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You may not know about Yuanjiajie (袁家界), but you must have watched the world famous movie “Avatar” and still remember those stone mountains floating in the air. Yuanjiajie, located at the north part of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park at Wulingyuan Scenic Area is rightly the shooting location of those “Hallelujah Mountains” in reality. With so fascinating scenery, particularly its mysterious view with clouds and mists after some drizzle, Yuanjiajie changes extremely appealing to global tourists and is praised as the mysterious “Pandora World”. Once you open the magic world, you will catch the enchanting sightseeing of thousands of peculiar mountains standing spectacularly with distinct shapes and postures from the deep valley in front your eyes, experience how fast an elevator in the world can reach, know how nature “builds” a stone bridge without manpower, etc.
Yuanjiajie Scenic Area being the shining pearl of Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie boasts a rich array of highlights for your best visual enjoyment. Apart from the Avatar Hallelujah Mountains, the Bailong Elevator, Peculiar Stone Bridge, Puzzling Crag, Backyard Garden, and so forth are top recommended to create your unforgettable trip in Zhangjiajie.
The South Sky Pillar (南天一柱) (also known as the Pillar between Heaven and Earth 乾坤柱) is the landmark of Yuanjiajie. After Mr. James Cameron was inspired by the mountain and then formed the floating Hallelujah Mountain in "Avatar", the hill changed its name as "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain (阿凡达悬浮山)" in January, 2010.
Soaring in the south part of Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, this quartz sandstone pillar mountain of 1,074 meters above sea and 150 meters high vertically rising high from the deep valley has unbeatable view, with verdant plants growing on the top. With peculiar appearance and obvious cutting by nature, this mountain looks like a giant standing so upright and strong under heaven.
Bailong Elevator (百龙电梯) being the world tallest outdoor elevator by World Guinness Record is one of the must experience highlights at Yuanjiajie. This one of the “World 11 Creative Elevators” and the “World 10 Great Tourist Landscape Engineering”, Bailong Elevator is really worth for you to experience its incredible max speed at 5 m/s and the breathtaking 1 minute and 28 seconds to go the whole 326 meters height. As the lift car is formed with double glass, you can appreciate the impressive natural view with 48 distinct stone hills forming a strong troop in front of you. Besides, taking this elevator, you can save a lot of time as well to reach Hallelujah Mountain, No.1 Bridge in the World, Fascinating Platform and more beautiful scenic spots at Yuanjiajie.
The First Bridge of the World (天下第一桥) is the must-see spot at Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, because it is a rarely seen bridge made purely by nature around the globe. The stone platform of 5 meters links the two peaks, creating another wonder at Zhangjiajie.
Weathered by wind, rain and sunshine, the weak part of the original mountain disappeared gradually and there left only a hole between. Now what you can see is the stone bridge of 3 meters wide, 5 meters thick and about 20 meters long, with a relative height of nearly 400 meters. Being so hard to find in the world, it is called No.1 Bridge in the World.
Enchanting Platform (Mi Hun Tai 迷魂台) is about 400 meters east away from No.1 Bridge in the World. Standing at the platform, you will marvel at the best unbelievable scenery with hundreds of various peaks erecting like stone bamboo shoots surrounding you, like pavilions, towers, etc., which is so fabulous! And when it is sunny after rains, the whole world in front is embraced by floating soft clouds and mists at the middle part of the roaring peaks, appearing and then disappearing. Sunch beautiful scene easily makes one wonder where it is, and if there is an immortal or not.
Why not step on the platform to know whether you will be fascinated by the misterious sightseeing or not at Yuanjiajie?
You shall not miss this “Natural Bonsai”! Countless peculiar hills make diverse poses in the valley and cultivate a lot of lush towering ancient trees on the peak, to make the secret garden of green and emerald to release mind. Every time when clouds and mists linger there, this Backyard Garden (后花园) full of fresh air changes to be the imperial garden in the Forbidden Palace in the ancient centuries.
Besides, there are lots of other recommended spots to enjoy at Yuanjiajie, you can see the silk-like hanging waterfall from a 200-high place, visit Yuanjia Tujia Village to experience some local folk life and culture, and so forth.
Visitors usually spend 3 days for a classic visit of the scenery and Avatar Mountains at Wulingyuan National Forest Park. And if you want an in-depth discovery, you can spend 1 more day.
Day 1: Arrive in Zhangjiajie.
Day 2: Visit Huangshi Village, the biggest sightseeing platform to enjoy the spectacular view of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and then discover the pleasant scenery with ravine, flowers, grasses and birds along Golden Whip Brook.
