Zhangjiejie - The Incredible Avatar Mountains!
This small city in central China was our base to go visit 2 of the most impressive sites of our trip in China.
1- Tianmen Mountain. We took the cable car which is about a 30 minute ride to reach the top of the mountain (1500 meters).
There is a big natural park up there where you have 2 options to hike either East or West, but both circle back to each other.
The 2 options have a glass bottom walkway like this
The views from up there are impressive! Also, the whole walkway goes around the mountain, so if you are afraid of heights ... Ummm... you probably want to avoid this trip altogether.
Can't say "Wow" enough! So here are the pictures that describe the views way better than any words could.
Also on the way down, inside the mountain there are the longest escalators I've ever seen. There are about 6 of them that ultimately take you to the Heaven's Gate
Which is a giant natural opening between 2 massive mountains
Also David is a tourist attraction in China, as a many people wanted to get pictures with him! Ha! I think they don't usually see many westerners around.
And finally we took the bus on the way down, which is one of the scariest and most dangerous roads in the world, as it has about 99 really tight turns.
I have been in many roads in South America and Southeast Asia however this one was particularly scary as the driver was going at least 70km/h (over 40 ml/h) in this tiny road!
2- Zhangjaijie National Forest, which is where the movie "Avatar" was filmed. This site is about a 45 minute bus ride from the local bus station. It was always fun to figure out how to get to places by local buses since everything was in Chinese and no one spoke English!
We were the only tourists on the bus, but it was all good as we researched how much it cost and where to get off :)
If you are interested in traveling this way - look for this bus with the sign above and pay ¥12 yuan (less than $2 Usd) per person.
Once in Wulingyuan, we walked to the park. Your tickets are valid for 3 days. That day happened to be extra foggy which made some of the mountains hard to see, however, it also made the whole place look really mysterious and interesting.
At the park, we took the elevator that takes you up to the entrance
And from there, there are tons of different paths to hike. It was amazing!!
Natural bridge in a foggy and a clear day
very wild monkeys...
We decided to visit the park the next day and the weather was amazing, sunny and with completely clear skies.
This place really changes scenery dramatically with the weather, so we were lucky to get to see it two different ways.
Here you can compare 2 pictures of the same place in a different day.
Down here, It is the same place, 2 completely different sceneries
I would recommend anyone to visit this place. It really makes you realize the gorgeous and amazing planet that we live in!