How to travel to Zhangjiajie from Guilin

Zhangjiajie and Guilin are both listed into China’s top 10 most beautiful natural places. A lot of travelers would consider the differences between Zhangjiajie and Guilin, and try to figure out which is the better to visit. Actually, each one has its own feature; why not to cover them both? We are here to offer the well-arranged Guilin Zhangjiajie Tours for you. And aslo, the tour program is flexible and can be customized to suit your need.

Zhangjiajie Introduction

If you have seen James Cameron epic movie “Avatar”, you will remember those awe-inspiring scenes from the planet “Pandora” with all those floating mountains. Those ‘Avatar’ mountains are not really floating, but they exist in Zhangjiajie city, south China’s Hunan province. Quartz sandstone peak forest and karst caves constitute the distinctive landscape feature of Zhangjiajie, which are rare in the world. The filmmakes took inspiration from the towering columns of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1992.

Avatar Mountains within Zhangjiajie Natinal Forest Park, China

And also, there is a must-vist tourist site – Tianmen Mountain when you travel in Zhangjiajie. Within, the world’s longest cableway, 99 Bend’s mountain road, cliff-hanging walkway, glass skywalk, and amazing Tianmen Cave all make it very popular among tourists. Even in the same city, the scenery is quite different from the national park.

Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, China

How to get to Zhangjiajie from Guilin

Zhangjaijie is not easily accessible from Guilin, for there is no direct flight, even no direct bus or trains between the two cities.

By Flight
The direct flight service – linking the two popular tourist cities Guilin and Zhangjiajie – has been launched by Okay Airways on May 15, 2015, which is currently the only Guilin-Zhanjiajie route. Please check Direct flight route Guilin – Zhangjiajie launched from May 15, 2015

By Train
There is no direct train between Guilin and Zhangjiajie, but you can change trains or buses via other cities, like Liuzhou or Changsha.

Option 1
One can take a bullet train from Guilin to get to Liuzhou first, then transfer to a overnight train with sleeping berth to Zhangjiajie at Liuzhou Railway Station. Within the same railway station, it will be not difficult to change a train in Liuzhou.
Guilin – Liuzhou: There are 28 bullet trains between Guilin and Liuzhou every day, with a travel time of about 1 hour. It cost RMB 58 yuan for first-class seat, and RMB 45 yuan for second-class seat.
Liuzhou – Zhangjiajie: There are 2 daily trains from Liuzhou to Zhangjiajie, It takes about 11.5 hours, and cost RMB 152/163 yuan for Hard Sleeper. Both of them leaving for Zhanajiajie from Liuzhou are overnight trains, so you can sleep on the train and when you wake up, you will arrive in Zhangjiajie.

If you want to visit Fenghuang Ancient Town, you can get off the train at Jishou Railway Station; and then, change a bus to reach there for around 80 minuters. If not, another 2-hour ride on the same train will take you from Jishou to Zhangjiajie.

Option 2
One can take a high-speed train from Guilin to Changsha South Railway Station, then transfer to a coach or train from Changsha to Zhangjiajie.
Guilin – Changsha: There are 11 bullet trains operating between Guilin and Changsha, with a travel time of 3.5 hours. It costs RMB 182 yuan for second-class seat, and RMB 250 yuan for first-class-seat.
Changsha – Zhangjiajie: After your arrival at Changsha South Railway Station, take subway line 2 to Wangchengpo Station and walk about 170 meters to Changsha West Bus Station. There are many buses running between Changsha and Zhangjiajie every day from 08:00 to 19:00. It takes about four hours and costs 71–121 yuan.

By Bus
Zhangjiajie is about 829 kilometers from Guilin by expressway, so taking a bus is not recommended for such a journey.

Edible flower food with Sweet Osmanthus in Guilin

Guilin literally means “forest of Sweet Osmanthus” in Chinese; Gui 桂 – sweet osmanthus, and Lin 林 = forest. The evergreen Osmanthus trees grows everywhere in and around the city. Autumn is the season of the sweet osmanthus. The blossoms grow in small bunches and give off a rich, heady perfume. Naturally, the locals have a passion for sweet osmanthus, and its flowers have been widely used into the cooking.

Sweet Osmanthus - the city flower of Guilin,China

Osmanthus flower

Chinese people were cooking with flowers over 2,000 years ago. Recipes that incorporate edible flowers can be date throughout various dynasties. Flowers has been widely as ingredients, seasoning and garnish in Chinese food. Various flower cuisines were invented, including cakes, soups and dishes. Actually, flowers were included in the diet not only for their attractive colors and fragrances, but have medicinal benefits as dietary therapy.

Osmanthus flower, called guihua 桂花 in Chinese, has a uniquely sweet and buttery fragrance. There are many ways to use the tiny golden-yellow osmanthus flowers in food, drinks or even skincare. After harvested and dried, they can used to produce osmanthus-scented tea, wine, cakes, wine, sauces amd even dishes.

Osmanthus Tea – (guìhuāchá, 桂花茶)

Osmanthus tea

The osmanthus flowers are used as an infusion on their own after being properly dried. Also, they can be infused with black, green or oolong tea leaves to creat a scentd tea. The easiest way to make this tea is to simply pour hot water over the flowers which are held in some kind of tea strainer. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) claims that a cup of osmanthus tea each day can improve complexion.

Osmanthus Rice Cake – (guìhuāGāo, 桂花糕)

Osmanthus Tea,Guilin China speciality

Osmanthus rice cakes

Guilin has a very delicate candy called Osmanthus rice cakes. They are made with sugar, osmanthus and glutinous rice flour. These cakes are steamed over a hot fire and, when take out, ready to eat. The overall taste of this sweet dessert is fragrant with the infused scent of osmanthus.

Osmanthus Wine 桂花酒 – (guìhuāJiu, 桂花酒)

Osmanthus wine

Osmanthus flowers can be used to flavor rice wine, an old tradition for centuries. In Guilin, the Sanhua alcohol is infused with osmanthus to make an aromatic wine – Osmanthus Wine. It has a sweet and sour taste. For its lightness and skincare, Osmanthus Wine often called “lady’s wine”.