and downs". He changed the process of Chinese history and showed special preference to Juzizhou. Enjoy a wonderful stroll, visit the famous massive sculpture of the "Young" Mao and see locals spending leisure time with the pleasant sightseeing here.

Then, visit Yuelu Academy at the foot of Yuelu Mountain, which is one of the four major academies in ancient China and called “one-thousand-year old academy” since it was built in 976 in Song Dynasty. Stroll at the traditional Chinese academic architectures with Chinese corridors, pavilions, courtyards, gardens, and admire artistic decorations combining in perfect. Go to China Academy Museum to watch exhibitions about the academic history and culture in China!

Wax Statue of Female Corpse from Mawangdui Han Tombs Orange Beach Yuelu Academy
Day 3 Changsha - Shaoshan - Zhangjiajie (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Today, you’ll be transferred to Shaoshan - the hometown of Chairman Mao (China’s leader from 1949 until his death in 1976) with about 1.5 hours’ riding.

In the village of Shao Shan Chong, the “Great Helmsman” spent his early years. First, you’ll pay a visit to Dripping Water Cave. About 3 km northwest of the village, it is a very popular destination where, legend has it, Mao pondered over the Cultural Revolution in 1966. Enjoy the verdant natural scenery there and visit the villa Mao has lived, including the bedroom, office, meeting room, etc. Later, head to Former Residence of Mao Zedong where he was born and grew up.The house is a very common farmhouse built with mud bricks and tiles, exhibiting Mao Zedong’s family photos, daily house utensils, furnishing, and materials displaying Mao Zedong’s engagement in the revolutionary activities…here, you could get very close to the great man. Then, followed a trip to Mao Ancestral Temple where exhibits there include 100 pieces of Mao Zedong's manuscripts and 72 items of Mao's personal belongings.

After the tour in Shaoshan, transfer about 4 and a half hours to Zhangjiajie. Stay overnight in Zhangjiajie City.

Former Residence of Chairman Mao in Shaoshan Mao Ancestral Temple
Day 4 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park - Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge & Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon (B, L)

Today, after breakfast, you will be met by our guide and drive and then driven to start your exciting visit to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. You will first take the cable car up to Huangshi Village to appreciate the wide forest park on its peaks. The village site has an altitude of 1080 meters, which is praised for its similar charm of pillar forest of Colorado in the USA. Enjoying the flat the wide visual environment, it is so far the largest natural viewing deck for visitors for a perfect admiration of its various rising stones and hills. Enjoy your fresh walk to visit the top famous sights including Star Picking Stand, Five Finger Peak, and so on, and find those looking like bridge piers, etc. from a distance. Take cable car to get down.

Later, change your angle to explore the famous Golden Whip Stream deep in the valley. This totally 7.5 kilometers long brook is one of the most beautiful places in the whole forest park area. Youll explore the essential part. Take an inspiring roam along the whispering pristine water on the paved path to immerse into tranquil wonderland with fresh air, colorful blooming flowers in different seasons, lush vegetation, etc. and be prepared to encounter with some wild monkeys.

After that, take a sightseeing bus to exit the park and be driven to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon for about 40 minutes. Now, its your bold moment to take the challenge and walk on the transparent Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge to feel like walking on the clouds, which is the world longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge so far in the whole universe, with total length of 430 meters and height of 400 meters above the deep valley. After the thrilling moment, take the elevators and enjoy the Nuokeli Slideway to the valley bottom for a cooling down and please your both eyes with the fascinating natural sceneries of the lush forest, emerald lake, various vegetation, etc. at the popular Rainbow Square, Momo Cave, the Holy Spring Lake, etc.

About Zhangjiajie National Forest Park:

Located 32 kilometers from Zhangjiajie city, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was the first national forest park in China, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The park is known for its odd-shaped peaks and rocks, exquisite forests, tranquil water, beautiful canyons, limestone caves and breathtaking views. Different scenery presents in different seasons. In spring, all flowers on mountains blossom and mountains are luxuriantly green. In summer, the forests flourish and are strongly fragrant. In autumn, the mountain slowly turns yellow and red with a sense of poetry at this time. In winter, travelers can marvel at the evergreen trees among the snowy landscape.

