Sunday, July 11, 2010

Zhang Jiajie( 张家界), Hunan

Zhang Jiajie is a beautiful place in Hunan Province, China.

Hunan (湖南) is a province of China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, meaning "south of the lake"). Hunan is sometimes called 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the province.

Hunan borders Hubei in the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong to the south, Guangxi to the southwest, Guizhou to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest. The capital is Changsha.

Zhangjiajie City( 张家界市/ 張家界市)

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Zhangjiajie ( 张家界/ 張家界) is a prefecture-level city in the northwestern part of Hunan province in China. It comprises the district of Yongding (永定) and counties of Cili (慈利) and Sangzhi (桑植). Within it is located Wulingyuan Scenic Area(武陵源) which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The estimated population of Zhangjiajie, as of 2002, is 1,568,200.

The Wulinyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area comprises the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the Tianzishan (天子山) mountain ranges, BaoFengHu (宝峰湖) and the Suoxi Valley (索溪峪), and is a very popular filming and tourist destination.

Also in the Zhangjiajie area, Huanglongdong (黄龙洞) and Longwangdong (龙王洞) are caves known for many natural rock formations (much like Wulingyuan) and its underground cataract.

Zhang Jiajie( 张家界国家森林公园)

Wulingyuan is 155 miles northwest of Changsha. The best way to get in is to take transit from Zhangjiajie City, which has a domestic airport. Buses and trains run to there as well. A 1 hour minibus (10 yuan) goes from the main bus station in Zhangjiajie City to the village of Zhangjiajie Cun, at the entrance to the park.

There is a 248 yuan fee to enter the park, which is then valid for two days. There are two main ticketing gates, one at Zhangjiajie (West side) and one at Wulingyuan (East side). From each of those gates there are buses that take you up to the actual park entrance for free.

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