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a visit to Zhangjiajie

Materials are provided by "Travel China weekly newspaper"
Text by Lu Niangao

Located in western Hunan Province, the famous tourist city of Zhangjiajie is home of China's first forest part -- the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park -- and a World Natural Heritage site Wulingyuan. Since an air route linking Zhangjiajie and Hong Kong opened last April, more and more visitors take their holidays in Zhangjiajie.

a bridge to the heaven

a bridge to the heaven

Last May, just after the new air route opened up, 30 alumni from Yenching University, a school that was founded by Americans in 1919 and then merged with Peking University in 1952, celebrated their school reunion in Zhangjiajie. The group, composed of seniors sixty and over from Beijing and Hong Kong, was headed by 93-year-old Professor Lei Jieqiong. With the aid of two cable cars, the group safely reached the top of Huangshi and Tianzi Mountain. Professor Lei is the oldest woman to have ever visited the top of the mountain.

The new cableway on Tianzi Mountain is new and is 2,084 meters long. As the cable car runs across the dizzying peaks, passengers get a full view of the spectacular landscape that cannot be enjoyed and other way. Despite the new cableway's presence, there are still mountain-climbers struggling to reach the top of Tianzi Mountain. Sedan-chair can also be seen among them.

a pillar between the earth and the heaven

a pillar between the earth and the heaven

There are many famous scenic spots in Zhangjiajie, such as Baofeng Lake, the Huanglong Cave (Asia's largest cave), and many beautiful waterfalls and brooks. But the most attractive scene that Zhangjiajie features is the mysterious mountain covered with dense, primeval forests. It is said that 23 species of tare animals and more than 3,000 species of plants are living in the misty world.

There are 243 pillar-peaks, each over 1,000 meters high, that are often shrouded in mist and drizzle. Together, the peaks form several "peak-forests" that are rarely found anywhere else. Visitors to the top of Tianzi Mountain will see many pillar-peaks gathered together like soldiers in an enormous battle array.

a platform for picking the stars

a platform for picking the stars

Many rocks are shaped like animals and fairies, and each is given its own legend. Zhangjiajie covers and area of 9,600 square kilometers, 1.1000 of China's territory. It has a population of 1.54 million, 72.2 percent of which are ethnic minorities such as Tujia, Miao, and Bai. A private Tujia family museum, Xinhua Shanguan, has been established in the city. Its buildings well represent traditional Tujia architecture. The museum is filled with the owner's collection of Western Hunan handicrafts and furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Performances of Tujia customs, including wedding ceremony, are presented at the museum, and visitors are invited to participate in the activities.

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