Hello, this is Philippe!
I went travelling last weekend to an area called ZhangJiaJie (张家界) in Hunan Province (湖南) which was Beautiful and Legendary!
I was with several friends who are having internships in a company in Zhuhai. We started the trip by taking a 2h30 bus ride to Guangzhou (广州), where we caught a 13h Sleeper Train to ZhangJiaJie! The train ride itself was an adventure due to us sampling all the different kind of snacks and foods passing by our sleeper beds in the little trolleys, then having a “couple” of beers, ending with most people of the group going to bed, whilst me and another friend went to the Food Wagon, where we ended up drinking with the train Chief and the train Police Chief!!
ZhangJiaJie is a city surrounded by enigmatic and impressive mountains, with several attractions.
We first went to the TianZiShan (天子山) mountain ranges, for which you catch a cable car (longest in the world!) in the city centre to the top of the mountain, there are many magnificent views, apparently, as when we went up there when it was quite cloudy and so couldn’t see much of the views 😀 . I am actually quite happy that it was cloudy, as I have a slight phobia of heights and several of the walkways follow the precipices!
The cable car stops halfway, so that you can get off, jump on a minivan and go off to see a great hole in the mountain, in the past years the Russian Air force made a show and flew 3 jets through the hole, and a guy jump out of a helicopter with a wing suit and flew thought it!!!
In the Evening we went to eat in a restaurant with traditional architecture and discovered a room where they held live animals for cooking! There were boars, pheasants, pigs, geese, chicken, snakes, turtles and other animals which I cannot name. Spicy but very tasty food!!
The second day we went to WuLingYuan (武陵源), the national forest park, and this was truly incredible. This national park is humongous, and one could take a couple of days to hike through it, we unfortunately only had 1 day. Early Chinese breakfast, bus, and arrival at 9am, we were ready to hike our socks off. We took one of the longer/ less used path (main path= hordes of Chinese tourists with umbrella’s/flags/multi-coloured raincoats and speakerphones). We entered a world of calm, and forest sounds with ancient architecture popping up and enticing path alternatives (see pic), we saw and marvelled at wild monkeys. But most of all, we were astounded and mesmerised when the fog let up and in front of us appeared a vista of mountain spires with trees growing on them. We had never seen anything like this, it looked wonderful on the pictures from the internet, but being at the foot of these spires, was incredible and a feeling of aw at the sheer energy of nature. (I am no hippie, but this was really cool!). LEGENDARY.
I have travelled quite a lot in China, and there are few places I would go back to only due to the scenery, but ZhangJiaJie was definitely the trip of a lifetime and I am certain I will be back to keep exploring it!
See you all next time and hopefully soon in China!