Go to China's Zhangjiajie National Park with the highest, the fastest, largest-loaded outdoor elevator in the world

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At Zhangjiajie National Park you'll feel like you stepped right into avatar's movie décor. Thousands of floating mountains overgrown with trees dominate this fairy tale landscape.The magical rocks are accompanied by clouds, waterfalls, lakes and endless rivers that flow through the park. Because the park has such a humid climate, many rocks and the ground are covered with a green layer of moss, which gives the Zhangjiajie National Park an even more beautiful view. You won't find this unique landscape anywhere else in the world and it should be on your bucket list if you go to China. Also because in this National Park you will find the amazing Bailong Elevator at 326 meter which is worlds highest elevator.

Photo by earnesttse on fivehundredpx

Zhangjiajie National Park became the first national park in China in 1982. The park is home to more than 3000 unique plant species and many special animal species, including salamanders, leopards and macaque monkeys. Today, about 20 million visitors come to the national park every year. The vast majority of these are Chinese, however because of the movie Avatar in 2009 a lot of foreigners now make their way to Zhangjiajie as well.

Photo by Art Side
The elevator has had its fair share of controversies, but you can't deny it’s an impressive work of engineering. Following a speed upgrade in 2015, the cars now make the ascent in just one minute and 32 seconds. Each elevator has a carrying capacity of 4,900 kilograms, with 50 passengers traveling in each car. All of which means that the Bailong Elevator is the world’s fastest passenger traffic elevator with the biggest carrying capacity.

Hiking and climbing in Zhangjiajie National Park

The national park is huge. You'll definitely need several days to see the best places; we would say ideally a day or three. Keep in mind you'll be walking a large number of steps in the park, however the view from all of the peaks is phenomenal.

Photo by azie-expert.nl
Shuttle buses are there to support you at the entrance pass and will drive between the various areas and attractions. Its wise to ask your hotel or guesthouse for a map of the park, which shows the sights and routes of the shuttle buses. This makes planning a lot easier. 

Where to stay

If you have a bit of budget we recommend to stay at the Yu Hotel Zhangjiajie Catalpa Eco Resort. Everything about this resort is amazing.

The staff went out of their way to make our stay memorable. The rooms and bathrooms were large and immaculate. Most rooms have a panoramic view of the garden and mountain peaks, it is just breath taking. 

Best time to visit

The best time to travel to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is in autumn, especially September and October. The temperature is pleasant and nature at its best. Spring (April) is also a great period when everything is in bloom.Winter is the worst time of the year. It can get very cold, hiking trails can be slippery, and many sights are closed. The only advantage is that there are low season prices that are a lot lower than the normal prices.

Summers (July and August) can get very hot in the area which does not make walking and climbing easier. It is also the holiday period of the Chinese. Click here for more climate details.

This article was last updated on December 23, 2020.