5 Days Zhangjiajie Avatar Mountains Photography Tour

Real Avatar World - Surreal Zhangjiajie

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“Enjoy beautiful waterscape in Jiuzhaigou, while enjoy the miraculous mountains in Zhangjiajie”. Zhangjiajie is the “World Geological Park” located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province. It is known as the “Number-One Miraculous Mountain in the World” and “The Original Manuscript of Chinese Landscape Painting”.

This Zhangjiajie photography tour is designed for photo lovers to view Zhangjiajie’s natural wonders and cultural relics and take many splendid photographs. With a camera, you’ll capture the peerless scenery in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the great sunrises over the Grand Sightseeing Platform, the pillar-like formations and the floating rocks, Tujia ethnic minority customs, dance, lifestyle and more.

This Zhangjiajie photography tour can be customized depending on what photos you want to take, and on the weather condition when you go. Feel free to tell your interests and ideas to your personal travel consultants!

Photography Note: Since travelers/photographers cannot live in Zhangjiajie National Forest or Tianzi Mountain, it is unavailable to capture the best view of sunrise in the scenic area. While, other best sceneries like sea of clouds, sunset, snow-capped forest park...are waiting for you to shoot!

Basic Photography Info

Travel Route: Zhangjiajie

Travel Length: 5 Days

Tour Code: CD-PTZJJ-05

Tour Type: Private Tour

Departure: You Choose (you may plan it according to the best season and time.)

Itinerary Details Day by Day

Day 1 Zhangjiajie Arrival

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Welcome to Zhangjiajie! Upon your arrival, our local tour guide will meet you with a sign on which says your name at the arrival hall in the airport or train station. Then our guide and driver will transfer you directly to your hotel in Wulingyuan downtown in Zhangjiajie by our comfortable private car (non-smoking), and the guide will help you check in. The rest of today is on your own to explore this fabulous city in China.

Arrival Ideas: Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport 6 kilometers from city downtown serves flights between major domestic cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Qingdao, etc. and some international cities like Bangkok, Osaka, etc. Besides, you can also take a normal train to Zhangjiajie Railway Station from many destinations, like Changsha (4.5-5.5 hours), Yichang (4.5-5 hours), Tongren (about 7 hours), Wuhan (10 hours), Xian (15 hours), Shanghai (20 hours), Beijing (23 hours), and so on.

Evening Idea: Xibu Street at Wulingyuan downtown is popular for a leisure walk. You can stroll at the Tujia ethnic flavored shopping pedestrian street to taste local snacks, find interesting artifacts and enjoy the beautiful night view with colorful lights.

Zhangjiajie Hehua AirportXibu Street Night View
Day 2 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park - Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge (B, L)

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After breakfast, you’ll capture the most beautiful scenery in 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 a book box, bridge piers, nestling couple, etc. from a distance.

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. 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 visiting, be driven for another 40 minutes back to your hotel in Wulingyuan. Have a good sleep!

Zhangjiajie Glass BridgeGolden Whip StreamHuangshi Village
Day 3 Yuanjiajie - Yangjiajie (B, L)

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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 sightseeing bus to the lower cable station of Yangjiajie and take cable car up to Yangjiajie. Yangjiajie is a relatively newer part of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park as beautiful as Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountian. Shoot the main attractions such as Tianbo Mansion, Oolong Village, Natural Great Wall, Corridor the Cliffs, and capture sunset in One Step Under the Heaven.

Later, transfer back to Wulingyuan for accommodation.

Zhangjiajie National ParkAvatar Hallelujah Mountain at Yuanjiajie
Day 4 Tianzi Mountain - Laowuchang (B, L)

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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. (Highlights for Photography: Tianzi Mountain is the highest place that photographers could capture the panoramic view of Wulingyuan Scenic Area.)

In the afternoon, walk to Laowuchang which is more pristine than the other parts of the park. Shoot the most interesting sight - Fields in the Sky, terraced rice paddies on the top of the peaks. Also, capture the magnificent view of Supernatural Army Gathering.

After the exciting tour, you'll transfer to Zhangjiajie downtown area for accommodation.

Tianzi Mountain Amazing SceneryEmerald Forest at Tianzi Mountain
Day 5 Tianmen Mountain & Zhangjiajie Departure (B, L)

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After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. On this day, you will make a great trip to Tianmen Mountain, another magnificent national forest park in Zhangjiajie City.

