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Wulingyuan Scenic Area

Wulingyuan Scenic Area is situated in the Wuling Mountains northwest of Hunan Province within the prefecture of Zhangjiajie City. It is composed of four scenic spots, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzishan, Suoxiyu and Yangjiajie, which are blessed with various natural wonders, making it a real fairyland on the earth. However, the area remained unknown until the early 1980s and was finally recognized as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1992.

The area was originally an expansive sea where nature has created various spectacular sights. It is most famous for 'Five Perfections,' namely steep cliffs, grotesque hills, concinnous waters, serene valleys and elegant caves. Rare quartzite and karst formations are very common in the area. More than 3,100 hills, with odd lifelike shapes resembling humans, deities, animals and other objects, are located there. Wulingyuan contains more than eight hundred water features in all kinds of forms, including streams, waterfalls, springs, pools, lakes and others. Wulingyuan is also set up with comfortable nature reserves for thousands of flora and fauna. Pine trees are the most widely distributed, distinctive and strangest among all the plants. Other valuable trees can also be found, such as dove trees, gingko trees, guttaperchas, Eucommia ulmoides Olivers, as well as unique flowers like Five-colored Flowers and lobster flowers. Macaques and giant salamanders are the most common animals found there.

Wulingyuan also boasts spectacular meteorological sights. Its face changes accordingly with the season and the weather. Fantastic cloud formations, which are the most common scene here, can be compared with those in Mt. Huangshan . The clouds can be seen in the forms of mists, seas, billows, waterfalls and colored clouds in different weathers.

Besides its enthralling natural scenery, Wulingyuan offers primitive rural scenery and human culture, as it is home to the Tujia, Miao, Bai and other minority ethnic people. The bits and pieces of local houses and fields, along with the brilliant songs and dances of the people make the spot seem more like a Xanadu.

 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is situated in the south of Wulingyuan and is the prime part of it, covering an area of about 48 sq km. (12 thousand acres). It was also called Qingyan Mountain and was originally a state forestry center. With its rare quartzite formations of hills and primitive hypo forests, the park became known to the public and was set up as the first national forest park in 1982. It was actually the earliest developed zone of Zhangjiajie City. Then in 2004 it was again listed among the world geologic parks.

The main scenic spots in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park include Huangshizhai, Jinbianxi, Yaozizhai, Yuanjiajie, Pipaxi and Shadaogou, of which Huangshizhai and Jinbianxi are the most famous and are considered as two international golden tourist routes.


Tianzishan is situated in the northeast of Wulingyuan, covering an area of almost 100 sq km. (25 thousand acres). Historically, it is said that a leader of the Miao people used to call himself 'Tianzi' (Son of Heaven) in the mountain, hence the name. Reputed as ‘King of Hills and Forests,' the mountain vaunts its many large and high hills, of which Yubi Peak is most well-known. The body of the mountain is higher in the center while lower on the borders, seeming like a pagoda from afar. Peculiar formations of quartzite forests, karst caves, stelae, rock bridges, rock gates and waterfalls are distributed on the mountainsides. Tianzishan also has four wonders - clouds and mists, moonlight nights, rays of sunrise and winter snows. Clouds and mists are the most common and wonderful sights here. A saying about Tianzishan goes: 'Being not Mt. Huangshan but better than it.' It also has the largest bronze statue in China, the Statue of Marshal He Long.


Suoxiyu (Rope Stream Valley) situated in the northeast of Wulingyuan and adjoining Tianzishan, derives its name from the rope-like shape of the stream. The spot has been set up as a provincial nature reserve since 1982, with a central area of around 36 sq km. (9 thousand acres). It is also where the People's Government of Wulingyuan District, Diping stays. The area is shaped like a basin and contains over 200 scenic spots. The famous ones are the mysterious Huanglong Cave, the celestial Baofeng Lake along with the sea of hills, forests and clouds-Xihai, the picturesque streams and valleys of Shi Li Hua Lang, Shui Rao Si Men and Baizha Valley.


Yangjiajie is situated in the northwest of Zhangjiajie, covering an area of about 34 sq km. (8.4 thousand acres). Known only since 1991, the area is endowed with all the natural wonders found in the other areas but has more unique characteristics. It includes three main scenic spots: Xiangzhixi Stream, Longquanxia Gorge, and Baihougu Valley. The area is also abundant in plants and animals, such as white cranes, macaques, ancient trees and rare flowers.

Yangjiajie has much to do with the aristocratic Yang Family in Song Dynasty (960-1279), whose three generations of members, both the men and women, were faithful patriotic generals or soldiers on the battlefield. Their stories often appear in Chinese TV series or films, such as the film Yang ka cheung. In Yangjiajie many scenic spots are related to the stories of the family. Some of their descendants still live there and preserve the Clan Stemmata of the Yang Family and many tombs of the clansmen.

Entrance Charge
(from Zhangjiajie National Forest Park)
CNY 248 (for 3 days)
Baofeng Lake
CNY 64
Huanglong Cave
CNY 67
Zhangjiajie Drifting
CNY 128
Tianzishan Ropeway
CNY 53 (up)
CNY 43 (down)
Wulingyuan Scenic Area CNY 248 for adults;
CNY 168 for kids between 1.2 and 1.5 m;
free for kids under 1.2 m 
(the ticket is valid for three days)