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While Hong Kong and Zhangjiajie may seem like a world apart, most of the 850km (or 530 miles) is easily traveled by either train or airplane. With no direct flights or trains, our recommendation is first going to Shenzhen from Hong Kong, and then flying into Zhangjiajie from there!
The fastest option here is to travel to Shenzhen's airport and fly from there, and this is our recommendation due to speed AND ticket prices. Flights from Shenzhen to Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG) take under two hours on China Southern Airlines, and start at 100 USD for a one-way ticket!
Even easier, if you're flying into Hong Kong in the afternoon, first would be taking the 19:10 jetfoil ferry straight from Hong Kong International Airport to Shenzhen's Airport. You can check your suitcases in at Hong Kong Airport for your flight out of Shenzhen, making it a really easy transfer.
There are lots of direct HK to Shenzhen options: bus, train, ferry, or even taxi. We can also arrange a private transfer which would take approximately 1.5 hours depending on where in Hong Kong you are. Read more about how to get from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.
If you're set on going from Hong Kong International Airport to Zhangjiajie by flying alone, your best option is to transfer in Shanghai with China Eastern Airlines. This journey takes approximately 7.5-11 hours and will cost at least 300 USD one way. See How to Travel from Shanghai to Zhangjiajie.
There may not be a direct train between Hong Kong and Zhangjiajie yet (expected 2021), but because there is a high-speed connection between Changsha and Hong Kong, the first leg of the journey is much faster than you'd think! This part of your journey involves getting the G80, G306, G100, or G6114 at 8.05am, 9.48am, 11.10am or 5.17pm respectively from Hong Kong West Kowloon Station.
This first leg of the journey will set you back approximately 3.5 hours and 78–240 USD, and take you into Changsha South Railway Station.
For the least hassle a 4½-hour taxi or private car ride straight to your Zhangjiajie hotel is our tip from there. A taxi may be 600 yuan depending on your bargaining skills.
For economy, you'd best travel cross-city to Changsha Railway Station (about 40 minutes on Metro Line 2, or you can take a half-hour taxi in between) and take a 4½–7-hour journey from Changsha Railway Station at 8–37 USD. We recommend getting either the 11.10am or the 5.17pm from Hong Kong to make the 6.38pm or the 10.02pm connecting train to Zhangjiajie. You could also cut off this second train by organizing a private transfer with China Highlights, this is just a 3.5 hour drive.
Other trains to Zhangjiajie from Changsha Railway Station are early in the morning and wouldn't be possible connections unless you want to spend the night. You could spend a day in Changsha, and take the 4.13am or 6.02am train to Zhangjiajie if you want to see the Changsha sights first!
You can use the China Highlights train ticket service to instantly check ticket prices per seat category, or to find out the latest availability.
See more on How to Travel from Changsha to Zhangjiajie.
The best time to go is when there are no public holidays in China, as it gets really busy, and when the weather in Zhangjiajie is best between September and early November. You can also go between April and June if you don't mind humidity and the occasional rain.
Hong Kong's weather is a little different: September is likely to still be very hot in Hong Kong though, so October or November are better for visiting Hong Kong if you don't cope with heat well.
Chinese public holidays will lead to more expensive accommodation and flights (and sold out flights), these times are:
Zhangjiajie is really a once-in-a-lifetime destination. We've got plenty of Zhangjiajie tours depending on how much time you have and how active you want to be.
Because of the many options there are when it comes to touring Hong Kong, we have put together a huge amount of Hong Kong tours! And of course, tours can be tailored to your needs to fit both Hong Kong and Zhangjiajie in one itinerary.
Please contact us here if you've got any special requests or requirements, or need help navigating your journey to Zhangjiajie from Hong Kong.