First transfer to take the Tianmen Mountain Cable Car and ascend from Zhangjiajie downtown up to the peak of Tianmen Mountain of over 1,400 meters above the sea. Travel by the about 7,455 meters long cableway that is so far the longest one among the whole world and have a shocking look at the wandering Avenue toward Heaven from the glass. Then, take the Forest Sightseeing Cable Car to visit Tianmen Temple originated from Tang Dynasty on the mountain peak, which is one of the only world 5 Buddhist temples preserving the Buddha body relics. Walk around the temple cluster to appreciate the featured Qing Dynasty styled Buddhist structure with verdant forest surrounding by.

And then, hold your breath to take two scary walks on the cliff path circling the mountain body. One is the 60-meters long and 1.6-meters wide Glass Skywalk with transparent glass material 1430 meters above the bottomless valley, which makes you feel walking in the air in sunny days and fairyland in misty and cloudy days, while another must be the 1600-meters long Ghost-Valley Plank Road hanging on the cliff. Just step on and test!

After that, take the escalator from the peak down to Tianmen Cave to see the giant hole on the mountain. Formed by natural pressing and collapsing into 131.5 meters high, 57 meters wide and 60 meters deep, this cave is really a rare wonder of the world. Next, walk downstairs along the super steep 999-steps with the highest inclination up to 45°, which is the only access to Tianmen Cave from the foot of the mountain for a lot of prayers worshipping there.  Moreover, take your final challenge to transfer along the Avenue toward Heaven with 99 very sharp turns of about 180°down to the city area. Experience the quite different roller coaster on the flourishing mountain for about 0.5 hour. (If you do not want to walk the steep 999 Steps, you can also choose to take the escalator down to the parking lot to take the sightseeing bus through Avenue toward Heaven, extra fee of 35RMB/person is needed.)

After the exciting scenic and adventurous visit, our guide and driver will escort you to Zhangjiajie airport or train station to catch your flight/train to your next destination or home. Service ends!

Breathtaking Tianmen Mountain Cableway Tianmen Cave of Tianmen MountainTianmen Mountain National Park - Glass SkywalkTianmen Mountain National Park - Zigzag Road
5 Days Zhangjiajie Photography Map

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Zhangjiajie Photography Guide

The Avatar World Zhangjiajie is truly a surreal world. It is a land of sandstone pillars powering above mist-shrouded ravines, pristine waters gently flowing under dense forests, rapid thundering, birds singing and animals leaping. The scenic spots in Zhangjiajie are a lot. The best places to capture the finest scenery are Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountain, Yuanjiajie, Yangjiajie, and Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park.

Best Sites / Locations to Shoot

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

I should use “majestic, tranquil, delicate wild” to describe Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. It has the exquisite forests, odd-shaped peaks and rocks, beautiful canyons, the limestone caves...The famous scenic spots that photographers should not miss are Huangshi Village (Yellow Stone Village) and Golden Whip Brook.

Huangshi Village is a mesa which is 1080m above the sea level, providing the largest collection of marvelous spectacles in Zhangjiajie. It is good to photograph the panoramic view of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. There is a saying “He who does not reach Huangshi Village does not pay a true visit to Zhangjiajie”. Golden Whip Brook covers a distance of 7.5 km, winding across mountains and valleys. Photographers could enjoy the pristine water, the verdant mountains, steep cliffs and serene valley. And also they could shoot the magnificent peaks from different angles.

Zhangjiajie Photography Tour

Tianzi Mountain

Tianzi Mountain is at altitude of 1260 meters, providing stunning views of peaks which rise one after another. At the top of the mountain, travelers could capture the panoramic view of Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Among all the scenic spots of Tianzi Mountain, the favored spots by photographers are the Imperial Writing Brush Peak (Yu Bi Peak), Fairy Maid Scattering Flowers (Xian Nv San Hua), the Mid-Air Farmers’ Cottage (Kong Zhong Hua Yuan), Nod-to-the-General Platform (Dian Jiang Tai), etc.

There are 84 viewing platforms. Photographers could catch the best chance to capture the four wonders: the Sea of Clouds, the Radiance of the Moonlight, Rays of Sunshine and the Snow in Winter. The day after the rain is the best time to photograph the sunrise and the sea of cloud. And the best place is Tianzi Mountain Upper Cable Station.

