Located in the Lishui upper reaches, is a Wuling mountains hinterland. It is one of the most important tourist cities in mainland China. Zhangjiajie City has jurisdiction over Yongding District, Wulingyuan District, Cili County, and Sangzhi County. Among them, Yongding District and Wulingyuan District are the two main urban areas. Tourists usually arrive in Yongding District before going to other places to visit.
The city has a recorded history dating back to 221 BC. Its name was Dayong (大庸) until 1994 when it was renamed to link it to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (itself named after a tiny village now known as Zhangjiajie village or Zhangjiajie Cun), which came within city borders after Dayong had become a prefecture-level city in 1988. This name was adopted to give the city more prominence after this site had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The name Zhangjiajie is linked to the Han Dynasty general and minister Zhang Liang (died about 189 BCE). By some accounts he lived in seclusion on this mountain after retirement.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Zhangjiajie City has complex and diverse strata, creating a local characteristic landscape. Zhangjiajie is at the junction of the uplift of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the subsidence area of Dongting Lake. There are mountains, karsts, hills, hills, and plains in the landforms. The mountainous area accounts for 76% of the total area. The central part is along the banks of the Lishui River in a north-easterly direction, and the southern mountains are descending towards the Yuanshui River. The rivers in the city are vertical and horizontal, and the water system is mainly Lishui and Lushui.
Zhangjiajie has a typical monsoon humid climate in the middle subtropical mountains, with four distinct seasons, abundant rainfall, sufficient sunshine, a long frost-free period, and a short severe cold period. The average annual sunshine is 1440 hours, the average temperature is 16 degrees, the average annual precipitation is about 1400 mm, and the average frost-free period over the years is 216 to 269 days. Due to the influence of topography, landform, and other factors, the climate in the territory is complex and changeable, and natural disasters such as droughts, floods, strong winds, and hail are also frequent.
Zhangjiajie has a large temperature difference between day and night, and the temperature difference between the four seasons is relatively small. The temperature difference between the core scenic spots in Zhangjiajie and the urban area is about 5-10 ℃, the hottest time is 39 ℃ in the urban area, and about 30 ℃ in the scenic area. In summer, you need to bring sunscreen and sleep with a thin quilt at night, so it is best to bring long-sleeved clothing when staying at the top of the mountain at night. Spring and autumn are the best time to travel to Zhangjiajie.
Zhangjiajie is about 250 km (155 mi) northwest of Changsha.
- 1 Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG IATA formerly named Dayong Airport). It has direct flights to many domestic locations, as well as Taiwan and South Korea. Flights are relatively scarce - about 25 per day total.
Be careful with the taxi drivers in the airport parking lot. They are likely unwilling to use the meter. They may claim that your destination is very far and attempt to charge you a "parking lot fee". Call your hotel or hostel to find out how much the trip should cost and ask them to speak with a taxi driver for you. It should cost only ¥20-40 total for a trip from the airport to Zhangjiajie city. Alternatively, you may take a local public bus (service number 4) to the city. The Airport Bus, or Bus 4, is a circular route that reaches the city or bus station. The fare is ¥1. It runs from 06:00 to 19:00 and the departure station is 100 m (330 ft) before the airport gate. Divided into two lines, the routes are as follows.
Line A, in the direction of Nanzhuangping, reaches the Airport Hotel, Ziwu Road, Beizheng Street, the department store, the bus station, the pedestrian street, the railway station, and then back to the airport via Guanliping.
Line B, the direction of Guanliping, goes through the railway station, the pedestrian street, the bus station, the department store, Xianglong International Hotel, Beizheng Street, Ziwu Road, the airport hotel, and back to the airport via Nanzhuangping.
- 2 Zhangjiajie Station. You can take a train from Changsha, about 4 hours, or Huaihua, about 4 hours. Train from Shenzhen West (K0964) to Zhangjiajie, 17 hours, overnight, about ¥480.
- 3 Zhangjiajie West Station. A new high-speed rail link opened in December 2019, cutting travel time from Changsha to about 3 hours. However, this new line stops at Zhangjiajie West Station, which is slightly outside Zhangjiajie City.
