Phoenix City 凤凰县 to Zhangjiajie 张家界 — FZCJ Day 04 # Hunan – China

Today we will continue our journey to the next city, Zhangjiajie 张家界 The journey took 5 hours by bus. We drop by Furong Town 芙蓉镇.

Furong Town 芙蓉镇 is a small ancient village proudly boasting on the top of a cliff with a huge waterfall flowing underneath – an amazing view (

Then we go to Zhangjiajie 张家界.

Zhangjiajie 张家界 is a prefecture-level city in the northwestern part of Hunan province, People’s Republic of China. It comprises the district of Yongding and counties of Cili and Sangzhi. Within it is located Wulingyuan Scenic Area which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 as well as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.

The city itself was previously named Dayong 大庸, and has a recorded history dating back to 221 BC. Humans lived here along both banks of the Lishui River (the mother river in Zhangjiajie 张家界), now within the boundaries of Zhangjiajie 张家界 City, very early during the Stone Age. Human settlement in this region dates back 100,000 years, rivaling such famous sites as Xi’an, Beijing and others. In 1986, the Academy of Chinese Social Science discovered Stone Age relics in Cili County, unearthing 108 articles of stoneware; mostly tapered-form, hacked-tamped and plate-shaped works. According to archaeological experts’ textual research, all of these wares were produced about 100,000 years ago. Shortly thereafter, in 1988, the Archaeological Institute of Hunan Province found other relics in Sangzhi County, including three pieces of stoneware which were estimated to have been fashioned over 100,000 years ago.

Ten thousand years ago, those who lived within the boundaries of what is now Zhangjiajie 张家界 City employed fire to bake pottery. Archaeologists have found more than 20 relics of this kind in Cili County, while in Sangzhi County, a black clay pot adorned with a unique design was unearthed dating back ten thousand years. During that period, this pottery-firing technique was the most advanced in China. These technological advancements in the fashioning of stone tools and pottery would seem to indicate a highly developed culture in this region. However, the society which developed only endured briefly before waning and being superseded by other regional powers. This seems understandable in view of Zhangjiajie’s remote geographical position, its undeveloped land and river transportation, and its mountainous terrain making cultivation difficult. For these reasons, Zhangjiajie has been labeled “the Land of the Savage Southern Minority” since the earliest recorded history. Additional name descriptors have been the “Wuling Rude People” and “Tujia Rude People“, indicative of discriminatory views held against the regional culture.

The new name of Zhangjiajie 张家界 City was adopted in 1994, after the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area 武陵源 in order to give it more prominence and after this site had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The National Forest Park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie 张家界 after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and now a popular tourist attraction within the park. The three-character name Zhangjiajie 张家界 can be interpreted as follows: “Zhang 张” is a common surname in China; “jia 家” can be translated as “family“; and “jie 界” can be translated as “homeland“, giving the completed translation of “Zhang family homeland.” It has been reported that at least one tourist guide has said that the name may have been chosen to convey the idea or impression of “Open the family door to welcome the world开家门引进世界“, but this is not the locally accepted and directly-translated meaning of the name. The official version of its name is linked to a Han general, Zhang Liang, who resettled in the area after a suspicious Liu Bang, the Han emperor, started to persecute his staffs and generals who had contributed to his becoming emperor. It was so named to signify that the Zhang family had set up home there.


We will visit Zhangjiajie National Park for 3 days. Today is the 1st day, and the first destination in Zhangjiajie is 

Tianmen Shan / Heaven Gate Mountain

Tianmen Mountain 天门山 Tiānmén Shān is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie 张家界, in northwestern Hunan Province, China.

A cablecar was constructed by the French company Poma from nearby Zhangjiajie 张家界 railway station to the top of the mountain. Tianmen Mountain Cableway is claimed in tourist publications as the “longest passenger cableway of high mountains in the world“, with 98 cars and a total length of 7,455 metres (24,459 ft) and ascent of 1,279 metres (4,196 ft) The highest gradient is an unusual 37 degrees. Tourists can walk on kilometres of paths built onto the cliff face at the top of the mountain, including sections with glass floors. An 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) road with 99 bends also reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain of a height of 131.5 metres (431 ft).
A large temple is also located on the summit with chairlift or footpath access. The original temple here was built in the Tang Dynasty. Today a more recent construction with Tang dynasty architecture occupies the site and includes a vegetarian restaurant in the 10000 sq mi of setting.On September 25, 2011 Jeb Corliss glided through the 100 feet (30 m) wide archway in the mountain using a wingsuit. The flight began from a helicopter at 6,000 feet (1,800 m), and ended with a safe landing on a nearby bridge. The World Wingsuit League held the first and second World Wingsuit Championships in Tianmen. On October 8, 2013, during a training jump for the second world championships, Viktor Kováts plunged to his death when he was unable to open his parachute.

First we ride cable car for 7 km. There’s 2 stop: 1st station (in the middle) and 2nd station (highest). Don’t stop in the middle but go to the highest first. When we arrive at the upstair, there’s a flash then it’s raining hard. The cable car has been set that if there’s a flash they will stop operated. Thank God that we have arrived at the uphill. One of our group has been stuck inside the cable car. They arrive at the uphill, but didn’t reach the terminal. And the staff try to open the door with force and they can come out. We walk around the area, there’s a long path and there’s a short path. We choose the long path.

We can see Tianmen Temple from there. And also, there’s a glass walk in there, if you love challenge, you can walk on glass walk and see what’s below. Unfortunately, it’s closed due bad weather.

After walk around, then we ride cable car again to go to 1st station (middle).

We arrive at Tianmen Mountain. You can see 999 steps of stairs to the Heaven Gate.

Then we go upstairs. Some of us rest at the downstair.

After climb the 999 steps, we rest for a while then go down by shuttle bus.
We passed 11km road with 99 bend. This is the view that we got.

Arrive at the downhill, we go to eat dinner and those who wants to watch the show, they will go to watch the show. Meanwhile, we didn’t want to watch so we go shopping while waiting for those who watch the show.

At 22:10 they pick us up then go back to hotel to rest.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s