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Guides / Itineraries

World Heritage in China: Shennongjia Nature Reserve

By Weiwei Guan

August 2

A mysterious place with stunning natural scenery

A mysterious place with stunning natural scenery

Shennongjia (神农架) Nature Reserve in Hubei was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 17, 2016. It’s the first World Natural Heritage site in Hubei and the first to be awarded three UNESCO laurels — as a World Heritage site, a member of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, and a Global Geopark.

Shennongjia area was once submerged in a prehistoric ocean. Yanshan and Himalayan tectonic movements have since carved Shennongjia’s distinct landscape. It has an average elevation of 1700m, with its highest peak reaching 3105.4m, and its lowest point at 398m.

Shengnongjia Scenic Area [Image Credit:]
Shengnongjia Scenic Area [Image Credit:]

All colors of nature

Shennongjia is home to four climates: subtropical, warm-temperature, temperate and cold-temperate zones. It features a remarkable diversity of flora and is one of the world’s best-preserved subtropical forest ecosystems.

Shengnongjia Scenic Area [Image Credit:]
Shengnongjia Scenic Area [Image Credit:]

Animal kingdom

Shennongjia’s wildlife includes golden monkeys and whitenized animals like white bears, white muntjacs, white monkeys, and white snakes. While a handful of theories have been proposed including the existence of low-sunshine habitats in the reserve, the abundance of whitenized animals at Shennongjia is still largely a mystery.

Golden monkeys [Image Credit:]
Golden monkeys [Image Credit:]

Getting there

Take a direct flight to Shennongjia from Shanghai, Wuhan or Chongqing and take a shuttle bus to Muyu Township (木鱼镇) (the location of the Shennongjia scenic spots), about 50km from Shennongjia Airport.

Or take bus from Yichang City. It departs:

6:00 a.m.

9:20 a.m.

9:30 a.m.

1:30 p.m.

Ticket: 25 yuan

Travel time: 4.5 hours

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