Climbing the “Avatar Mountains” at Zhangjiajie

If you’ve watched the movie “Avatar” before, then you’ll definitely find the following photo familiar. The mountains in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park were the inspiration behind the floating “Hallelujah Mountains” in the award winning movie, “Avatar”.


It was really an amazing experience as we set foot into the forest. There’s just this calming effect of being one with nature. At the start of the trek, you’ll have to walk through a forest trail lined with tall bamboo trees for a couple of hours, before climbing steps up to the top of the mountains. Compared to Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain), this trek was so much easier. Definitely lesser steps to climb than Huang Shan.


After about half a day of climbing, we reached the top! Abit foggy though when we were there, apparently August is China’s most rainy season. Cos of the fog, we didn’t get to see the sun rise 🙁 Neither did we see any stars. But thankfully during the next day, the fog cleared up for awhile and we were able to capture some beautiful shots of the majestic mountains of Zhangjiajie.  Also like most commercialised mountains, there’s an option of taking the cable car up to the top if you don’t feel like climbing.


Besides trekking at Zhangjiajie National Forest, we also decided to check out the ever famous Tianmen Shan which was located at Zhangjiajie too. This place was really quite cool because:

1. It has the longest cable car route to the summit of the high mountains in the world.


2. It has a glass path built onto the cliff face at the top of the mountain. You’ll also be asked to wear this funny blue cloth “shoes” over your own shoes to prevent scratches on the glass. 


3. There’s a humongous natural hole in the middle of the mountain at the top. Quite an intimidating flight of steps to climb before reaching the “hole”. 


4. You get to write your wishes on a red cloth and tie it at the most unreachable areas of the mountain as possible. 


So yes, Zhangjiajie is a really cool place and it should definitely be on your must-go list in China!

Essential Information

Where we stayed at:

Bajie Youth Hostel
108¥/night for a twin bed room with aircon from 8pm to 9am. Bajie hostel has a very interesting value add service, they have a free guide consultation service every night at 7.30pm. You can get information from the “guide” on how to get to the various attractions at Zhangjiajie.

How to get here

We took the public bus to both Zhangjiajie National Forest and Tianmen Shan. Public bus cost us only 2¥ per person! Bajie’s very convenient, only about 30mins bus ride to both attractions. Can’t recall the exact bus number though, you can check with your hostel receptionist.

How much does it cost

Zhangjiajie National Forest Entrance fee: 245¥/pax (40USD)

Tianmen Shan: 258¥/pax (42 USD) (TIP: If you’re staying at Bajie, get the tickets from your hostel’s receptionist the day before to get the tickets at a discounted price!)

Hope our post inspired you to decide to check out Zhangjiajie if you’ll be heading to China anytime soon! Do drop us a comment if you’re planning a trip there or if you have any enquiries, we’ll try our best to help 🙂