BigWorldAndSmallWorld Blog

China’s Avatar Zhangjiajie Forest National Park

Posted in Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the August 3rd, 2019

The first time I went to Zhangjiajie was thirty years ago. It was a fun and memorable trip with some of my high school friends. Even today I remembered many things about the trip. The place was so rural and so different than the big city Shanghai where we lived. I remembered for the first time in life we had to stone a chicken for supper outside a restaurant. I remembered we stayed at a farmer’s house for a couple of nights because at that time Zhangjiajie was not a tourist place yet so there were no hotels. The farmer’s family was so nice to us and they yield their wedding bed for us to sleep. I remembered one time we were hiking on the mountains and all a sudden the rain poured down like cats and dogs, we had no place to hide so we kept walking on the muddy slippery road until we hit a small hut. We entered the hut for shelter and dried our clothes at a fire place. I remembered at the hill foot there is a small town called Furong 芙蓉镇 where a famous movie was shot there. When we arrived at the town, I got fever and our travel group was nice enough to stay an extra day there so that I can rest and feel better again to continue our adventure.

Thirty years later, this time I took a tour. So much has changed I almost could not recognize the place. It is very commercial now. Unlike before the only transportation is on foot, today there is a cable car taking you high above the mountains where you can view the misty mountainous outside from inside the car. The view is awesome and scary at times. The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park, like the rocks we see in the movie Avatar. In the park, Tianmenshan 天门山is probably the most well-known sight. The name came from the arched rock high above the mountain looks like a window in the sky. I walked the 99 steep stairs down; it was quite an experience and I think you definitely should try. Besides the rock formations, there is a cave called 黄龙洞,a waterfall at the entrance to a lake called 宝峰湖, and a show at night called 湘西魅力 are worthy to see.

Even though I like the rustic nature before Zhangjiajie was a popular tourist attraction much better, I have to admit that among the new things I do like the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon opened the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in 2016, it’s the longest (430 m (1,410 ft)) and highest (300 m (980 ft)) pedestrian glass bridge in the world. Walking on the see-through glass bridge high above the canyon, the feeling was a mix of awesome and scary. At times I felt like I had to sit down instead of stand on the bridge. The other new thing I like is the cliff side glass walkway where you walk along the sharp and steep cliff side via a see-through glass walkway attached to the cliff wall. I highly recommend the experience, it’s very awesome.

Finally you may ask where is Zhangjiajie? It is located in Hunan province in central China. It is the province where famous Chairman Mao Ze Dong was born.

Hidden Gem Guizhou

Posted in Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the August 3rd, 2019

Guizhou province located in southwest China is known for its traditional rural villages such as the 14th century Qingyan ancient town and the 74m-high Huangguoshu waterfall one of the largest waterfalls in China and East Asia. Its capital city Guiyang is a vibrant city. If you ask me ten years ago what do I think about Guizhou? I would not hesitate to say it’s poor. But after I visited Guiyang and Huangguoshu waterfall last year, my impression of this place has changed. Because I like nature, I really like the natural resources this province has.

There are two well-known Guizhou food I tried and liked: Si Wa Wa 丝娃娃and Suan Tang Yu酸汤鱼。Si Wa Wa, I take it gets its name from many dishes of thinly julienned vegetables and you wrap them in a thin pancake like a doll, then you put any sauce you like on top and eat it. Suan Tang Yu, you pick a live fish, several complements and a broth. The restaurant cleans the fish for you and brings the broth in front of you so you can cook the fish and the complements on your table in a big pot by yourself. Besides tasting good, I like the way you wrap or cook food by yourself, it makes you feel involved in the process and it’s very interesting.

Suantangyu picture credit to

Huangguoshu waterfall is huge and truly amazing. Nowadays you can get to Huangguoshu waterfall rather easily by train and then after you get to the nearest town you can take a taxi. Plan to stay 1-night is a good way to see all three parts of Huangguoshu National Park. There are a couple of decent and cheap hotels near Huangguoshu. The three parts of Huangguoshu are Dou Po Tang 陡坡塘,Da Pu Bu 大瀑布,and Tian Xing Qiao 天星桥。If you arrive Huangguoshu after noon on day 1, I recommend visiting Dou Po Tang in the afternoon. Day 2 I recommend visit Da Pu Bu first because this is the largest scene in the park and normally it gets a lot of people in the afternoon. After visiting Da Pu Bu, then you can visit Tian Xing Qiao. You will be able to finish these two parts by the afternoon and it’s time to head back. If you plan to follow my recommendation, then you will need to buy 2-day tickets. All three parts are beautiful and easy to walk around. Inside the park, you will feel close to the nature and the air is fresh. It’s definitely a relax vacation place.

The day I went to Qingyan ancient town was a rainy day. From Guiyang city, I took a bus to get there. Strolling around the town, I like the small village feeling. There are many interesting small shops along the streets where you can look around or buy all kinds of merchants and art-work. I like the street-food the most; there are many options you can choose from. I felt like wherever I went, I could find something to eat, it’s so hard to resist the food temptation. The town has several gates, there is even a small wall like the Great Wall of China where you can climb up and have a good view of the town and surrounding areas.

Today Guizhou Huangguoshu is becoming a very attractive tourist place even for Chinese people.