Avatar’s Miraculous Journey in Zhangjiajie
The South-Heaven Pillar, known as one of the three grotesque peaks of Zhangjiajie, is located at the southern point of the Yuanjiajie scenic area, a world natural heritage site. Rising 1074 meters above sea level, it is covered with verdant trees reaching a height of about 150 meters. It is characterized by grotesque rock formation with outstanding vertical textures. Jutting into the blue sky, it looks like a pillar holding up heaven itself. That is why it is given the name the South-Heaven Pillar in the first place. In December 2008, Hanson, a Hollywood photographer, spent four days here taking photos and these photos later became the basis for Pandora, a major setting in the movie Avatar by James Cameron. South-Heaven Pillar was the inspiration for the movie’s Hallelujah Mountain.
Zhangjiajie Tour Itinerary
Day 1: When you arrive at the railway station, make sure that you have all your baggage and follow the other passengers to the exit. Your personal tour guide and driver will wait for you holding a sign with your name on it. You will take a private, air-conditioned vehicle to Tianmen Mountain National Park. The cable car station is near the railway station and is regarded as the longest mountain cableway in the world (7455 meters). There is one stop halfway so you have to take a shared shuttle on winding roads with 99 bends to reach the Tianmen Cave. Taking the cable car to the top gives you a chance to explore all the attractions in the mountain including temples and natural landscapes. Among them, the most interesting and exciting thing to do is walking on the plank roads, especially the glass one! A simple lunch is arranged on the mountain. In the late afternoon, take the cable car down and your guide and driver will escort you to Zhangjiajie National Park for the night. The ride takes about 50 minutes.
Luxury Hotels in Zhangjiajie: Pullman Zhangjiajie, Qinghe Jinjiang International Hotel or similar
Day 2: Get up early in the morning, a long day awaits you. The shared shuttle will take you to the Huangshizhai (Yellow Stone Mesa Plain) cable car station, round trip cable car is included so you will get to the wide platform easily and have a great view of the main attractions. After lunch, you will take a stroll along Jinbian Brook (Golden Whip Brook), it is named so because of the Jinbian Rock that shines like gold in sunlight. Dense trees, clean river, fresh air and naughty monkeys make the walk enjoyable and fun.
Day 3: The highlight for today will definitely be the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. The shared shuttle takes you to Bailong Elevator; it is a sightseeing elevator that takes you up to Yuanjiajie Scenic Area in less than 2 minutes. The Elevator has a vertial height of 335 meters and has been recorded into the Guinness Book of World Records. Avatar Hallelujah Mountain does not float but it inspired Avatar's film director and production designers, see how it inspires you! After lunch on the mountain, you will take the shared shuttle for 1.5 hours to get to Tianzi Mountain. Rock pillars, rock wall, Helong Statue Park, numerous streams and waterfalls are the highlights that you should not miss. Afterwards, you will take the cable car down to the exit.
Day 4: Say goodbye to the mountains as you are escorted back to the airport for your next destination.
Meals: breakfast included in the hotel, fine local restaurants for lunch or dinner upon your request