China: Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park

Tianmenshan Rays at Heaven's Gate

On my last day in Zhangjiajie, we decided to visit the second National Forest Park in Zhangjiajie City, Hunan – The Tianmenshan or Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park. This National Park is a newly developed attraction in the north western Hunan Province of China, located only 8 km from the city proper of Zhangjiajie. Standing at 1518.6 meters, Tianmen Mountain is the first recorded mountain in the history of the province and has been revered as the “Soul of Zhangjiajie”. The mountain, boasting intact primitive forest, numerous rare tree species and medicinal herbs, and abundance of fauna.

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China: Zhangjiajie National Park

Wulingyuan's Natural Forest of Peaks

It was evening when we arrived at the city proper of Zhangjiajie from the town of Fenghuang. That’s about 2 hours bus ride costing us 60 RMB. The bus was much better and comfortable than the ones we had from Tongren to Fenghuang, allowing us to catch on a bit of sleep. When we got down at the city station, we hired a taxi to take us to Zhangjiajie Hong Tian International Youth Hostel. At first it was a fairly smooth drive then when we got into a bottleneck at one of the streets. We some cars pulling back to turn around, we thought our taxi was gonna do the same until he went up on the pedestrian lane and started driving past the vehicles caught in the bottle neck while people were avoiding our car on the lane. It was crazy! We finally found our hostel where we would sleep at night. Zhangjiajie, this is gonna be an interesting place, I thought.

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Unexpected China Detour

The long and winding road at Mt Tianmenshan

I can’t believe I’m home. I’m just stunned and thinking that in those 11 days I was in Mainland China I can’t believe I’ve been through all those places I’ve been. It’s like a whirlwind of an adventure in the heart of China that’s truly raw. The feeling of travel just really hits you and you want more. It’s a bit tiring but really fulfilling journey. Again, a backpacking adventure that’s really gonna be remembered for a long long time.

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