What to See and Do
Zhangjiajie offers several sites and activities representing the region’s unique culture. Following are a few examples.
The Tujia people’s Diaojiaolou house has its own ethnic distinction because it has been designed and constructed to overhang the water and be supported by many wooden pillars. Tujia people are accustomed to constructing their houses over the water and in proximity to the mountains, with most residences established in the valleys, giving the appearance of crouching tigers. Clearly, the best way to construct a spacious and stable house, while economizing on material, is to lay the foundation on wooden pillars and build the structure upon it. Over several millennia, a simple shelter against wind and rain has evolved into a construction, which is practical, graceful and artistic, harmonizing with the surrounding natural environment.
Tujian Folk Custom Park
This large-scale cultural attraction demonstrates the folk customs of the Tujia peoples in various aspects such as architecture, food, agriculture, military art, and more. Most of the buildings in Zhangjiajie Tujia Folk Custom Park are constructed with wood and stone with the characteristics of carved girder and painted columns, upturned eaves, and especially exquisite workmanship and ingenious construction.
Charming Western Hunan Show
This performance offers primitive simplicity and is full of Zhangjiajie local folk flavor. The show deeply explores the mystery and unique minority life, including the age-old (Xiangxi Sacrifice), full-bodied (Miaojia Wine Drink), bold and unrestrained (Xiangzi Miaojia Drum), amorous (Tujia date), humorous (Tujia Kujia), mystery (Xiangxi Corpse Chase), and straightforward (Maogusi Dance). After featuring dancing, singing, traditional Chinese acrobatics and Qigong, the shows end with a huge bonfire.
Tianmen Fox Fairy Show
Known as the world’s first musical drama with the actual high mountains and deep valleys as the stage background, the Tianmen Fox Fairy Shows is performed at the foot of Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie. Originated from a traditional Chinese myth and folk tale, “Love between Man and Fox,” the drama integrates the elements of folk music and modern art. As the story progresses, you will find settings everywhere from the foot of the hill to the peak, be it spotlight, stage for the chorus, background houses…everything. The visual presentation is spectacular and amazing, the music, dancing and singing is impressive.
Every night (with the exception of harsh winter months) the show is performed at the Grand Valley of Tianmen Mountain. Here you can listen to sweet music, admire colorful lighted scenes, and experience the strong folk custom of Tujia and Miao minorities. Since this open-air drama is only performed at night, bring a jacket during cooler months. Tickets are available from most travel agencies or hotels.