Acquaint yourself with the heart of Hunan when you take this intimate tour to captivating Changsha and Zhangjiajie. First stop in Changsha, renowned for the remarkable Hunan Provincial Museum with its beautifully preserved treasures; bamboo slips and silk manuscripts among them. Changsha also retains favor with locals for the fact it was the city that Mao Zedong completed his elementary school training and home for the Yuelu Academy, one of four famous ancient Chinese scholarly institutions. From Changsha you’ll travel to incredible Zhangjiajie, more recently made famous for the inspiration it provided for the film, Avatar. However, Zhangjiajie’s appeal extends well beyond its movie appearance. The region and the landscape within it are stunning and matched by few other places in the world. Any wonder it attracts travelers from all over the world. On this tour, you’ll have a firsthand experience of Tianzi Mountain, the naturally formed plateau in the Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain, Yellow Dragon Cave, Tianmen Cave, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, and more. A very special trip to unique places, this tour includes all accommodation, wonderful locals guides who can open your eyes to the real China, daily breakfasts and flexible dining options. Take as a separate tour or combine with any one of our private or small group tours in 20 other destinations in China.
|Vehicle||Air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver|
|Guide Service & Language||Professional English-speaking guide|
Arrive in Changsha and you’ll be met by our guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. Relax and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Check with your guide about local spots and food of interest. Try a stroll down Taiping Street, sample traditional local street food, like stinky tofu, spicy crayfish and other Hunan snacks, or just wander around the inner city precinct near the hotel.
Meals included: None
Notes: Make the most of your free time in Changsha today. Our friendly guide has all the insider tips you need about the best local eats, treats, and evening shows. Just ask us and we’ll get you sorted.
After the breakfast at hotel, your first stop today will be the Hunan Provincial Museum. Highly regarded among China’s museums for its remarkable collection from the Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb. Discovered in Changsha, the tomb contained a well-preserved mummified woman, which was execavated along with thousands of artefacts from the Western Han dynasty. The collection provides deep insights into life from different eras, including bamboo slips used for writing and silk manuscripts for reading. Even now – some 2,000 years later, these treasures hold great appeal.
Your exploration continues at the Yuelu Academy, an iconic institution which was established around a thousand years ago (AD 976) during the North Song dynasty. With Yuelu Academy located at the foot of Yuelu Mountain, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a walk in the peaceful countyard and delight in the pristine ancient garden scenery which has been maintained to preserve its original design.
Move on from Yuelu Academy to visit to Juzizhoutou Park at Orange Isle, enjoying a short stop to experience local culture and entertainment and the scenery around the Xiangjiang River, a branch of the Yangtze. The statue of young Mao Zedong in this park is an important landmark of Changsha.
Your day’s touring ends when you’re transferred to the airport for the flight to Zhangjiajie. On arrival you’ll be picked up and escorted by your guide to check in to the hotel in Wulingyuan.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: Due to the closure of the Hunan Provincial Museum on Mondays, your guide may alter the itinerary to include the Changsha Bamboo and Wooden Slips Museum instead of the Hunan Provincial Museum.
After breakfast at the hotel, the day’s sightseeing begins with a visit to China’s first designated national park, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. It is here you will find why its selection was a worthy choice. The incredible vertical pillars – some 3,000 of them – reach high into the sky (the tallest is over a kilometer). However, it’s not just the pillars that will impress.
On arrival, a shuttle bus will take you to the Bailong Elevator, the highest and fastest glass elevator in the world built into a cliff face, for ascension to Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. From here you can appreciate the stunning views of the ‘garden in heaven’ as you become immersed in the picturesque landscape of ancient trees, mossy stones and peculiar rocks. You’ll understand exactly why this location inspired the ‘floating’ mountains in Avatar.
Board another shuttle bus to the precipitous Tianzi Mountain for a panoramic view of the unusually shaped granite peaks and valleys. Lunch may be purchased from local vendors at the many rural inns and restaurants, or prepared beforehand from the hotel and brought with you. You’ll then descend from the mountain by cable car, enjoying more of the view, to catch a shuttle bus to the captivating Ten-mile Natural Gallery. From a small train, marvel at the misty karst landscape, thick woods and grotesque rocks, dotted with villages and farms as your journey takes you along the valley floor. At the end of the day you will be returned to the hotel.
Note: Please note that due to the popularity of the national park, to save time and avoid long queues, your guide may alter sequence for visiting the attractions.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: You may enjoy the outdoor music and dancing evening show, Tianmen Fox Fairy, which showcases the breathbreaking scenery of Tianmen Mountain and over 500 performers.
Prepare yourself for another day of remarkable scenery. Drive the 30 minutes to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, a landform ‘museum’ combining mountains, valleys, streams, cliffs and forests, where you can take in the vista from the transparent Glass Bridge hanging between canyon cliffs, 300 meters above the valley floor. Descend to the bottom of the canyon through the One Line Sky, a narrow, steep path surrounded by cliffs until vision of the sky becomes merely a line. Drive to Yellow Dragon Cave (Huanglong Cave) where you’ll discover a complex labyrinth of caves spanning 15 kilometres that is filled with limestones, streams, pools and stalactites. A boat ride on the river through the caves allows you to enjoy this experience from a unique perspective. At the end of the day, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast
Check out from the Zhangjiajie hotel and commence today’s touring with an adventure to scale the precipitous Tianmen Mountain. Prepare yourself a breathtaking view by taking the world’s longest cable car to the mountain top and then walking the glass Sky Walk, towering an incredible 1,430 meters above the ground. You can ride the escalator built through the mountain that brings you to Tianmen Cave, a naturally formed hole in the mountain. It’s the perfect spot for capturing the stunning natural landscape and the 999 steps leading to the foot of the cave. You’ll then take an escalator down the mountain where you’ll board the shuttle bus winds downhill – through 99 bends in the road – to the parking lot. Catch your breath on the return journey to Zhangjiajie, where you’ll be checked in for the flight to your next destination.
Meals included: Breakfast
Note: If you would like to make beautiful travel memories anywhere else in China, please let us know. Our expert travel consultants can assist with travel bookings and arrangements, including the purchase of train tickets and other tours from or around Zhangjiajie. We can customize every detail, so there’s no need to worry about a thing. Just ask us.
Inclusions / Exclusions
- Admission fees: to sightseeing spots and activities specified
- Activities specified in the itinerary
- Excellent professional English-speaking guide
- Ground transport in air-conditioned vehicle with licensed driver
- Accommodation: 4-Star or 5-Star hotel with breakfast, based on double/twin occupancy as specified
- Cable car rides, Sky Walk, Bailong elevator and boat ride at Yellow Dragon Cave
- Travel agency liability insurance during the tour
- Government taxes and fees.
- International/domestic flights and trains to Changsha/from Zhangjiajie
- China visa
- Gratuities to guides and drivers and any expense of personal nature
- Meals: Lunches and dinners are excluded allowing you freedom to choose cuisines. Your guide is able to make recommendations and order for you, if required.
- Our tour package does not include travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance before your trip to protect for any unforeseen circumstances.
- This is a private tour for your group of family or friends. No other travelers will join you. It’s always available for your schedule!
- Smart casual dress and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
- Prices based on twin occupancy.
- The prices shown above are not valid during China’s Official Holidays (such as National Day and Chinese Spring Festival etc.).