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Fenghuang and Zhangjiajie are just 230 kilometers (140 miles) apart and are easy to get in between. We recommend a private transfer, as a car takes just under 3½ hours and is much more convenient. You can also get from Zhangjiajie to Fenghuang by either taking a bus or a combination of train and bus.
We recommend taking the bus as the second-best option, as there are no direct trains between the two and there are no trains to Fenghuang, so the train requires you to get a 1-hour long bus first regardless.
You can easily get in between the two cities by private transfer arranged by China Highlights. Contact us here to arrange and get a quote as this will depend on your group size. The ride will take about 3.5 hours depending on the time of day, and we can arrange a door-to-door transit!
Catching a taxi should cost around 600 yuan for the same journey (with bargaining) if you can find a driver willing to take you. Prepare your Fenghuang hotel name and address in Chinese characters for the driver.
You can catch the bus from Zhangjiajie Bus Station at 8.30am, 9.30am, 12.30am, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, and 5.20pm. These takes about 4 hours and a ticket costs 80 RMB. We recommend getting an early bus to ensure you're on your way and avoid delays that sometimes build up in the bus route during the day.
You can get return bus rides from Fenghuang Bus Station, and the ride will take about 4 hours depending on traffic. The bus fare is 80 RMB, and buses depart at 8.30am, 9.30am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, and 5.20pm.
Zhangjiajie to Fenghuang by train is a little trickier, as you'll have to get the train from Zhangjiajie to Jishou and then get the bus to Fenghuang.
Trains from Zhangjiajie Railway Station take between 1 hour and 42 minutes and 3 hours and 40 minutes to get to Jishou Railway Station. There are trains throughout the day, and tickets cost between 3-16 USD. There are many of varying speeds throughout the day.
You can use the China Highlights train ticket service to instantly check ticket prices per seat category and times depending on the day you want to go, or to find out the latest availability.
From here you need to get the bus to Fenghuang Bus Station from Jishou West Bus Station (吉首东站), which is a short taxi ride away. These depart every 30 minutes between 7am and 7pm daily, and takes just an hour. This bus costs 25 RMB.
The best time to go to Zhangjiajie is when there are no public holidays in China, as it gets really busy, and when the weather is best.
Between September and early November, the weather is comfortable. You can also go between April and June if you don't mind humidity and the occasional rain.
Chinese public holidays will lead to more expensive accommodation and flights (and sold out flights), these times are:
We recommend you get to the airport at least 2.5 hours before departure, and 3 during peak times. There can be really long check-in and security lines during holidays and weekends.
We recommend getting to the train station at least 1 hour before departure, 1.5 hours during peak times or to be safe, 2 hours if you still need to collect your ticket.
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. We can take you around for four full days to explore everything these gorgeous mountains have to offer.
And of course, tours can be tailored to your needs. Please contact us here if you've got any special requests or requirements, or need help navigating your journey to Fenghuang from Zhangjiajie.