Being stuck in busy work for a lot of, I had not been to a vacation for a long time. April 19 to April 22 is a public holiday to celebrate the lunar March 3 in Guangxi. It was four-day vacation and I asked for one-day annual leave to make it five. I decided to tour to some places nearby in low budget with some friends and we heard that Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang are beautiful. We finally decided to spend our time to the two places. And it was indeed a wonderful trip. Here I would like to share the schedule itinerary with some tips to Zhangjiajie
and Fenghuang Town. It could be took as a sample while you are making your own trip plan to the two places.
As I have to work in the day, so I chose to take a over night train from Guangzhou Railway Station at 7:58 pm. It arrived in Zhangjiejia at around 8:52 am and took around 13 hours. As it was such a long train journey, I was lucky to buy a sleeper ticket so that I could have a good rest on the train for the night.
When we got to Zhangjiajie Train Station, our local met us right out of the train station (we booked a two day tours with guide service before our departure, we thought it was better to be guided as there are so many mountain road to hike, in case that we got lost). The tour guide took us to the pre-arranged air-condition bus, which took about 40 minutes to get to the entrance of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
. Then the guide leaded us to start our hiking. The entrance fee of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is RMB 248. We firstly hiked along the Golden Whip Stream
– the most beautiful valley in the world. Highlights along the stream include Golden Whip Crag, Fish Jumping Pool, Wenxing Rock (Literature Star Rock), Yingbin Crag (Welcoming Crag), The Grave of Zhang Liang, etc. After touring in Golden Whip Stream scenic area, we headed to Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. There are two ways for tourists to up to Yuanjiajie. The first one is to hike through Luo Chuan Po (Rampant Sand Slope) via Qian Li Xiang Hui (Long-distance Meet); the other one is take the Eco-car in Shui Rao Si Men to the boarding station of Bailong Elevator, then you can take the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world to up to Yuanjiajie
with extra fee. We chose the first way to get closer to the nature view and saved money as well, as we traveled in a quite tight budget.
We had a simple lunch on the way to Yuanjiajie. Yuanjiajie is the core of this World Natural Heritage park. The scene Hallelujah Mountain in the film Avatar was shot here. It is a must see view. Other highlights in this scenic area include No. 1 Bridge, Hanging Waterfall, Imperial Garden, Fairyland Palace, Wulong Spring, etc. Yuanjiajie is one of the unique spectacular viewing form to have mountaintop landscape in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Huangshi Village is right across it. After that, we took 20 minutes’ Eco-bus to the guesthouse where we spent our night and had a good rest after a long hiking there. If you and your tour guide still have energy, you can still continue your trip to underdevelopment scenic area – Lao Wu Chang Scenic Area to view original ecological pastoral landscapr in the air, and then stay overnight in an inn on the top of the mountain.
After breakfast, we continued our trip to Yangjiajie
– the most beautiful place in the forest park. No. 1 Bridge, Hanging Waterfall, Imperial Garden, Fairyland Palace, Wulong Spring are main attractions here. Then we headed to Tianzi Mountain Area
(2 hours hiking) - boasts rocky peaks in grotesque shapes and shrouded in drifting mist. It was known as the kind of the peak forest. And our lost stop in the park was Shi Li Hua Lang Beauty Spot (Ten-mile Gallery Scenic Area). After that, it was the end of our touring in Zhangjiajie. As we had to catch our coach to Fenghuang Ancient Town, we had to take shuttle bus from the forest park back to Zhangjiajie downtown first and then transfer to Zhangjiajie Bus Terminal to catch the bus at 4:00 pm. It took 4.5 hours on the way and finally, we arrived in Fenghuang
at around 9:00 pm. Then we walked to find the guesthouse that we booked – Xiao Yao Guesthouse inside the ancient town beside Fenghuang River. After the long-day hiking and coach journey, we all got exhausted after we checked in the guesthouse and then went to sleep soon.
After we were too tired the day before, we all slept late this morning. We did not get up until it is lunch time. We did not book any tour in Fenghuang and we had independent travel. After enjoying brunch in a local restaurant, we started our exploration to visiting this famous ancient town in China. The town was really large and the wooden houses and stone roads are the typical scenes here. We heard from the locals that the scenery after rain or in the misty morning is more like a Chinese traditional painting rather than a real world, so we decided to get up in the next early morning to shoot some great pictures. We visited to Hong Bridge, Tiao Rock, Wangming Tower and some other sites in town to spend our afternoon. And after dinner, we went out to see the beautiful night view of this ancient town, as we were told that the town looks fantastic at nights. And it was indeed. And there were a lot of bars in central area of it, where you can enjoy beer with music on.
We got up this morning in order to shoot some great picture with few tourists. The town was in peace and quiet in the morning and it was easy to get some beautiful pictures. After we backed to the guesthouse to get a snap, we continued to has a leisure stroll in the town, entering some shops and bought souvenirs. We took a coach at at 4:0 am to Jishou Railway Station, where we transferred to overnight Train K9067 at 6:50 pm to get back to Guangzhou. And we arrived in Guangzhou
in the next morning. Our interesting trip ended.
We had quite a pleasant time during this tour and all things went quite smoothly to some extent. But we did meet some embarrassing situation. Therefore, I would like share some tips with your according to what I run into during the tour.
I did not search weather in Zhangjiajie before the trip, and it turned to be raining days when we got there. The views in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park were in the mist and we could not get a good view of the mountains. Although we were able to see the cloud sea in this area, but it still was a pity that we are able to see the distanced peaks in the park, which should look amazing. And the weather in Guangzhou was find with sunny day, we guessed that it should be the same in Zhangjiajie, so we just brought some T-shirts and short pants. But it turned out that it was quite cold in mountain area in Zhangjaijie, along with the raining day. So you would better pay more attention to the local weather and bring some coat with your. And ask for info about the weather in advance from local tour advisor.
In guesthouses in Zhangjaijie and Fenghuang, it does not offer cleaning supplies and you had to bring your own. But if you are staying in stared hotels, the cleaning supplies are available. The accommodation on the top of Zhangjaijie Forest Park is quite simple. If you are planning to stay on the mountain for a night, you’d better make preparation for this. And the food or snacks in scenic spot are quite expensive.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is quite large and there are only a few road signs inside. And there are no signs on the Eco-bus. Therefore, you’d better have a guide to lead you, so that you will not get lost and can save more time in looking for directions.
While buying souvenirs in Fenghuang, do not be shy to do the bargaining. You can save a lot of money by doing that. But if you do not mean to buy anything, do not bargain, or the stallers will ‘stick’ to your hands”.
In scenic spots in Zhangjiajie and the way to Fenghuang, they are all mountainous roads. If you are likely to have carsickness, remember to bring some take some medicine for carsickness. 5 Day Tour to Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang Ancient Town from Guangzhou was really a good. Travel is a good hobby, as it always keeps your curiosity and leads you to explore new things in the world.