Day two begins with an early rise and breakfast before being transferred to the main entrance of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a ride which will take approximately 40 minutes. Your day in the park will start with a visit to the Yellow Stone Village, which is 1,048 meters above sea level. The village is the perfect viewpoint from which to gaze over the natural treasures of Zhangjiajie, such as the ‘Needle Peak’, ‘Southern Gate to Heaven’, ‘Precious Box’ and the famous ‘Five Fingers Peak’.
As you would expect, as beautiful as this area is, it has become a popular destination to visit. A vast landscape however, it is no problem to find areas of the park which are hidden away from other groups to enjoy the spectacular scenery in peace and your well-informed guide will ensure you have a genuine experience away from the throngs of visitors.
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park contains the largest concentration of karst rock formations in the world. The peaks shoot up from the thick vegetation which covers approximately 90% of the park, while waterfalls and limestone caves dot the picturesque wonderland.
Depending on the time of year and season you visit, you may be lucky enough to see clouds engulf the peaks, creating the illusion that the tips of the karsts are floating on air. Or, if you travel in winter, you might even see a dusting of snow on the peaks, adding to the charm and beauty of the natural wonder.
Floraphiles will be in their element in the park, which has several thousand different species of plant to discover, including the extremely rare ‘Lobster Flower’ which grow in humid and shady places and are known to change color several times a day.
Lunch will be taken in a restaurant which serves a number of local specialties near the main entrance of the park. Hunan cuisine is one of the eight main varieties of the diverse foods of China and chili is often the base of most dishes in this cuisine. So if you’re not a fan of spicy food, make sure that you tell your guide in advance!Now with a full and happy stomach, your day will continue with a stroll along the Golden Whip Stream, giving you another angle from which to absorb the sight of the astonishing karst summits. The peaks have been given a number of different poetic Chinese names, including the ‘Magical Eagle Protecting the Whip’, which is the tallest of the karsts.
With stream water babbling alongside you, and pure air filling your lungs as you meander your way around the vast expanse of lush, green land, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a real treat for those who’ve recently visited one of China’s megacities.
As well as stunning natural landscapes, the park’s extensive forestation also offers habitat to an abundance of wildlife, and you may be lucky enough to spot a Musk Deer, a bear, an endangered Golden Pheasant or a pangolin (a mammal similar to an anteater), which inhabit thenational park.
Your entire walk in the park will last around two hours, after which you’ll come to rest at the Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve. From there, you will be able to either take a quick ride on an electric tram, or go on foot along the Ten Mile Gallery, a scenic pathway along the river that’s flanked by karst formations.
After visiting the gallery, you will then head back to the city of Zhangjiajie, where you will spend the night.