If you do not have the time to get to Jiuzhaigou, Guilin, Huangshan and Sanqingshan but would still like to enjoy the scenery characteristic of each of those places, Zhangjiajie might be the place for you. Located in the Northwest corner of Hunan Province, the GeoParks around Zhangjiajie offer granite karst peaks and limestone caves (Guilin), mountain hikes through tall granite spires (Huangshan), valley walks along clear streams (Jiuzhaigou) and spectacular cantilevered walk ways around 1000 foot sheer cliff walls (Sanqingshan). Although each venue is smaller than its corresponding competitor, Zhangjiajie is an adequate Readers Digest version of China's most visited mountain regions.
With its assortment of sites to visit, Zhangjiajie is a bit of a challenge to do on your own. Failing to make sense out of the bus system that links the various spots might leave you stranded quite a way from your preferred ending destination at the end of the day or at best waste a tremendous amount of time going to the wrong places and even missing the best spots. However, in picking a tour to join, you also need to read the fine print and be sure they are taking you to the best spots, some of which, like Tianmen, are not on many tours.
over 1 million Korean tourists each year, you could almost think you
were in Korea instead of China based on the people you see and the
preponderance of Korean restaurants over local fare. Most signs are
also in Korean as well as Chinese and English.
Cantilevered Walkway at Tianmen
Granite Spires in Tianzi Shan
Wild Monkeys in Jin Bian Xi canyon
Getting there is relatively easy with flights from most of China's major cities. Rail connections are also available but take quite a bit of time. Train or bus from Wuhan should also be a viable option as it is relatively close.