Ilya Genkin Fine Art Landscape Photography, Travel Photography

Photography, Australian Landscape Photography, Panoramic Photos,
Fine Art Photography, Travel Photography, Landscapes, Stock Images

Wulingyuan Scenic Area

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountains, Suoxi Valley , Hunan Province, 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.

Zhangjiajie is famous worldwide for its pristine national scenery and the government's potent policy on tourist infrastructure construction in recent year has boosted the region's tourist industry and made it one of the new-rising popular tourist destinations in China.

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.

One of the park's quartz-sandstone pillars, the 3,544-foot Southern Sky Column, had been officially renamed "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain" in honor of the eponymous film in January 2010. According to park officials, photographs from Zhangjiajie inspired the floating Hallelujah Mountains seen in the film. The film's director and production designers said that they drew inspiration for the floating rocks from mountains from around the world, including those in the Hunan province.