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April 25, 2017, China

Pretty as a picture

Don’t miss the beauty of Zhangjiajie’s ethereal landscapes, says Meredith Woo

Meredith Woo

ZHANGJIAJIE was thrust into the international spotlight by the 2009 science fiction film Avatar, directed by James Cameron. Located in the northwestern part of Hunan province, China, the city is also home to a Unesco World Heritage site and other scenic attractions.

Here are some gorgeous sites to stop by in Zhangjiajie.

Fenghuang County

A few hours by bus from Zhangjiajie is the ancient town of Fenghuang, which was built at the turn of the 18th century.

This charming locale is known for its unique ethnic languages, customs, art, and distinctive architectural remains of Ming and Qing styles. Take a leisurely boat ride down the river and hike along its Southern Great Wall.

Huanglong Cave

Every year, over a million people flock to the colourful Huanglong Cave, which means “Yellow Dragon” in Chinese.

It covers about 48ha, and the cave system extends to 15km in length, so a pair of good walking shoes is in order when you are here.

Explore its four levels, 13 chambers, three underground waterfalls, two underground rivers, three pools, 96 passages and underground lake. Book a guided tour to complete the trek in two hours with a scenic boat ride down one of its underground rivers.

Wulingyuan scenic and historic interest area

Chalk up a Unesco World Heritage site visit at this spectacular area, which spans over 26,000ha. Here, you will find the iconic sandstone pillars and peaks that were featured in Avatar – over 3,000 of them, many over 200m high. On foggy days, these formations appear to be floating. Ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, about 40 caves and two large natural bridges, as well as endangered flora and fauna, are also found in this area.

Tour highlights:

Dynasty Travel’s 8D Zhangjiajie package, from $1,088 per person, will take you to Changsha and Phoenix Ancient Town. 

Enjoy up to $140 off per couple for Chan Brothers’ 8D Zhangjiajie/ Fenghuang Avatar tour, from $998 per person, excluding taxes of $365. 

CTC Travel has an 8D Zhangjiajie itinerary that includes a visit to the famous film site of Avatar and Shaoshan city, which is the hometown of Mao Zedong.

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