Only a few flights a day arrive at Zhangjiajie. Especially from Chongqing there was only 1 flight in the whole week! So I took the train to the Avatar mountains( yep, from the movie with the blue guys-no, not the smurfs, the other ones). The train was about ten hours total with a change in Yichang, but really cheap! I stayed in this lovely little Inn, around the corner from the station where the staff spoke English and the beds were clean. (Both not a given in China).
When you stay in Zhangjiajie it is still about an hour bus drive (12 rmb) to the National forest park (张家界森林公园) and an hour and a half to the famous glass bridge(玻璃栈道）But it’s really worth it! The city itself is not really impressive, with a small center with a few bars. So don’t expect much from Zhangjiajie itself.
Stop…..Monkey time! The National forest park is truly a good place to find some monkeys. There are even signs saying to watch out for the monkey infested areas, not kidding. They are pretty cheecky and the Chinese tourists are not very smart in their interaction with them. They scream, chase, throw stuff at them and then are very surprised that they strike back. If you treat them with some respect it is wonderful to see them from this up, close and personal. Especially the mommies with the sweet babies are adorable.
A ticket is 249rmb and gives you entrance to the park for 4 days. There is no 1 day ticket. When You arrive at the park, the walking trail is quite a few hours. So be prepared to walk a lot, with quite a few stairs as well. I started at the south entrance and went right. I took the Bailong elevator up (70 rmb), and later the yangjiajie cable way down (again 70rmb!) . There are busses on some parts, which you can use for fee. If you want to see everything, it will take you about 2,5 to 3 days. Views are breath taking!
Half way there is a KFC on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Quite funny and basically the only place to get some food or coffee along the way, so don’t expect to order and get out of there within an hour…pretty busy.
In China everything always has to be bigger and better…. Even within China they keep competing on building the highest tower, the biggest shopping center, or… in this case, the largest glass bridge. This one is supposed to be the largest suspension bridge now (August 2017) and only opened in august 2016. They checked the strength with lorries driving across and hitting it with sledgehammers. Should be safe, but it still is the creepiest feeling to stand on glass and looking down into a valley . You get beautiful brown covers for your shoes and there you go!
Take the bus to wulingyuan entrance and there transfer onto the bus to the bridge. Pretty easy. You can choose to do only the bridge or the bridge and the valley which I thought was very much worth it. Just make sure you don’t mind going down 6 billion stairs. Okay, I might have exaggerated a bit, but it felt like they never ended! They sell water along the way, but no food.
I didn’t have enough time to see Tianmen mountain, but people say it’s really worth a visit as well. Enjoy your stay and follow my blog if you’d like to stay updated about my travels and adventures in China!