Intercity buses from Changsha take 5 hours and are boarded at the Changsha West bus terminal (a fancy new building that resembles a shopping mall, next to the Wangchengpo subway stop). These buses run approximately hourly with the last bus departing around 19:00. Fare is about ¥120.
Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station operates minibusses that will take you next to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park's entrance. You do not need to buy a ticket at the Central Bus Station ticket window, simply go through security, keep to the left and make your way outside through Exit 1. The bus fare to the park is ¥12, and you pay the driver directly. Keep in mind that these are older minibusses that are used primarily by local commuters to their job sites. Many stops will be made to pick up and drop off people along the route. The terminus appears to be a partially constructed hotel or apartment complex about five minutes on foot from the park entrance. The trip is about 1hr 20min, and the roads are substandard as of Jan 2018. Once you are done in the park, return to the location you were dropped off at. Busses will be waiting to return you to the Central Bus Station. The minibusses depart in both directions about every 20–30 minutes. The first bus leaves the Central Bus Station at 06:30 the last one returns from the park around 18:00.
Zhangjiajie urban area
- 1 Puguang Chan Temple (普光禅寺, 普光寺 Puguang Temple), 70 Jiefang Road, Yongding District (永定区解放路70号) (bus nos. 6, 7 and 8), ☏ . 08:00-18:00. An old Chan Buddhist temple dating from the 15th century. ¥40.
- 2 Zhangjiajie Museum (张家界市博物馆), Intersection of Dayong Road and Ziwu Road, Yongding District (永定区大庸路与子午路交叉口) (bus nos. 1A, 1B, 2, 11, 15, 101, and 102; the Bamenxi-City (八门溪-市内) and Maoxi-City (茅溪-市内) buses also stop here), ☏ . 09:00-16:30, no tickets issued after 15:30, no entry after 16:00, closed on Mondays. Free.
- 3 Tujiafengqingyuan. 08:30-17:00. Zhangjiajie Tujiafengqingyuan is in Zhangjiajie, a scenic pearl. The transportation is very convenient, only ten minutes' drive from the airport and railway station. The park covers an area of more than 809 acres and has a total investment of 75 million yuan. It is a large-scale comprehensive tourism service enterprise integrating cultural and natural landscapes, integrating tourism, cultural performances, rare exhibitions, accommodation, catering, entertainment and shopping. 80.
- 4 Wulingyuan (武陵源), Wulingyuan District (武陵源区) (take a bus from either Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station or the bus station at the Zhangjiajie West Railway Station), ☏ . The natural scenery of Wulingyuan is magical with mountain peaks. Among them, there are more than 3,000 strange peaks, with vivid images, and magnificent momentum. The main scenic spots in Wulingyuan are Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve, Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve and the Yangjiajie Scenic Area. See the Wulingyuan article for further details. ¥224.
- 5 Maoyanhejiutiandong. Zhangjiajie Maoyan River Jiutian Cave AAAA Tourist Scenic Spot, starting from Jiutian Cave in Sangzhi County in the west, passing through Kuzhu Village, a thousand-year-old town, to Kuzhu River Grand Canyon known as the mysterious canyon and Maoyan River drifting known as Baili Gallery. The Jade Emperor Grottoes, a group of grottoes ending in the south, are more than 100 km long.
1 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, ☏ . The general admission ticket for Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Scenic Area is valid for three days. If you want to play more fully, you can refer to the following route.
2 Huangshizhai Scenic Area. 08:30-17:00. Famous attractions: Boudoir Gate welcoming guests, Five Finger Peak, Front Garden.
3 Yuanjiajie. 07:00-18:00. Famous attractions: the first bridge under the sky.
4 Golden Whip Stream. 7:00-18:00. Famous attractions: Divine Eagle protecting the whip, Golden Whip Rock, Huaguo Mountain, Waterfall Cave.
5 Yangjiajie. 08:30-16:00. Famous attractions: the world's first wonder waterfall Longquan Waterfall. .
6 Tianzi Mountain. 08:00-16:00. Famous attractions: Tianzi Peak, Tianzi Cave. .
7 Wulongzhai. 08:00-17:00. Wulongzhai, formerly known as "Black Dragon", is a newly developed attraction in Yangjiajie, which is only 20% developed in Yangjiajie. The original name of Wulongzhai is "Black Dragon Walled City", which used to be a place where bandits lived.
8 People’s Square Commercial Pedestrian Street. A more famous snack street with many specialties and local snacks. The People's Cinema is nearby.
9 Tianzi Street Ethnic Tourism Mall. 10:00-22：00. Shopping Plaza. It mainly sells specialty products, and there are many stores where you can compare before buying. There are supermarkets, movie theaters, and restaurants inside.
There are limited food options in the park, and what is available is offered at highly inflated prices. It is advised that you bring food and water with you to the park. Here is a selection of food in the city, which can be visited after a scenic tour.
- 1 Qindama. 08:30-01:30. From my mother's fried pork 20 years ago, the oil is fragrant and crispy.Now there are several branches in Zhangjiajie. The environment is good. After eating, you can just walk along the river and enjoy the night view of Zhangjiajie. ¥60.
- 2 Yinmandou restaurant. The classic dishes are sauerkraut beef and spicy roasted yellow beef, but Sanxiaguo is also delicious: although it is a small shop, the taste is really good, the price is reasonable, and you can bring your own drink. ¥58.
- 3 Hushifu restaurant. 10:00-21:00. The popularity is very strong, and the ingredients are also abundant. One small pot is enough for two people, and it is very tasty. The signature three-time pot is the most powerful and cost-effective.However, it is not suitable for those who like light flavors. ¥56.
Zhangjiajie berry tea is a specialty of Zhangjiajie's Yongding District.
- 1 MAOYAN meicha. You can buy it in-store on site or choose online delivery.
- 1 JiShou university ZhangJiajie college (吉首大学张家界学院), Wulingshan Avenue, Yongding District, Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province, ☏ . Founded in September 2002, it is an independent college approved by the Hunan Provincial People's Government, organized by Jishou University, a comprehensive university in Hunan Province, and confirmed by the Ministry of Education.
- 2 Zhangjiajie People's Hospital (张家界市人民医院), 140 Tianmen Street, Guyong Road, Yongding District, Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province, China, ☏ . Zhangjiajie People's Hospital is a tertiary general hospital integrating medical treatment, prevention, health care, teaching, scientific research and emergency treatment.
- 3 Zhangjiajie Hospital of Tcm (张家界市中医院), Huilong Road, Yongding District, Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province, China, ☏ . Zhangjiajie Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, founded in 1958. It is located in the city of Zhangjiajie, a World Natural Heritage Site. It is the only comprehensive "Grade IIIA" Chinese medicine hospital in the city.
Accommodation in Zhangjiajie is typically around ¥170. There are many options within walking distance surrounding the train/bus station. There are many hotels and shops outside the Forest Park Ticket Station, which are very lively. Some tourists choose to live here, but it is not as convenient as living in the park.
- 1 Pullman Zhangjiajie Jingwu Hotel, Huajuan Road, Wulingyuan District, firstname.lastname@example.org. ¥758.
- 2 Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie, North of Dayong Bridge Park, Ziwu West Road, Yongding District.
- Zhangjiajie City Public Security Bureau, ☏ .
- Zhangjiajie Park Police Station, ☏ .
- Zhangjiajie Tourism Magazine, ☏ .
- Travel Complaints, ☏ .
- Consumer Protection, ☏ .
- Price Report, ☏ .
- Zhangjiajie Price Inspection Institute, ☏ .
- Zhangjiajie Railway Station Master Office, ☏ .
- Zhangjiajie Airport Office, ☏ .
- Zhangjiajie Aviation Inquiry, ☏ .
Though Tianmen Mountain and Wulingyuan are major tourist attractions, perhaps 99% of their visitors are native Chinese. So you will find it surprisingly difficult to change foreign currency. There appear to be no currency exchange stores. Perhaps the only place to change money is a bank, such as the Bank of China (follow the main road north of the bus/train station area, it is at the first major intersection north of the river, about a 15-minute walk from the bus/train stations).
Wulingyuan, however, is rumored to have currency exchange stores.