6 Days Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang Tour Into the forgotten villages

A forest of stunning sandstone pillars rise from the canyons, forested valleys filled with rare flora and fauna, beautifully preserved ancient city and some culturally rich villages settle along the Southern Great Wall in western Hunan. On this trip, we will be travelling southwards from Zhangjiajie to Fenghuang then Huaihua. Along the way, visit an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site, discover a region of lush foliage and myriad ethic groups, which have stuck to the old customs, both of their method of cultivation and the lifestyle.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the surreal landscape, Zhangjiajie, in China
  • Delve into the soul of Zhangjiajie city, Tianmen Mountain, or the “ Heaven’s Gate”
  • Get on to the world’s highest outdoor elevator and longest glass bridge
  • Visit some ancient villages that live various ethnic minorities in western Hunan
  • Climb the Southern Great Wall

Customizable Tour Itinerary

Arrive at the airport or station in Zhangjiajie city, Hunan province, where you will meet your personal tour guide and will be transferred to Santo Domingo International Hotel by private transport. Be sure to pack your backpack and get your head down on pillow at a sensible time, to prepare yourself for this wonderful journey that lie ahead in the coming days.

  • Hotels: Jiangya Hot Spring Resort Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiajie Pullman Hotel, Western Grand Hotel Zhangjiajie

Please take note that heavy items such as backpacks and camera are not allowed on the Glass Bridge. You can consign your belongings at the entrance of Glass Bridge.

Today you will be going to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. In this UNESCO protected park more than 3000 spectacularly weathered sandstone pinnacles rise up from the forested valley. Private transport to the National Forest Park before taking shuttle bus to Huangshi Village cable car station. Shuttle bus will transport you from one attraction to another within the park. Take a cable car and ascend the plateau to Huangshi Village. If you wish to hike up to Huangshi Village, it will take you about 2.5 hours to clumber up the plateau. Huangshi Village, or the Yellow Stone Village, located up on a plateau with an elevation of 1080 meters, is near the Forest Park Entrance. Less visited by most of the visitors, yet a place that you should not miss. Sometimes, you can catch sea of cloud rolling in around the stone pillars at ‘Reach for the Star’ Pavilion. A maximum of 2.5 hours is needed for you to have a thorough look around at Huangshi Village. Descend by cable car we shall continue our journey to Golden Whip Stream.

Continue, we will hike along a stream run across the verdant valley near Huangshi Village. Golden Whip Stream is located on the canyon floor in the most beautify canyon in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Dripping moss, fragrant blossoms and acrobatic monkeys, Golden Whip Stream path is a tranquil, flat trail meandering 5.7km east from the Forest Park entrance to the Bailong Elevator. You will find some endangered species, such as Chinese giant salamander, lurk in the area. During summer or in the late evening, you can hear ensemble serenaded by a chorus of chirping insects and birds in the canyon. Take a leisure walk about 2.5 hours, you will reach Shuiraosimen or ‘The Junction of Four Streams’. Take a rest and we will take shuttle bus out of the scenic area.


Then, your driver will bring you to Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, where you will meet a mind-boggling glass structure. Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, which is 375 meters long and 300 meters high, is the world’s longest glass bridge. Triggering dread in the heart of many visitors, it is the most exciting walk in this area. Alert, acrophobics may want to skip this attraction. From the glass bridge, you are provided with the best angle to the whole area. Dare you to look down through the crystal clear base of the bridge, you will find yourself above a lush forest and mist filled canyon. Later, you will be transport back to the hotel. Have enough sleep and get ready for tomorrow’s journey.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,

Your driver will take you to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park after your breakfast in the hotel. Today, we are going to Yuanjiajie and Tianzi Mountain in the national forest park.


Ascend to Yuanjiajie by the world’s highest outdoor elevator, Bailong Elevator, which is built alongside a massive rock pillar. 335 meters, with just 66seconds, leaving the canyon below, you will find this ride short yet a memorable one. Then take a 6 minutes shuttle bus or 32 minutes hike to the main highlights in Yuanjiajie.

At Yuanjiajie area, forest of natural skyscrapers with incredible heights, sheer cliffs and peculiar shapes unfold in front of you. When the weather is humid, white and slow-motion of ‘cloud waterfall’ roll in around those sandstone pillars. The No. 1 Natural Stone Bridge, is a stone plate spanning two adjacent peaks, 357m above the canyon floor. Feel free to walk on this 20 meters long bridge and feel the thrill coming from your heart. Besides, you can have a panorama view of this natural stone bridge from a distance at Wangqiao Platform. Mihun Platform (or literally means the enchanted platform), provides you mesmerising views, is one of the best observatory platform in Yuanjiajie. The ‘Back Garden’, or the ‘Backyard’, is where you can see a concentration of sandstone pillars rising up from the verdant forest. The spotlight will be given to a gravity defying pillar, Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. It is called the Southern Sky Pillar or the Heaven and Earth Column, but most people call it Avatar Hallelujah Mountain for having served as the inspiration of “Hallelujah Mountain” in the movie Avatar.


Grotesque rocks stand in the luxuriant valley, stunning peaks rise one after another. At an altitude of 1260 meters, Tianzi Mountain will provide you an amazing view. Sea of cloud appears more often in this area, especially after the rain. At Tianzi Mountain, you will visit some of the highlights including Imperial Calligraphy Brush Peaks, ‘Fairy Scattering Flowers’ Peak, ‘Son of Heaven’ Pavilion, and Shentangwan. Imperial Calligraphy Brush Peaks, a favourite spot for photographers, is a line of calligraphy brush-like stone pillars of various height, which thrust up from forested valley. ‘Fairy Scattering Flowers’ Peak will need your imagination. It is a peak that look like a fairy with a basket of flower in her arm. Tianzi Pavilion literally means the ‘Son of Heaven’ Pavilion, is the best place to view the whole scenery of Tianzi Mountain. While the most mysterious place in National Forest Park, Shentangwan, is a deep depression filled with sandstone pillars and primeval forest. Go near the depression, you can hear growling and howling of wind as if the sound of an unseen battle deep in the valley. Descend the mountain by cable car at Tianzi Mountain cable car station before taking shuttle bus out of the scenic area. Then private transport will bring you back to hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,

Please take note that Tianmen Cave will be close during winter, and glass walkway will be close during rainy or snowy weather.

