How to Spend 3 Days in Zhangjiajie
Three days in Zhangjiajie is enough time to give you a decent taste of what the area has to offer. You can enjoy a day in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, brave a glass bridge and glass skywalks, explore a cave, and ride one of the world’s longest cable cars. Read on to find out how.
Day 1: Peak Performance
The focus of your first day in Zhangjiajie should be the rock pinnacles and spires of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s worth exploring with a guide who knows the lines, the best viewpoints, the shuttle schedules, and a good eatery for lunch. Highlights include Golden Whip Brook, a natural stone bridge set high above a canyon, and the 1,070-foot (326-meter) Bailong Elevator, an outdoor glass elevator that races up a sheer cliff. Back in town, stop by the Zhangjiajie Junsheng Painting Institute to see art made with natural materials, then round off the day with a dinner of hearty, spicy Hunan food.
Day 2: Canyons and Caves
Many 2-day Zhangjiajie tours cover just the park, but many travelers will want to head farther afield, to the notorious glass bridge suspended 984 feet (300 meters) above the Grand Canyon of Zhangjiajie. Yellow Dragon Cave (Huanglong Cave) is a 119-acre (48-hectare) cavern network full of underground lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, with stalactites and stalagmites decked out in colored lights. Alternatively, enjoy a cruise on tranquil Baofeng Lake. Back in Zhangjiajie, discover the food of the Tujia people who live in the mountainous region nearby. Try dishes from sanxiaguo hot pot to “bandit duck” or smoky bacon.
Day 3: Skywalks and Shows
Spend your third day in Zhangjiajie discovering Tianmen Mountain, the peak that overhangs the town. A 4-mile (7-kilometer) cable car, one of Asia’s longest, runs to the summit, where the vast natural arch known as Heaven’s Door forms a dramatic keyhole. Brave the terrifying glass skywalks set into the side of a sheer cliff, explore historic Tianmen Temple, stroll through mountain meadows, and ride the winding 99-Bend Road. Some tours include visits to other Zhangjiajie town attractions, such as the Tujia Customs Park, dedicated to traditional lifestyles. Round off your stay with The Tianmen Fox Fairy Show, where a cast of hundreds perform a song-and-dance extravaganza in a valley on Tianmen Mountain. Subtitles mean even foreigners can follow the action.