All posts filed under: zhangjiajie national forest park

Journey in Zhangjiajie: Knocking on Heaven’s Door

China’s vast and diverse territory endows the country with some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth. In August of 2015 I was able to witness and be among the giants — the karst peaks that tower in Zhangjiajie. Between the peaks lie ravines, gorges, streams, pools, waterfalls, caves and natural bridges. This is a journey I will never forget. The awestruck feelings I experienced on this trip has compelled me to share this story. While travelling in Zhangjiajie I have gained a new appreciation for China’s unique sights, both natural and man made. This is the last post of my blogging mini-series (‘Travelogue: Journey in Zhangjiajie’). Thank you for reading along and giving me the opportunity to reflect and share my photos and stories. This is truly the joys of blogging! My roommate and I embarked on a memorable, “one of a life time”, “when we look back at this day, we’ll realize we did something quite crazy” kind of day. We knew our destination was Tianzi Mountains, a continuation of the beautiful pillars that we …

Journey in Zhangjiajie: Harmony of Water and Mountains

“He who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left.” — Chinese proverb Travelling in China is somewhat of a mystery to many people. While mega cities like Beijing and Shanghai are often visited, a place like Zhangjiajie and other less developed areas in China are somewhat of a curious and strange place. In travelling these past several weeks I have gained a new appreciation for China’s stunning sights, both natural and man made (mostly natural). China is a huge country of diverse sights and landscapes – from deserts to tropical like weather in the south. At the same time, I came across many challenges and frustrations that I don’t want to overlook if I were to consider revisiting the country. Crowds are hard to avoid and development is only starting to catch up to the large numbers of tourists. I continue to include photos of the pillar like landscapes because it truly fascinates me. The “pillars” are the product of years and years of physical erosion. What’s interesting is how the forests and foliage …

Journey in Zhangjiajie: An Extra Special Day

“With true friends… even water drunk together is sweet enough.” – Chinese Proverb Today was my first day entering Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, today I walked for over 6 hours in 33 degrees weather, today I experienced Bailong Elevator (the world’s tallest full-exposure outdoor lift), today I saw a bus nearly explode, today I interacted with international tourists for research, today I spent a full day getting to know my incredible roommate, today I watched traditional Chinese theatre of dance and acrobatics featuring Hunan myth and culture, and today… today was my birthday*! *My posts regarding my travel in Zhangjiajie, China are mainly re-written words from my journal. I didn’t have access to my blog and many other sites (because of Internet censorship in China), so the time stamp on these posts are several weeks dated. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate my birthday in China. This is my fifth birthday away from home, spent abroad and physically far from family and friends in Canada. I hadn’t told anyone here it was my birthday, …

Journey in Zhangjiajie: Sweat, Sun, Soak and Swim

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb A little look into some facts and first impressions in Zhangjiajie: Zhangjiajie is located in the west of Hunnan Province, 330 kilometers from Changsha, the capital of Hunnan Province, over 1,000 kilometres from both Shanghai and Beijing. Over the last several decades the area has become a well-known tourist destination, perhaps not so much for international tourists but definitely for Chinese who see this trip as a pilgrimage to some of China’s most beautiful landscapes. Zhangjiajie was made known to foreigner after the movie Avatar. The Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar were inspired by Heavenly Pillar in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. When I first saw the famous peaks I was absolutely amazed. They are simply quite stunning and I have never seen anything as unique and magical. When I looked upon the landscape of these interesting pillar like formations, I often found myself asking if they were really real. They are a natural wonder of the world and UNESCO has awarded the peaks World Heritage …