Image by Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images

Zhangjiajie

Rising from the subtropical and temperate forests of northwest Hunan, Zhangjiajie (张家界; Zhāngjiājiè) has a concentration of quartzite-sandstone formations found nowhere else in the world. Some 243 peaks and more than 3000 pinnacles and spires dominate the scenery in this Unesco-protected park. If caught in the right light or when the early-morning mountain mist rolls in around them, the effect is otherworldly.

For thousands of years, this was a remote land known mainly to three groups of Indigenous peoples: Tujia, Miao and Bai. The verdant landscape boasts more than 3000 distinct plant species as well as diverse fauna. You'll see lots of macaques on the main trails (remember, they are wild so don't feed them), while endangered species such as the Chinese giant salamander, Chinese water deer and the elusive clouded leopard (only their tracks have been seen) lurk deep in the park's wilderness.

Explore Zhangjiajie

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Zhangjiajie.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Zhangjiajie.