Day 3: Take Bailong Elevator up to visit the whole Yuanjiajie to see the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain and other thousands of stone mountain pillars in front of you. After that, take a sightseeing bus to visit Tianzi Mountain to meet the four wonders there.
Day 4: Take the tourist train to travel along the Ten-mile Natural Galley in the deep peaceful valley with all around emerald hills. And if you are interested in photography, you can extend to visit the Fields in the Air to see the lovely bright fields and terrifically idyllic rural life high above in the air.
Best Zhangjiajie Tours to visit Yuanjiajie and Wulingyuan National Forest Park:
>> 3 Days Zhangjiajie Natural Beauty Tour
>> 4 Days Zhangjiajie Highlights Tour with Fantastic Hiking Experience (Route A with Tianmen Mountain)
>> 4 Days Leisure Zhangjiajie Nature Discovery (Route B with Yellow Dragon Cave or Baofeng Lake)
>> 5 Days Zhangjiajie Avatar Mountains Photography Tour
Yuanjiajie is located in Wulingyuan Scenic Area, about 26 kilometers direct distance from Zhangjaijie City center. Usually, visitors need to get to Wulingyuan first and then transfer by the transportation facilities of the tourist area to get to Yuanjiajie. And among all the 5 ticket stations of Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Wujiayu Ticket Station has direct vehicle to Yuanjiajie to be your best choice.
From Zhangjiajie Downtown: about 50-60 minutes (34km);
From Zhangjajie Airport: about 50 minutes (37km);
From Zhangjaijie Railway Station: about 60 minutes (35km).
Take a coach from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Terminal to Wulingyuan Bus Terminal for about 50 minutes (35km), and then you can walk to Wujiayu Ticket Station for about 15-20 minutes (1.2km)
Take the sightseeing vehicle from Wujiayu Ticket Station to the Lower Station of Bailong Elevator, which needs about 30 minutes. Then, you can start your exploration of the world class elevator and the whole Yuanjiajie Scenic Area.
Check more about How to Get to Zhangjiajie | How to Get around Zhangjiajie | Zhangjiajie Airport to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park | Zhangjiajie Railway Station to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park >>
Admission (included in the ticket of the whole Wulingyuan Scenic Spot): CNY225/person during March - November; CNY115/person during December - the next February; Insurance: CNY3/person (optional) (The admission is valid for 4 days, and visitors can enter the tourist spot for unlimited times from either one of the five entrances at Wujiayu, Luoguta of Forest Park, Shuiraosimen, Zimugang and Tianzi Mountain.)
Bailong Elevator: CNY65/person for one-way up or down (07:00-18:00); Insurance: CNY3/person (optional)
Sightseeing Vehicle: Free (07:00-19:00)
Yuanjiajie is suitable to visit all year round. However, the best time is spring and autumn. During March to May, Zhangjiajie enjoys its spring with various flowers and pleasant warm weather will make you feel comfortable. During September to November, the sky is clear and clouds appears less, lots of trees and plants change to golden and yellow to dress Zhangjiajie scenic area really charming, when is also good to taste local fresh kiwifruit and oranges. However, during summer, Zhangjiajie has cool weather and streams with emerald sightseeing to be a great summer hot resort. And in winter, the tourist area has less tourists, and the wide spread of pillar hills are covered with pure white snow when is really great to catch more quite different but enchanting views for some great photos!
Check more about Zhangjiajie Weather & Best Time to Visit >>
You are highly suggested to wear comfortable clothes and shoes for there are many paths and steps you need to walk. Besides, sunglasses and hats are recommended to bring to care your eyes and skin, and sunblock is suggested for traveling in summer and sunny days.
There are some monkeys living in Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, and you are advised to keep away from them in order to protect yourselves.
There is often a long queue at Bailong Elevator at Yuanjiajie, sometimes the queuing time exceeds 1 hour, particular during special events and holidays.
You are suggested to bring some food and water, since prices of commodities in the tourist area are higher than those in city area, and you will need more energy for a lot of walks.
Are you planning a tour with Yuanjiajie Scenic Area but do not want to arrange the transportation? Travel with us China Discovery, and our local travel guide and driver will escort you from your hotel to the attraction with comfortable licensed private vehicle by China Discovery, so you can pay more attention to the highlights on the way. Furthermore, our travel expert will help you customize your own tour to visit more places in Zhangjiajie, such as the whole Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, etc., and other popular destinations in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Hong Kong, Guilin, Chengdu, Guizhou, Huangshan, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Yunnan, Yangtze River, Lhasa, etc. with professional and helpful suggestions. If you are interested, please feel free to tell us directly.
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >