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Guides / Itineraries

A classic Western Hunan tour

By Dianshi Yuan

October 10

Take a week-long trip to see the picturesque natural scenery and experience the rich history.

Take a week-long trip to see the picturesque natural scenery and experience the rich history.

Amazing landscapes, karst formations and roads make western Hunan a great region to tour. A week-long trip is perfect to see the picturesque natural scenery and experience the rich history.

1. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park 张家界国家森林公园

Classic tour: Zhangjiajie Grand Canon Glass Bridge [Image Credit: VCG]
Zhangjiajie Grand Canon Glass Bridge [Image Credit: VCG]
Listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is one of western Hunan’s top highlights. The notable pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park inspired the landscape of the 2009 film Avatar.  The world’s longest and highest glass bridge, Zhangjiajie Grand Canon Glass Bridge , officially opened to the public in 2016.

Entry:248yuan/person

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 18:00

Best time to visit: May – November

2. Red Stone Forest National Geopark 红石林

Red Stone Forest National Geopark [Image Credit: VCG]
Red Stone Forest National Geopark [Image Credit: VCG]
The Red Stone Forest National Geopark, 98km from Zhangjiajie in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture is a 260-square-kilometer park that covers karst landforms, a gorge scenic area, underground rivers, waterfalls, and lakes. Dating back to 480 million years ago, the park’s red carbonate rocks, change color with the weather. The park also hosts operas and dance performances such as the Nuo Opera, Maogusi and Hand-Waving Dance.

Entry:148 yuan/person

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00

3. Fenghuang Ancient Town 凤凰古城

Fenghuang Ancient Town [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wei Wang]
Fenghuang Ancient Town [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Wei Wang]
People think of author Shen Congwen, the love story of Cuicui, and traditional Tujia architecture when they hear Fenghuang. The town is situated on the western boundary of Hunan, in an area of outstanding natural beauty with green mountains and clean rivers. Fenghuang Ancient Town is filled with dozens of flagstone alleyways and stilted Tujia ethnic wooden houses.

Entry:133 yuan/person

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:30

4. Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain 老司城遗址

Site of Laosicheng [Image Credit:VCG]
Site of Laosicheng [Image Credit:VCG]
The Laoshicheng Tusi Domain was the economic, cultural and political center of western Hunan from the Southern Song to Qing dynasties. It was run using the Tusi system (土司制度), a hereditary political system designed for management of ethnic groups. The preserved relics include the Hall of the Patriarch, the Ancestral Hall of the Peng Family, and the Tusi Ancient Tomb Complex.

Entry:158 yuan/person

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00

5. Wanfo Mountain 万佛山

Glass-bottomed walkway of Wanfo Mountain [Image Credit: VCG]
Glass-bottomed walkway of Wanfo Mountain [Image Credit: VCG]
Wanfo Mountain, 200km from Huaihua City in the southwest of Hunan, is a national geological park with Danxia Landforms. Wanfo Mountain is blessed with abundant rare animals and plants species, plus a 600-meter high glass-bottomed walkway.

Entry:90 yuan/person

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00

6. Aizhai Suspension Bridge 矮寨大桥

Aizhai Suspension Bridge [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Dongping He]
Aizhai Suspension Bridge [Image Credit: photostock.china.com.cn/Dongping He]
The Aizhai Suspension Bridge (矮寨大桥), one the world’s highest and longest tunnel-to-tunnel bridges, carries traffic 355m above Dehang Canyon in western Hunan. Construction on the Aizhai Bridge went from 2007 to 2011 and reduced the travel time between Jishou City and Chadong County from four hours to less than one.

Entry:100 yuan/person

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:30

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