One Day in Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie is the place that inspired the movie, Avatar. The scenery looks fake. It’s truly unbelievable to see in person. I loved every second of my one day in Zhangjiajie. It was a very busy day but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s how I planned the trip and how I spent one day in Zhangjiajie.

Stone Peaks at Zhangjiajie

My Favorite Photo from One Day in Zhangjiajie

Get an English Speaking Guide for Zhangjiajie

First and foremost, I recommend using an English-speaking tour guide for Zhangjiajie. The reason is that very few people in that region speak English and there are very few foreigners. I used a company called Wendy Wei Tours. My guide and driver picked us up at the airport and organized all the tickets in the park, took us around, etc. There are a lot of moving parts inside the park and a lot of things to sort out so take the stress away with a guide. They’ll also point out the only McDonald’s!

McDonald's in Zhangjiajie

McDonald’s in Zhangjiajie

In my view, this is mandatory at Zhangjiajie because it’s a bit of a madhouse and very confusing if you don’t speak Chinese. Also, find the tour guide well in advance as there aren’t many English-speaking guides who operate there and they book up quickly. I had to email with several companies before I found one that had availability and was reasonably priced. This is the best advice you’ll get, especially for one day in Zhangjiajie so everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Where to Stay in Zhangjiajie

I stayed at the Crown Plaza. It’s right in the town of Wulingyan right along the main road near the main entrance to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. It’s by far the best place to stay in town and at the time of writing the only International brand name hotel. It is very nice to be honest and a very comfortable place to base yourself for one day in Zhangjiajie or a week. Trust me, stay here, at least until they build some more hotels. And they will as they are constructing a brand new high speed train station as they’re growing their tourism and population; currently at 1.7 million.

Beautiful bathroom in my room at the Crown Plaza Zhangjiajie

Beautiful bathroom in my room at the Crown Plaza Zhangjiajie

What to See in Zhangjiajie

Stunning rock peaks at a lookout over Zhangjiajie

Stunning rock peaks at a lookout over Zhangjiajie

The guide will arrange an itinerary for you and will lead you in the proper direction to see the best things and spots inside the park. They also arrange the cable car up to Tianzi Mountain and elevator down from Yuanjiajie and take you along the way navigating the endless busses between the sites.

Absolutely mind-blowing scenery in Zhangjiajie

Absolutely mind-blowing scenery in Zhangjiajie

The sites get better and better as you go along and seeing all the rock peaks, canyons and nature look different at different angles and lights. It’s beyond impressive and will leave you breathless.

Be Patient in Zhangjiajie

crazy crowds during one day in Zhangjiajie

The lines to get to the elevator were insane during my one day in Zhangjiajie

You’ll also be amongst tens of thousands of Chinese tourists. This is not a joke, there are so many and they all want to take selfies like nothing you’ve ever seen before. So be prepared to be patient and to be pushed and bumped a lot. The Chinese do not have the best manners and are photo obsessed.

The elevator was packed fone day in Zhangjiajie

The massively high outdoor elevator was packed for my one day in Zhangjiajie

Also, the lines you’ll experience are pretty epic. They can take forever and the Chinese cut like crazy. It does nothing to yell at them or lose your temper-just accept it and be polite. It’ll drive you mad but again, there’s nothing you can do about it-it’s cultural for them. The lines at the elevator and the busses back to the main entrance are the worst and took a few hours collectively.

My Best Advice for Zhangjiajie

Gazing out over the beautiful scenery of Zhangjiajie

Gazing out over the beautiful scenery of Zhangjiajie

Aside from getting a guide as I mentioned, get there early to avoid the crowds as best as possible and get the best sunlight for photos. The light can be very different at different times of day and in different weather so be prepared and get there early.

Sharing is caring!


  1. Great, practical post!

  2. Cheryl Fertig says

    I hope u were able to swim in your fabulous tub:)
    Tanks 4 all your info on your travels.
    Did you ever wear your fabulous hat?

Speak Your Mind