Stone Pillars in Zhangjiajie, Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Zhangjiajie National Park, Hunan, China
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (literally “Hunan Zhangjiajie National Forest Park”) is a unique national forest park located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in the People’s Republic of China. Zhangjiajie is also known as the Wulingyuan scenic area, including Zhangjiajie, the Tianzi Mountains, Suoxi Valley, and more. The scenery of Wulingyuan is truly spectacular. Zhangjiajie is considered one of the most beautiful places in China. Zhangjiajie city is situated on the semitropical monsoon humid climate zone with a modest climate, plentiful sunshine, flush rainfalls, fertile land and rich tourist resources.
In 1982 it was recognized as China’s first national forest park. Zhangjiajie’s main tourist draw is the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list for its lush vegetation, unique sandstone pillars, pristine waters and a wide variety of species of flora and fauna in 1992. It contains three major sights including the Zhangjiajie Forest Park, Suoxi Vale, and Tianzi Mountain with total coverage is 396 square kilometers. It was then approved by the Ministry of Land and Resources as Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest National Geopark in 2001. In 2004, Zhangjiajie Geopark was listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park. They are the result of many years of erosion. The weather is moist year round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. Much of the erosion which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them. These formations are a distinct hallmark of Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.
Ilya Genkin is a Sydney, Australia photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, Australian outback and deserts, rainforests, lakes and rivers, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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