Huangshi Village Panoramic View Susa's Group from Germany - Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Luliia from Russia - Wild Monkeys of Golden Whip Stream
Day 5 Yuanjiajie - Tianzi Mountain (B, L)

On this day, after breakfast, visit Wulingyuan to get more highlights. First take a sightseeing bus to experience Bailong Elevator, the fastest elevator and also the tallest outdoor elevator in the world. Enjoy the 1.5 minutes to be shot from the valley bottom up to the pillar peak. And then, hike amongst the multiple erupting stone columns at Yuanjiajie Scenic Area and open the mysterious “Pandora World”. During the exciting hike, get a good preparation to have an enviable look at the South Sky Pillar of around 150 meters high, the authentic prototype inspiring the “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain”; enjoy the best scenery at Enchanting Platform with tens and hundreds of beautiful stone peaks similar to a lot of nutritious bamboo shoots towering from the ground; also, closely watch the peculiar First Bridge of the World that is naturally made with an only 5-meter long stone platform linking the two peaks together to form the rare world wonder.

Then, take the sightseeing bus to visit Tianzi Mountain. Walk to He Long Park there, which is the best viewing deck to admire very closely the incredible and magnificent view of odd stone peaks standing one after another. Most appealing pictures of the four wonders of Tianzi Mountain are photographed there, including the mists and clouds, moonlight, rays of sunshine and winter snow. Also, step a little further to Tianzi Pavilion nearby to enjoy the marvelous view and terrific sightseeing of the Xihai Peak Forest from another angle of view. After that, take the cool Tianzi Mountain Cable Car down with groups of rockery hills passing by outside your glass window, and then take the sightseeing bus to exit Wulingyuan Park.

After the exciting tour, your guide and driver will escort you to your hotel.

Avatar Hallelujah Mountain at Yuanjiajie Chona from Philippines - Tianzi Mountain, Zhangjiajie
Day 6 Zhangjiajie Yellow Dragon Cave & Drive to Fenghuang (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. The only stop in Zhangjiajie today is Yellow Dragon Cave in Suoxiyu Nature Reserve. Yellow Dragon Cave, also Huanglong Cave, is the underground-lost palace which praised as the most beautiful cave in the world by UNESCO Experts. With an area of 100,000 square meters, length of 7.6 kilometers, height of 140 meters, two underground rivers, four waterfalls, 13 caverns and 10,000 stalagmites and stalactites, it is a huge limestone cave. The Magic Needle and Chair of Dragon King are famous sights in the cave.

After the visiting, your guide and driver will escort to Fenghuang Ancient Town which is about 200 kilometers from Zhangjiajie, taking 3.5 hours for driving. Upon arrival, your guide will help you check in your hotel. When night falls, every old house lights up and the whole atmosphere becomes festive, colorful and amazing. Take a relaxing walk and appreciate the fabulous night view of this ancient town. 

Mr. Pasquale from Italy - Yellow Dragon Cave, Zhangjiajie
Day 7 Fenghuang Ancient Town - Zhangjiajie Departure (B, L)

In this morning, you’ll have a nice tour in Fenghuang Ancient Town. With over 300 years’ history, it is located on the western edge of Hunan Province and next to Guizhou Province. Praised as the most beautiful tiny town in China, it sets an example of what villages were like before the start of modernization. In the town dozens of lanes are paved with stones that run between the wooden houses built on stilts. Generations of local people have stepped on the lanes and worn them down bit by bit.

Fenghuang Ancient Town offers a totally different day views which would really bring you back to ancient time. Have a slow walk and feel the calmness and zen of this beautiful place. Take a small boat ride on the Tuojiang River passing through the most essence part of the old town (from Beimen Pier to Longevity Palace) to imagine what life was going in the past. Visit Former Residence of Shen Congwen to listen to the beautifully novel of “Border Town” which is Shen Congwen's masterpiece for its brilliant portrayal of Chinese rural life before the Communist Revolution. Enjoy more memorable time to have a look at the landmark of the ancient town - Rainbow Bridge and explore East Gate TowerWanming Pagoda, etc.

In the afternoon, drive back to Zhangjiajie City and escort you to airport or train station to next destination. Service ends!

Mr. Pasquale from Italy - Fenghuang Ancient Town Mrs.Tracey's Group from USA - Fenghuang Ancient Town

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