Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hunan Day 4 - Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, Yellow Dragon Cave & Xiang Xi Show

After travelling more than 20km from Pullman Hotel we were at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon (within the proximity of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park) to walk the famous glass bridge. We were told that the crowd was considered easy and relax if compared to the peak season.
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is a bridge with glass-bottomed and is transparent. It is the longest (430metre long X 6metre wide) and tallest glass bottomed bridge in the world designed by an Israeli Architect. It can carry a maximum of 800 people at one time. This creation has attracted many visitors from every corners of the world to walk on it.
The bridge was opened to the public on 20 August 2016 and ever since the response from the visitors is overwhelming.
Liang laying on the glass bridge for a daring photo shot. We completed walking up and down the glass bridge and were able to complete it quite fast due to the relax crowd.
We stopped by at this restaurant for lunch it was another round of Hunan food before proceeding to the Yellow Dragon Cave 黄龙洞 which was on the same route back to Wulingyuan.
The lunch was good with a little variant of ingredients but the cooking style was about the same. I enjoyed the soup dish.
Here we were we have reached Zhangjiajie famous Yellow Dragon Cave 黄龙洞. I was temporarily taking over the the role of a tourist guide from Little Duck. The distinguished structure of a grass turfed roof is the "Hallelujah Concert Hall" 哈利路亞音樂廳 as the centerpiece to the Ecology Square.
The ladies from our tour group playing monkey business while Little Duck purchasinging tickets for the admission. This place covers a total area of 120 acres, 15 km in length and is divided into dry and wet levels. There are four levels, thirteen chambers, three underground waterfalls, two underground rivers, three pools, ninety-six passages, as well as an underground lake. The largest chamber in the cave is 4,000 m2 and the highest of the three waterfalls is 50 m high. 
 The surrounding before at the entrance point is nicely landscaped with interesting plants and beautiful features.
Huanglong Cave 黃龍洞  (huánglóng dòng) ; literally means "Yellow Dragon Cave" is a karst cave located near the Wulingyuan district. Every year million of visitors will visit this cave.
The guided tour in the cave would take about two hours which includes a boat ride down one of the underground rivers.
The Noisy River is one of the two underground rivers found inside the cave which 2,820 metre long and 6 metre deep averagely. The water stays constantly at 16°C or so throughout the year.
One of the 96 passages in the cave. Indeed there is a fair bit of walking and stair climbing, therefore one has to be fairly fit to endure the 2 hours tour.
The cave is colourfully lit.
The passage running through the many stalagmites and stalactites as we ascended and descended along the route led by a local in-house guide.  
The highest stalagmite measuring 19.2m tall and an icon of Yellow Dragon Cave. This structure is so precious that it has been insured for 100 million RMB and looks like a toothpick.
The tallest stalagmite is also known as the "Sea Suppressing Needle" with a plague stone describing it.
The entrance and exit point of Yellow Dragon Cave.
Having a taste if Xiangxi cuisine for dinner.
Zhangjiajie Cultural Show – Charming Xiangxi 魅力湘西 is located next to Pullman Hotel, hence it was an easy walk to the show.
The “Charming Xiangxi” comprising of actors coming from the local Tujia and Miao families with their fabulous singing and colourfully folk
performances. It truly gave us a chance to see the culture of Zhangjiajie. The entrance fee was RMB268 per head lasting about 3 hours. I enjoyed it very much, there were as well other performances besides the cultural show such as some acrobatic stunt and calligraphy shows.
Lastly an outdoor performance immediately after the indoor show before we called it a night. A short walk back Pullman Hotel to end Day 4 of the tour.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hunan Zhangjiajie Day 3 Wulingyuan National Forest Park

Good morning Pullman Zhangjiajie our comfy accommodation and we simply love it. The yellow bus awaiting for bus in front of the hotel.
The 11 of us in the tour among us were school mates, classmates from the same home towns Padang Serai and Kulim, brother and sisters etc etc from 3 nations Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. And our next destination for the day was the Avatar World at Yuanjiajie at Zhangjiajie National Park which is about 40km away.
The main entrance pagoda building of Wulingyan area of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2002 and it was first set up in 1982.
The access card for the entrance with a charge of 136 yuan per head.
For a faster ascend to the peak we opted for the amazing lift. Bailong Elevator百龙 (Hundred Dragons Elevator) to the peak which is a glass elevator built onto the side of a huge cliff.
It is the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. On 16 July 2015, the elevator was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest outdoor lift.
Zhangjiajie is famous for its 3,000 vertical pillars, each hundreds of feet tall and covered in dense green foliage. These pillars were formed by erosion and draw in more than 30 million tourists every year.
Monkeys are common sight at the national park and this species is the rhesus macaque, one of the best-known species of Old World monkeys.
Yahoo! I am on one of the Avatar flying creatures. Up up and away ......
Camera clicking non stop with so many beautiful sights to capture.
Avatar Hallelujah Mountain 阿凡達-哈利路亞山 is a mountain of  1,080 metres quartz-sandstone pillars. After much inspiration from the vertical pinnacles within the floating mountains called "Hallelujah Mountains" in the film Avatar.
The 5 boys in the tour.
There was a lot of spots to cover besides seeing the pinnacles and the wonderful floating mountains of the park.
Of course there was also lots of walking to to do in order to see more places. This is also known as the Yuanjiajie Scenic Area.
The weather was cold as usual with snow and ice topping everywhere. One has to be careful at certain paths as the surfaces could be very slippery.  
The first bridge under the sun, a natural rock bridge between two mountain peaks and it is truly majestic. The bridge is about 2 meters wide, 5 meters thick spanning a distance of 50 meters.
 It was formed due to weathering and erosion with the lower rocks fallen off and creating a natural bridge. The bridge is decorated by pad locks and red banners by romantic lovers.
And walking continued and enjoying the lovely scenery on top of the highland.
One more at the end of the world first bridge.
Leo our Tour Leader & Liang having fun with the camera lens.
Little Duck our local guide is of a competent capability explaining in depth the places we visited, she is well versed with both Mandarin & English.
Coincidentally I managed to capture this monkey and a background that looks like him, I guess this is the Monkey pinnacle of the National Park.
Having fun tackling obstacles crossing a clear water stream. 
The obstacles before we moved back to Pullman Hotel for a rest.
With a few hours to spare before we gather for dinner me & Jo took a walk into the commercial area of Wulingyuan. Avatar stuff is seen everywhere in the commercial town of Wulingyuan.
Walking across the main river of the town and enjoying its atmosphere.
The commercial shops along the river side.
My guess for the murky water in the river is the heavy construction activities going on in this town and I bet the scenery would be different in the near future if I do come back to visit this place.