Yuanjiajie

The famous Yuanjiajie lies between Huangshi Village and Tianzi Mountain. It is the shooting place for the movie “AVATAR”. Many amazing lesser peaks and grotesque rocks stand in the valley and possesses its own peculiar shape. Photographers could take gorgeous pictures of the First Bridge under the Heaven, Hallelujah Mountain and more sites.

The First Bridge under the Heaven is the natural stone bridge stretching across thin air between two mountain peaks. It is the highest natural bridge in the world. Hallelujah Mountain, called South Pillar of Heaven, is a single, very imposing peak standing erect, seemingly reaching to the sky. It is the Hallelujah Mountain appeared in the film “Avatar”.

Zhangjiajie Photography Tour

Yangjiajie

Yuanjiajie is a pristine area with all the features of Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountain. It is the new area good for photography. This scenic area has unique peaks, cliffs, as well as clear streams and brooks and waterfalls. Photographers could shoot Tianbo Manshion, Oolong Village, Corridor the Cliffs, Natural Great Wall and capture the awesome sunset in One Step Under the Heaven.

Laowuchang

Laowuchang is more pristine than the other parts of the park with many odd-shaped peaks. Photographers could walk and shoot Fields in the Sky - terraced rice paddies on the top of the peaks, and Supernatural Army Gathering , about 100 peaks standing in the valley orderly, Couple Waterfalls and some other sights.

Zhangjiajie Photography Tour

Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park

Tianmen Mountain is the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie. Many Chinese people believe that the Tianmen Mountain is the “Closest Earth Landmark to God”. It is visible anywhere in Zhangjiajie city. Tianmen Mountain features Tianmen Cave, a prominent keyhole cut through the mountainside. It is good to take the longest cable car to get atop Tianmen Mountain which takes half an hour. Photographers could shoot the Avenue toward Heaven with 99 turns while on cable car. Once at the top, glass plank road a short walk from the upper cable station (about 60 meters) will test your belief in human engineering. Visit Tianmen Mountain Temple and Tianmen Mountain Academy and more cultural sights on the top of the mountain.

Zhangjiajie Photography Tour

Best Season for Photography

Different season has different subject to shoot in Zhangjiajie. It is good to come all the year around. In spring, all the flowers on mountains blossom and mountains are luxuriantly green. At this time, it has heavy fog and abundant rain and it is good to capture the sea of cloud like Chinese painting. In summer, it rains a lot in June and July. Zhangjiajie becomes more beautiful after rain and you can enjoy the cloud and fog spectacle. Photographers could catch the autumn scenery at Imperial Writing Brush Peak (Yu Bi Peak), Fairy Maid Scattering Flowers (Xian Nv San Hua) in Tianzi Mountain Scenic Area. Winter is the best time to capture the snow-capped mountains and peaks. The sea of cloud appears in a sunny day around 08:00-10:00.

Tips from Our Experts

1. Sea of Cloud Photography

The sea of cloud appear in the early morning and late afternoon after the rain. It makes Zhangjiajie more mysterious, misty, elegant, grotesque.

2. Sunrise & Sunset

The Grand Sightseeing Platform is the best place to capture sunrise around 06:00. The best place to enjoy sunset is at One Step to the Heaven in Yangjiajie. The chances to catch the sunrise and sunset are limited.

3. What to Pack

To capture the panoramic view of mountains and peaks, it is good to use wide angle lens. To shoot the mountains and trees far away, it good to use telephoto lens. For it is sometimes rainy in Zhangjiajie, it is better to wear sport shoes and bring an umbrella with you. Also, an overcoat is necessary when get into the national park.

4. Transportation Info

Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport has flights between Zhangjiajie and other 20 major cities in China like Changsha, Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou and more. There is a railway station, namely Zhangjiajie Railway Station connecting Zhangjiajie with other cities. It is popular to take a Yangtze River cruise before of after Zhangjiajie travel for the train connected Zhangjiajie and Yichang very well.

5. Accommodation advice

Choices are a lot to stay in Zhangjiajie. Travelers could live in Zhangjiajie downtown, or stay in Wulingyuan. No matter in downtown or Wulingyuan, there are lots of options from 5-star luxury hotels to 3-star budget ones. They will meet your needs accordingly.

For more photography advice in Zhangjiajie, you can feel free to contact us and we are here ready to help!

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