In the morning, your driver will transfer you to Tianmen Mountain Cable Car Station in downtown. You will then take the 7km-long Tianmen Mountain Cable Car to the summit. This is Asia's longest cableway and it takes about half an hour to bring you up to the summit. Tianmen Mountain, with an elevation of 1518.6 meters, is the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie and is known as the soul of the city. You can see this mountain from anywhere in Zhangjiajie city. Take another cable car down to Tianmen Temple which is first built in Ming dynasty, and view some cultural sites around the area, before heading to Guigu walkway and Tianmen Mountain glass-bottomed walkway. These 4,691 feet high walkways are suspended and cling to the sheer cliff of the mountain. Feel your adrenaline pumping while walking on the skywalks. Take the underground elevator down to the marvellous scene, Tianmen Cave or Heaven’s Door, which is a conspicuous huge hole that cut through the mountainside. Or you can choose to walk down 999 steps to Heaven's Door. Then take a shuttle bus down Avenue towards Heaven or the winding 99-Bend Road. Then, your driver will transfer you safely to Fenghuang Ancient City, which is a 3 hour drive, then check in at Phoenix Grand Hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
  • Hotels: Phoenix Grand Hotel Fenghuang
Cable car up Tianzi MountainCable car up Tianzi Mountain

A day to visit the Fenghuang Ancient City and villages around. First we will go to Fenghuang Ancient City, literally means Phoenix Ancient City. Sets among the low-lying hills with its diverse housings build along the river, this city has a history of more than 400 years. First built in 1556 A.D., it was once a frontier town that marked the boundary between Han civilization of the central plains and minorities from the southwest region. Despite the segregation, Fenghuang still prospered as a centre of trade and cultural exchange. There are 9 major attractions in Fenghuang Ancient City, namely are Shencongwen’s former residences, Xiongxiling’s former residence, Yang family’s ancestral hall, East Gate Tower, Longevity Palace, Congde Hall, Chenbaozhen’s residence, Hong Bridge and tour around the ancient city by boat. Those architectures you will see in the ancient city are mostly from Ming and Qing dynasty. Winding alleys, temples with elaborated ornamental carvings and rickety stilt houses, has attracted loads of visitors. An iconic building is set across the river. Hong Bridge or Wind and Rain Bridge is a typical Dong minority’s bridge that was built 600 years ago. This attractive structure set across the Tuo River, connecting residences settle at both side of the river. The bridge will illuminate at night, it is best to view from a distance. Fenghuang Ancient City Wall, restored fragments of the former city wall, with carving of fish and mythical beasts adorn the eaves of the gate towers. You can get some nice photos early in the morning, when the whole city is covered in fog, or at night, when the sight of neon lights illuminated Fenghuang is simply awesome.

Not far from Fenghaung Ancient City, about 13km west of ancient city, there is this Ming dynasty defensive wall, the Southern Great Wall. This wall was built to segregate Han civilization of the central plains and minorities from the southwest region where its people were seen as barbarian. The Southern Great Wall was once stretched all the way to nearby province, Guizhou. Though this great wall has been largely rebuilt, it still provide you some nice views of the surroundings. Further to the west, sets this small village, Lahao Yinpan Village, with Southern Great Wall runs through the entire village. Stone built residences and lolite stone paved road, this is a photogenic village you should visit. Yanbanyan Miao Minority Village, first built in Tang dynasty, also settles along the Southern Great Wall. Meandering through the village filled with Miao style stone housings, water wheels and paddy fields, you can find a moment of tranquillity here. Huangsiqiao Ancient Town, located 25km west of Fenghuang, a Tang dynasty military outpost, is a well preserved yet deserted village. Stroll down the winding alleys and feel the heartbeat of the town. Then, your driver will transfer you safely back to the hotel.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,
Fenghuang Ancient CityFenghuang Ancient City

Today we will be going to a well-known village 15km away from Huaihua City. Existed ever since the Warring States Period, Jingping Ancient Village, an ethnic minority village, filled with Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, amidst a backdrop of rice paddies and forest green hills. In the past, many ethnic minority group live together in this village. Old wells from Tang dynasty, city walls from Ming dynasty and residences from Qing dynasty, as you meandering through the alleys and lanes, feel the idyllic atmosphere of this village and the calm and conservative quality of its people. Here comes to the end of our journey, your driver will bring you to the airport or station for your next destination.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch,

Price Includes

  • In-country transportationas noted in the itinerary.
  • Admission fees and activity expenses as noted in the itinerary.
  • Luxury or boutique hotels centrally located.
  • Meals in local restaurants as noted in the itinerary with complimentary drinking water.
  • Your own English-speaking guide service.
  • Your own chauffeur and vehicle service.

Price Excludes

  • International transportation.
  • Chinese tourist visa. (which enquired for most foreign passport holders)
  • Travel and medical insurance.
  • Meals, snacks, alcohol, etc. apart from those included in the itinerary.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Sights, excursions and activities not included in the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to guide and driver.


This tour is tailor-made and we can tailor to meet your reqeusts. Your personal travel consultant will contact you within 24 working hours!


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

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