The Avatar Mountains of Zhangjiajie

The Avatar Mountains of Zhangjiajie

If you’ve seen the movie Avatar, you’ve already seen Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – but don’t let that stop you seeing them in real life. These mountains were the inspiration behind the Hallelujah Mountains in the mythical world of Pandora in the movie Avatar, and it’s easy to see that when you visit. In fact, the government has even changed the name of one of the mountains in the park to “Avatar Mountain”. The park, however, does offer so much more than just that one set of mountains.

Zhangjiajie National Park

Zhangjiajie is located in the west of Hunan Province, over 1,000 kilometers from both Shanghai and Beijing. Zhangjiajie National Park isn’t actually located in the city of Zhangjiajie, and to reach it, it will take a 30 kilometres or 50 minutes drive to Wulingyuan. There are a lot of interesting places in the park: caves and authentic local villages. But using a drone inside the caves, even the biggest ones, turned out to be quite impractical.

Everyone who visits the park has a choice: either take a walk on the lower lanes between the 400-meters tall vertical rocky pillars gazing up at themor climb the mountain with the help of 360-meter tall Bailong elevator. You can take the bus and observe rocks from the top. The park itself is not actually Pandora with its flying rocks, lianas, waterfalls and even dragons. But if one mentally turns the whole picture upside down, the similarity will be obvious.

 

The Zhangjiajie Park is a part of Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area. It is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the Zhangjiajie Park itself was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The distances are impressive: sometimes there can be no connection between the parts of the park. But every section has its own charm: the rock pillars of different height, pagodas, pavilions, rivers, arches and bridges. Lanes lead you from the hillside downwards: it will take you quite a long time to follow such a lane.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge

The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge is also home to the highest public bungy platform in the world with a drop of 250 meters. The central suspension span is spectacular not only for having glass panels along its entire length but also for the tapered deck that is 15 meters wide at the ends of the bridge before narrowing to a width of only 6 meters in the center. The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge is one of several attractions within the privately owned park that is located just 20 minutes east of the famous Zhangjiajie National Park that inspired the look of the Avatar movies. Other attractions include a cliffwalk, mountain elevator, slide, waterfalls, caves, a smaller low level glass bridge, zip line and a boat ride.

For most visitors, the visual highlight of a trip to the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge will be viewing the gorge between their toes through glass panels 2 inches thick. But for those few who are brave enough to take their thrills to the next level, the ultimate fall awaits them on two separate platforms located several meters below the main deck.

Tip

The best time to visit Tianmen Mountain is between September and November when temperatures are pleasant and the weather is dry.

Must Know

You will see red ribbons were hanging on the trees. People always write their wish on the ribbon and hang it from the tree.

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