The floating Hallelujah mountains in the movie Avatar were based on the rocks in the national park… if that is not more of a reason to visit then I don’t know what is…
After arriving from the coach from Chengdu we got a taxi to our hostel. Taxi cost around £10GBP. We got settled and went out for something to eat. We walked to this restaurant Victor (our host at the hostel) had recommended for chicken soup. Sounded delicious so we thought. Firstly again no English so we had to translate everything (wishing we had got Victor to write the order down for us). Then they ushered us out to the back of the restaurant (Where I was sure we were about to get murdered) to show us the chickens. The man held up 2 chickens and I was like “F*ck” he wants us to choose the chicken to eat! So I picked one… I’m telling you the speed this man sliced its throat in front of me was unbelievable. Like I am not grossed by things like that… but give me some warning damn! Finally, when our food came (Quite quick considering the chicken was alive 20 minutes ago) we started to dig into the soup trying to get the meat pieces…
- A foot
- A head
- Another foot…
Wtf, there was like no breast meat. It was so weird. When we got home Victor told us that Chinese people don’t eat the breast as its next to the lungs and the bad air is considered dirty etc… Yet they eat a foot. OK.
We stayed in a little hostel “Wulingyuan Zhongtian International Youth Hostel” and it was the perfect location. You basically come out of the hostel, turn to your right and walk up towards the Yangjiajie Scenic Area within 10 minutes. When your in this area you can visit the Baofeng lake and have a boat ride, and then from there start walking in the park.
Now… at some point you may come across a massive rock formation that’s large enough to climb… I loved it… Aisha didn’t lol. we actually checked the stair tally on iPhone and it came to 3020 stairs!!! So if you’re not super fit… I wouldn’t recommend it. It took us 1hr and 45 minutes to climb as it was incredibly humid, and that made it all the more strenuous. We got to the very top and it was an incredible view. Really worth it in my opnion.
Buttttt… then we had to get down. It was approaching dusk and we didn’t want to be walking through woods at night. So we decided to jump the cable car barriers (yes I know we could have gone up in these), and use one to get down. Baring in mind they were supposed to close at 6pm and it was almost 7pm. I told Aisha this inside the cable car and she went very quiet. When we approached the base it turns out she had been praying to everyone that we wouldn’t suddenly stop halfway through. See… I don’t think of these things… I just think of adventure haha.
Zhangjiajie national park is absolutely stunning. The entire area is covered with these ginormous rock formations that just protrude out of the ground. It genuinely doesn’t make sense… but that’s what makes it so magical.
The next day was spent walking around the park. We saw some amazing things. The hallelujah rock (that got renamed from Avatar) and the highest natural bridge was my favourite things. Also the fact that there was a Mcdonalds built in the park up so high that you had this beautiful view. Mc flurry and a view… yes thanks.
Tip: The park entry ticket lasts for around 4 days and costs ~ £27GBP. (Bring your student I.D for discount). Remember no one speaks English so nobody can tell you this information. We thought we had to pay that amount every day we wanted to go to the park! When you buy your ticket… just walk through the barriers each time. The only separate fee is when you want to do things like use the Bailong lift, boats, cable cars etc.
Tip: Don’t forget hand sanitiser and tissue for the toilets.
We came home after another exhausting day, ate (Finally had something tasty) and had some reflexology done. For some unknown reason, Aisha started violently throwing up in the middle of the night. In the morning, (On the way back from picking up some medicine with Victor for her), I got really sick as well. SO we missed out on the – Tiananmen Mountain – Climbing the Stairway to Heaven, Glass Skywalk, Cliff Hanging Walkway, Tiananmen Temple, Tiananmen Cave. Its great squeezing loads of stuff into a short time so you can travel around work, but if you get sick or miss a flight it really messes with your itinerary.
We made it to the airport to go to Shanghai. This is how bootleg China can be…
We went through security, then we had to come back out because they changed our flight and wanted us to change terminal. We complained that we just bought full bottles of water and didn’t want to throw them. So they asked us to drink some to prove it was just water LOOOOL. What?! That is one of the funniest things to me to this day haha.
Thankyou Zhangjiajie. You are my favourite part of China and I truly hope I will see you again. Big Love, Louise x