I’m back to Malaysia after a lengthy holiday trip to Zhangjiajie, China with my parents during this year’s Chinese New Year festival. Today is already the 7th day of lunar new year and the CNY mood is no longer here. We went to the airport on 14th February for the trip and have returned this morning on 22nd February. So, that’s equivalent to 9 days and 7 nights. I have a wonderful time during the trip (visiting all the beautiful attractions in Zhangjiajie but disappointed by heavy mist that makes it impossible for us to view them clearly and take pictures, not falling ill at all in the whole trip and that’s quite a miracle, meeting awesome people in the tour group).
My advice to the people who are interested to visit Zhangjiajie in the future; avoid visiting the place in winter (like what we did). The mountains are all covered with thick mist and you hardly see anything. Frequent rain also hinder an anticipating wonderful experience visiting these attractions. Also avoid travelling during the busy Chinese New Year period (like what we did) as the crowd is super huge and unbearable at these tourist destinations. We wasted a lot of time just by queuing (or more accurately; squeezing) and in long bus journeys. Nevertheless, we still managed to see some beautiful places and had great time over there. The attractions are all marvelous and interesting. This trip is mostly viewing the natural landmarks, and I have to admit that I’m a bit bored after seeing similar stuff (rocks, mountains, rivers and cliffs again and again) in the later days of the trip.
This is my 4th time visiting China (had been to Hong Kong & Shenzhen in 2006, Beijing & Tianjin in 2009, and Yunnan in 2014). The public toilets are still poorly maintained (very smelly and dirty) while the mainland Chinese are mostly still having some discipline issues (cutting queue, behaving inappropriately, spitting everywhere, etc). These are what you will still experience when visiting China despite the huge growth the country has been seeing in recent decades. And one more thing; when you are going to China in a tour group, it is compulsory to visit some shopping stops (we covered tea, silk, foot massage and body health, and latex mattress).
Here are some of the pictures I have taken during the trip. Besides visiting Zhangjiajie, we also visited Changsha and Fenghuang (all in Hunan province):
Changsha Poetry Wall
Phoenix Ancient Town – highlight: stilted wooden buildings along a river, some famous buildings around here include Xiong Xiling (first Prime Minister of China) and Shen Congwen (famous Chinese writer) Former Residences.
Tianmen Mountain National Park – highlight: world’s longest cableway to reach the mountains, has glass walkway hanging over by the cliff, Tianmen Cave with 999 steps (closed during winter due to slippery steps).
Yuanjiajie Scenic Area – highlight: ‘Avatar’-like mountains, ‘First Bridge in the World’ (natural formation) – cannot see it at all due to misty weather, Bailong elevator – world’s highest outdoor elevator.
Zhangjiajie National Park – highlight: Ten-Mile Natural Gallery (seeing rock formations again).
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon – highlight: Glass bridge (once the world’s longest glass-floor bridge).
Charm Xiang Xi Cultural Show
Hunan Embroidery Hall
Tujia Sand Painting Gallery
Jiandu Museum, Changsha – highlight: collection of historical bamboo slips and wooden tablets dating back more than a thousand years ago.
Huangxing Street, Changsha – highlight: main shopping and entertainment district in Changsha, the 452 metres tall Changsha IFS Tower (tallest in the city, construction almost completed and had topped out, same height with KL’s Petronas Twin Towers) is near here.
That’s it for the highlight of my trip. Time for a rest at home after this exhausting yet wonderful trip (totally had a different experience here – visiting the attractions in Zhangjiajie on busy season is like being in a state of a running refugee).
(Copyrights reserved to all images in this post)