Tiānzǐ Shān

Zhangjiajie

This area is at the top of the plateau near the Wulingyuan entrance, and enjoys many of the park's more spectacular viewpoints. It can be reached directly by cable car (¥72), which makes the main lookouts quite crowded, but if you use the stairs instead – follow the monorail and keep going (figure three hours going up) – you'll eventually leave the crowds behind and have the fantastic scenery all to yourself.

A 15-minute bus ride from the main viewing area to the Dingxiangrong shuttle stop is an unusual Tujia settlement called Fields in the Sky (空中田园, Kōngzhōng Tiānyuán). This overlook can only be reached via electric cart (¥50), but if you're a photographer, the shot looking down on a rapeseed paddy atop a spire is not to be missed. Also here is a less-visited hiking trail that goes from the Grand Sightseeing Platform (大观台, Dà Guān Tái) to One Dangerous Step (一步难行, Yī Bù Nán Xíng), or, alternatively, Celestial Bridge (仙人桥, Xiānrén Qiáo) and the Emperor's Throne (天子座, Tiānzǐ Zuò).