Zhangjiajie is a prefecture-level city consisting of Yongding and Wulingyuan Districts, Cili and Sangzhi Counties. Wulingyuan District, also called Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, is endowed with striking natural beauty. This site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. It is also home to a number of endangered plant and animal species. Therefore, it was listed into the World Natural Heritage Catalogue by the UNESCO in 1992, and was awarded the title of “World Geological Park” in 2004.
Quartz Sandstone Peak Forest and Karst Caves constitute the outstanding landscape features of Zhangjiajie, which are rare in the world. Here you’ll find yourself with hundreds of grotesque peaks, beautiful waters, towering trees, deep valleys, marvelous caves and exuberant forest that have formed a complete primitive ecological environment. In fact, Zhangjiajie, honored as “the most fantastic mountain under heaven” and “a living Chinese landscape painting”, is a perfect combination of the beauty of Guilin, the grotesqueness of Mount Huang, the peril of Mount Hua and the magnificence of Mount Tai. It is also widely acclaimed as “an enlarged potted landscaping”, “a miniature fairyland” and “a maze of nature”, attracting a growing number of tourists from home and abroad.
STUNTS AND PERFORMANCES
- In December 1999, 15 international stunt flying aces from all over the world performed some breathtaking stunt flying in the skies above Tianmen Mountain. Out of this group, seven pilots flew their planes through Tianmen Cave for the very first time, while 800 million people watched the live coverage of this inaugural feat.
- In October 2007, French “Spider man” Alain Robert, famous for climbing high buildings and mountains, came to Zhangjiajie and climbed the left wall of the hole in Tianmen Mountain Equipped only with a pair of climbing shoes, he scaled the rocky wall of the mountain with his bare hands, thrilling onlookers from all over the world.
- In May 2009 and September 2011, Zhangjiajie played host to the International Country Music Festival, in which more than 400 performers from 19 countries and areas performed and delighted international crowds. This is not the American variety of country music, although Zhangjiajie officials may have had Nashville on its mind when this idea was conceived. Rather, it is more a celebration of diversity of ethnic or “country” music. The festival delivers “an eclectic mix of both international country artists and some of the homegrown variety, which highlight the musical heritage of China’s ethnic communities” and “promote cultural development in all the world’s regions through the medium of country music.”
- In September 2010, the first International Cultural Tourism Festival took place in Zhangjiajie. By organizing and carrying out a broad variety of activities nationwide and publicizing and reporting the event through concentrated effort, the festival aims at presenting the accomplishments in the combination of tourism and culture and promoting the prosperity and development of the cultural tourism market.
- Recently, the Zhangjiajie municipal government selected some “Air Girls” as representatives from eight big cities. Their aim is to promote the ”the fresh, clean, honest, warm and hospitable” air in Zhangjiajie and “welcome friends from all over the world to the World Natural Heritage of Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan, breathing sweet, pure, fresh air.”
- In September of 2011, world-renowned adventurer Jeb Corliss performed the stunt of flying through Tianmen Hole with a wing-suit. Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit. Tianmen Hole is a 360-foot-tall, 96-foot-wide, and 260-foot-long formation located near the city of Zhangjiajie in central China’s Hunan Province. Corliss jumped from a helicopter hovering at 6,000 feet and successfully navigated through the hole.