I have been wanting to go here for 3 years. and I finally got to go.
Zhangjiajie is city in Hunan, a souther region of China. It is known for 3 national parks: Zhangjiajie Canyon, Zhangjiajie National Park, and Tianmen Mountains. A whole lot of cool area to see in not a small amount of space.
My friend was visiting from the US, and i thought going here would be fun and something new for everyone.
We landed at about 11 pm from Shanghai and took a 1-hr taxi to Wulingyuan city for our hotel. Our taxi driver seemed a little bit drunk, which was not great. This is why I take Didis.
We slept and woke up at 6 am the next day. We walked to the Zhanghjiajie- Wulingyuan entrance. Oh man it was packed. When we got in line, about 80 people were in line. There was confusion on how to pick up our tickets, so Boyfriend actually jumped a fence (and so did a handful of others) to purchase our tickets to get in at 720 am.
At 7:20 am, this is what the crowd became:
Hahahaha. It was literally a massive group of Chinese Tourist Zombies. When the gates opened, everyone moved slowly inwards, but with a force that I didn’t need to move and still be moved forward by the crowd.
Once in, we tried to find the line for the bus to get to the beginning of the trail head. HOLY CRAP. There were groups of people just huddling around, in a line. So you think that you’re waiting in a line to get on the bus, to only find out that the line is not in line for anything OR a line for anything. After lots of pushing people, i realized that the line for the bus to take you into the park was absolutely empty
We rushed to the lines and got onto a bus (one of the first 5) to get to the trailhead. Our bus took us to the entrance of the Bailong Elevator.
The Bailong Elevator is an elevator built on the side of a cliff that takes patrons 1500 m into the air to the top of the canyon in ~2 mins. It’s pretty impressive.
But we hiked up to the top of the canyons. It took about 1.5 hours to walk up 200 flights of stairs (OH BOY!). And in the process, we met this monkey.
So we first met this monkey walking along the silver whip stream, that runs along the length of the National Park. We had seen signs along the park “BEWARE OF MONKEYS. DO NOT FEED MONKEYS”
So we ran into the monkey, and the 3 of us were a little scared. We didn’t want to past him, so we slowed down, until 2 old Chinese men went past us and made big huff noises. The monkey was scared and ran ahead the path. So it was monkey, 2 chinese old men, us
So we learned. And we continued on the path. At one point, the 2 old chinese men took a smoke break. And then it was monkey, us, 2 chinese men.
Then the monkey stopped. And he looked at us. Boyfriend made big body and growls.
Well. Well. Well.
That didn’t stop the monkey at all. That monkey then faced us, on all 4s, BIG BODY, and HISSED with all of his teeth showing. As if he was going to attach us
So naturally we all turned around and stopped and waited until the monkey kept going his way.
Then we came up on a 3 way intersection, our path, the bridge, and the path continuing. A chinese woman with a number of bags was paused here on the side of the path continuing.
We needed to cross the bridge, but the monkey was hanging around the bridge. He stopped and look around, and Boyfriend took the chance to run across the bridge.
Then the monkey walked to the middle of the bridge entrance and sat there. The chinese woman, me and my friend, and the monkey in an awkward 3-way look of triangle. Boyfriend was yelling at us ‘JUST WALK PAST HIM”. Oh no. i’m not doing that.
Then the monkey started going towards the Chinese woman.
And i see the bridge opening. The monkey is getting further and further away from the bridge, and closer and closer to the Chinese woman.
And then the monkey pounced on the Chinese woman’s bag. She screamed, and my friend and I BOLTED across the bridge. Once we were safely across, we saw that the monkey had somehow found bananas in her bag and began eating them at the entrance of the bridge.
Talk about irony and stereotypes.
So, we ha pep in our step as we continued on our hike. We walked 1 hour up stairs. That was extremely tiring.
Once we were up top, we had some amazing views
The entire time, I was afraid i was going to get hit by someone and fall over the fence to my death. So i stayed most of the time away from the edge
After some time, we took the cable car down the entrance before taking a fat 2 hour nap
We got dinner in ‘downtown Wulingyuan”. There wasn’t much. we somehow found a karoake bar that had some terrible Luke Bryan music. it was pretty hilarious
On Sunday, we slept until 11 am. We then checked out and went downtown Zhangjiajie. We got our tickets to get to the top of Tianmen Mountain.
Unfortunately all of the cable car tickets were sold out, so we took the bus up the 99 turn road up, and the 99 turn road down.
Yes, the road had 99 turns.
Once up, we looked at the gate to heaven. A “cave” (technically), which was essentially a hole in the mountain. There was option a) walk up many many many flights of stairs to the top or b) take the internal elevator. We chose b after walking up 200 flights of stairs the day before
We saw the hole. We took the elevators to the top of the mountain. Boyfriend and my friend walked on the glass walk, which was a class walkway that hugged the cliff of the mountain.
No. No i wasn’t going to do that. I am terrified of heights.
After exploring the mountain, we took walked down the stair cases from the top to the bottom where the bus then drove us back to the bottom of the mountain.
If you’re planning a trip to Zhangjiajie mountains, i recommend seeing Tianmen mountain first. The cablecar and bus starting point is about 10 minutes didi/taxi ride from the airport. They also have luggage storage, so a good way to see it and get it done.
After, we got noodles and walked around down Zhangjiajie before going to the airport and flying out back to Shanghai.
Overall, a good trip and I’m excited for my next one