Matsimitsu

Day Fourteen

Zhangjiajie


If you've seen the movie Avatar, you probably noticed the giant spikey mountains. Those weren't wholly rendered in 3d but shot in Zhangjiajie national park. And today we're visiting those mountains.

Zhangjiajie park entrance

The day starts with an hour-long bus ride to the national park. You can see the entrance above. Once in the park, you have access to free busses that take you to certain areas. Other transportation means such as cable cars and elevators are not free.

Zhangjiajie park

We started by taking the bus to the elevator that takes you right to the top of one of these mountains.

Zhangjiajie elevator Zhangjiajie view

Zhangjiajie elevator

Zhangjiajie mountain tops

From there, we wander around. Almost none of the signs are in English, and neither are the bus destination signs. We have no clue where we are or what direction to go. We did know that we paid a ton of money for the elevator, and we didn't want to pay it to get down, so the challenge of the day was to find our way back for free.

Zhangjiajie views Zhangjiajie foilage
Zhangjiajie panorama Zhangjiajie

Eventually, we figured out that you had to get out of the bus, walk 100 meters to a different bus station and get on another bus there. (thanks, Google translate).

Zhangjiajie views
Zhangjiajie peak Zhangjiajie peak
Zhangjiajie peaks Zhangjiajie

We got off at a random stop, and after a couple of meters of walking, we got more breathtaking views.

Zhangjiajie Zhangjiajie Zhangjiajie

At this point, it was starting to get late, and we were still on top of a mountain with no idea how to get down. After asking around, it turned out the fastest way was to get down a hiking trail that would take an hour. It turned out it was actually a 3800 step-long set of stairs.

Zhangjiajie pagode
Zhangjiajie pagode Zhangjiajie rock you can walk through
Zhangjiajie stairs down to the road

Eventually, we reached the bottom, and after flagging down a bus, we were finally on our way to the hotel.

Zhangjiajie sunset