China – Zhangjiajie – Zhangjiajie National Park

– OCTOBER 10, 2015

The Zhangjiajie National Forest Parkis a unique national forest park located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in China.  In 1982 it was recognized as China’s first national forest park with an area of 11,900 acres.  In 1992, Wulingyuan was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was then approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark in 2001.  In 2004, Zhangjiajie Geopark was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park.  Although resembling karst terrain, this area is not underlain by limestones and is not the product of chemical dissolution, which is characteristic of limestone karst.  They are the result of many years of physical, rather than chemical, erosion.  Much of the weathering which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them.  The weather is moist year round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense.  The weathered material is carried away primarily by streams.  These formations are a distinct hallmark of Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.

One of the park’s quartz-sandstone pillars, the 1,080-metre Southern Sky Column, had been officially renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in honor of the film Avatar in January 2010.  According to park officials, photographs from Zhangjiajie inspired the floating Hallelujah Mountains seen in the film.  The film’s director and production designers said that they drew inspiration for the floating rocks from mountains from around the world, including those in the Hunan province.  The people here have latched onto this and lay claim that Zangjiajie is the home of Avatar.

China-Zhangjiajie Park-001

Zhangjiajie National Park

Within the park is the Bailong Tourist Lift.  The Bailong Lift has a height of 335m.  It contains an underground silo and a steel structure head frame on the ground.  Three side-by-side sightseeing carriages are separately run.  The running speed is 3m/s with a total running time of one minute and 58 seconds.  Each carriage can carry 46 passengers in one time.  Three carriages can carry 1,380 people an hour at capacity.

The project took just under three years to complete.  It contains three Guinness World records:

(1) highest totally-exposed outdoor lift,

(2) highest dual-level sightseeing lift,

(3) passenger lift with the largest carrying capacity and quickest speed in the world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Bailong Tourist Lift

China-Zhangjiajie Park-003

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-011

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Avatar creature for tourist pics

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Avatar creature for tourist pics

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-026b

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Long Life Pool

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-036

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-043

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-052

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – The family of this Asian girl begged Jill and two other Caucasian girls to take a picture with her. The Asian girl didn’t want to do this, but the family insisted. It was something to see.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – What in the world does this sign mean? More Chinese English!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-070

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-071

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-079

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Longevity Spring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

China-Zhangjiajie Park-101

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Some people are cool standing on a glass platform.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park – Some people are not.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Zhangjiajie National Park

We spent a total of two full days walking through this park.  It is simply an enormous size and one cannot expect to see it in one day.

<><><><><><><><>

For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.