Saturday, May 2, 2015

China Trip - A Gloomy Day to Visit Avatar Mountain

We were told that the second day would be wet. So we prepared ourselves with umbrellas and jackets to fight the coldness.

We were scheduled to visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, located nearby Wulingyuan Scenic Area. According to our initial itinerary, we were supposed to take Bailong Lift to move up to the top part of the mountain. We then needed to walk and climbed the stairs to reach the peak of Tianzi Mountain before taking the cable car down at the end of the day.

However, Bruce told us that one of the cable cars were under maintenance causing the super long queue at Bailong Lift. The queue could reach three hours or more. Therefore, he suggested us to go by another entrance. Via this alternative entrance, we were required to walk, catch shuttle bus, climb SOME steps, walk and catch another shuttle bus, and take the cable car to Yuanjiajie Scenic Area.

We were so fortunate to get such an understanding tour guide. He could have just told us that we had no other choice rather than to queue, but he knew that we came so far to Zhangjiajie not to stand in line for a few hours. He went extra miles to ensure that we experience the best part of the national park instead of queueing.

So, after taking our breakfast in the hotel, we started our journey at 09:00 am and reached the car park of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park at around 09:30 am

Even the car park has a beautiful view!
Walking towards the entrance was already so pleasing. How about the inside?
Taking photo with an artist responsible for making Zhangjiajie a famous spot

Our tour guide, Bruce, told us that this sculpture in front of the entrance was dedicated to an artist that made Zhangjiajie famous. He hiked Zhangjiajie mountains and found the beautiful place. Back in Beijing, he wrote an article about this place causing people to start visiting Zhangjiajie and the government to start building the infrastructure.

We were so busy taking photo while Bruce was buying the entrance ticket for us. The tickets cost RMB 248 per person (~SGD 55) and it included the internal shuttle bus.

The view when we stepped into the National Forest Park
The first part of the walk
A stream by the side of the walkway

Not far from the entrance, we found our first check point FOR PHOTO TAKING. The view was so magnificent we snapped continuously without stopping.

The trees, the mountains, the pouring rain
The mists from the cold weather added the impact. I was so in love.
Another angle
The colourful trees made everything even more gorgeous
The constructed a giant heart shape lock and people queued for taking photo in it

We spent quite a long time here before moving slowly to the first bus terminal. The shuttle bus came frequently. We boarded the bus and spent about ten minutes to our next stop, the foot of a steps leading to middle part of the mountain.

The approximately 15 minute steps UP

At the bottom of the stairs, you could find many people offering you sedan chair. So, if your knee turned jelly due to the steps or you were not strong enough, no worries! You could hire a sedan chair and they could carry you up faster than those walking himself. Don't forget, bargain!

At the top of the staircase, there were a pathway leading to Yuanjiajie cable car terminal. So, we walked and walked. We took the cable car and we walked again.

Finally cable car terminal
It was pouring when we reached Yuanjiajie Scenic Area

At Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, we were supposed to catch a glimpse of the floating mountain used in the blockbuster Avatar. The scenery was shot here and then modified using CGI. We were praying so hard to have a clear view of the mountain. It was pouring cats and dogs and all we could see were only mists.

One of the viewing platform with rest area
The best shot I could snap 
The pine tree is so old until it grows sooo tall

We could not catch better pictures due to the mists everywhere. It rained when it was not supposed to be raining. I wanted my view!

After walking along Yuanjiajie Scenic Area, we proceeded to the one and only 'restaurant' in that area for our lunch and it cost RMB 30 (~SGD 6.5) for 10-course meal.

We found Sully here!

After lunch, we took another trip of shuttle bus to go to Tianzi Mountain. However, when we alighted the bus, the mists were getting thicker. Our tour guide decided that there was no point climbing up because we could see nothing in this kind of condition.

See? See?
Rain stopped, mists came

So we walked in reverse to our route coming here because the queue at Bailong Lift was still unbelievably long. We took the shuttle bus, we walked, we took shuttle bus, we took cable car, we took shuttle bus, we walked down the steps, we took shuttle bus, we walked, and we made it to the entrance again.

The sky was getting clear when we walked back
We started to see colours again

If only the weather turned better one hour earlier, we would not have to forgo Tianzi Mountain. I believe the view up there is even more breathtaking.

After a tiring day, we spent our evening having a nice dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.

Time to EAT

It was a tiring day but so worth it.

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Next Post - Walking 800 Steps Down Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon

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