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Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is highly recommended for anyone who has a love for nature and mountains. However, it is not an easy place to explore. We would like to share some tips to help you plan your trip to this park.
If you are looking for an authentic hiking experience you may be disappointed as most of the paths in this park are paved with stones and have steps.
You can see many Chinese people wearing regular clothes, jeans, and shoes. We recommend you wear good walking shoes for comfort.
Getting to most of the attractions usually requires walking up and down many steps.
Cableways, an elevator, buses, and a mini train in the park are helpful if you want to visit the attractions at a faster pace and with less walking involved.
Tianzi Mountain Cableway is 67 yuan for a single trip while Bailong Elevator is 72 yuan, Yangjiajie Cable Car is 79 yuan, and the mini train at Ten-Li Gallery is 38 yuan.
Free local shuttle buses also ply the main routes between National Park areas and entrances.
The free shuttle buses won't take you everywhere in the park though — most of the time. They just travel between designated points (which don’t include e.g. Laowuchang).
The buses stop running an hour before the park closes and the cable cars stop running an hour and a half before it closes.
Take plenty of water, snacks, and fresh fruit as there's lots of walking to do.
If you are worried about taking too much to carry while you're walking, there's a variety of food outlets throughout the park, ranging from McDonald's and KFC to snack shacks and restaurants.
Have cash readily available if you don't have WeChat or Alipay.
Be careful of monkeys on some of the trails as they may get aggressive and snatch food from your hands.
Stay away from them and hide any food you have in your backpack.
In summer, take mosquito repellent, sunglasses, sun block, and a hat. Prepare an extra light coat for the cool early mornings and evenings.
In winter, take warm clothes. You will get warmer as you climb the mountains so layers are recommended for flexibility.
It is foggy or rainy for over 200 days per year in Zhangjiajie. The weather in the mountains changes constantly.
If it's raining heavily when you arrive at the park, you may find that the sun comes out an hour later. Then you can have the chance to see the sea of clouds around the peaks. The mountains enshrouded in mist are very enchanting.
Take thin layers and a windproof jacket to take off and put on to adjust to changes in temperature.
It's strongly recommended to take waterproof clothes and shoes with you, especially during the months of April to July.
Read more information on the best time to visit Zhangjiajie.
To save time on transportation and avoid the morning crowds, we recommend you stay in a hotel near (or in) the park, not in Zhangjiajie City.
Star-rated hotels in Zhangjiajie might not be up to the standard of those in big cities.
Most hotels in Zhangjiajie opened over 10 years ago and have not undergone any renovation, so the facilities may need updating.
Breakfast at the hotels tends to be very basic, and breakfast is usually a Chinese style mixed with some Western choices, even in 5-star hotels.
Read more on accommodation in Zhangjiajie.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is crowded with Chinese tour groups, especially during public holidays, such as Labor Day (May 1–3), National Day (October 1–7), and the summer vacation period in July and August.
Here are some tips for avoiding crowds and queues:
If you are traveling on your own, make sure you get a good map of the park that's in English and Chinese.
The park is huge. It's well worth spending more than one day there. But if you only have one day, here is a sample route covering the most popular attractions:
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is huge and access to it is complex.
It’s around 48 square kilometers (19 square miles), and the attractions are either on the peaks (which you need to find your way up) or in the valleys (which you need to find your way to).
It is difficult to navigate your way around this National Park if you don't know Chinese, so it saves time and energy to have a guide with you who can lead you around.
Your guide can not only show you around the park but also help you find good places for hiking, taking photos, and eating food.
A professional guide can make your trip smooth and comfortable. Your guide can help you avoid the crowds and find good places to take photos.
We specialize in discovery your way. Our popular Zhangjiajie tour ideas are as follows:
All these itineraries can be customized according to your requirements. Contact us to tailor-make your China tour to see the natural beauty of Zhangjiajie.