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Home Travel in Hunan Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Travel in Hunan

Wulingyuan Scenic Area (wǔ líng yuán fēng jǐng qū 武陵源风景区), lying to the north of Zhangjiajie (zhāng jiā jiè 张家界) City, is a charming tourist attraction. It is one of the 40 famous scenic spots in China. It is said to be 'The ampliative miniascape and the contractible fairyland' and was admitted to the 'World Heritage List' in 1992.

The spot boasts of natural beauty where mountains, valleys, forests, caves, lakes and waterfalls exist in total harmony. Over 560 scenic sights can be found here. The strangely-shaped peaks, the absurd stones, the hidden valleys, the wonderful waters and the limestone caves form the 'Five Wonders' of Wulingyuan and they are really worth seeing.

Covering an area of 690 square kilometers (266 square miles), Wulingyuan consists of four parts, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (zhāng jiā jiè guó jiā sēn lín gōng yuán 张家界国家森林公园), Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve (suǒ xī yù zì rán fēng jǐng qū 索溪峪自然风景区), Tianzi (son of heaven) Mountain Natural Resource Reserve (tiān zǐ shān zì rán fēng jǐng qū 天子山自然风景区) and the newly added Yangjiajie Scenic Area (yáng jiā jiè fēng jǐng qū 杨家界风景区).

altThe Zhangjiajie National Forest Park(zhāng jiā jiè guó jiā sēn lín gōng yuán 张家界国家森林公园) is the first state-level forest park in China. Over ninety-seven percent of the park is covered with varieties of trees and other valuable plants. The park is a real treasure house. The Lobster Flower (lóng xiā huā 龙虾花), a sort of flower that can change color five times in a day, is unique in the park. The views in this area include the Golden Whip Stream (jīn biān xī 金鞭溪), Huangshi Fort (huáng shī zhài 黄狮寨)and Yuanjiajie (yuán jiā jiè 袁家界). The Golden Whip Stream is a poetic stream, with crystal clear water running quietly between strangely-shaped peaks. The Huangshi Fort and Yuanjiajie are both classic spots that can not be missed in the park.

The Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve (suǒ xī yù zì rán fēng jǐng qū 索溪峪自然风景区) is the center of the scenic zone and is the largest among the four areas of the park. About 200 scenic spots can be found here. Suoxiyu is transliterated from the language of the Tu Minority Group (tǔ jiā zú 土家族), and it means 'a mountainous village with dense fog'. This area includes the Ten-mile Gallery (gān xī gōu 干溪沟), where vivid pictures formed by its peaks are rather impressive. The West Sea (xī hǎi 西海), also called the sea of stone forests, is amazing. Bao Feng Lake (bǎo fēng hú 宝峰湖) is also an excellent place to visit to gain an understanding of the local customs of West Hunan Province.

The Tianzi Mountain Natural Resource Reserve (tiān zǐ shān zì rán fēng jǐng qū 天子山自然风景区) is rich in strange peaks and rocks, and in constant clouds and fog. The reserve lies at a high elevation which makes sightseeing physically challenging. The Yellow Dragon Spring (huáng lóng quán 黄龙泉), Teaboard Tower (chá pán tǎ 茶盘塔) and Lao Wu Chang (lǎo wū chǎng 老屋场) are areas which have been developed for visitors. This reserve is renowned for four marvelous spectacles: the cloud and mist, the night with shining moon, the winter snow and the morning and evening rosy clouds.

altIt wasn't until the 1990s that the Yangjiajie Scenic Area was preserved. Legends had it that in order to suppress rebellion, the famous Yang Family, a family quite loyal to the court and contributed to the fighting against Qi Dan (qì dān 契丹) in the Song Dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝), camped and settled here later because of the continuous war. And as a result, Yangjiajie emerged. So far, the pedigree of the Yang Family is still well kept in this area which also contains the Tian Bo Mansion (tiān bō fǔ 天波府), Liu Lang Bay (liù láng wān 六郎湾) and Qi Lang Bay (qī láng wān 七郎湾).

Together with the natural scenery of the four sections of the park, the life and customs of several Chinese minority groups, Tu (tǔ 土), Miao (miáo 苗), Bai (bái 白), are also of interest. Their houses, farms and their singing and dancing undoubtedly add an element of happiness and beauty to Wulingyuan.