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.

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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”.

Red clothes of Yao minority in Longsheng

During a Longsheng trip, the long-haired Yao women with red clothing will light up your eyes. They refer to a sub-group of the Yao ethnic minority in Longsheng, and have been named “Hong Yao” beacuse the women wear red clothes. Typically, a national costume of Red Yao features bright red clothing and dark blue knee length skirts. Red Yao women are expert in weaving, dyeing and embroidery. Then, how do they hand-make their clothing?

Red clothes of Yao minority in longsheng,Guilin

Red clothes of Yao minority in longsheng,Guilin

The red clothes of the Hong Yao are either woven or embroidered. The woven clothes are sewn with old-styled looms – white threads as warps and red threads as wefts. Many decorative designs can be seen on the clothes, which is believed to carry some good blessings.

Yao women were weaving on the looms

Yao women were weaving on the looms

Certainly, the embroidery of their clothing is predominantly colored in red. Red Yao women have the white hand-woven cloth dyed dark blue or black with indigo plant, and then embroidered with multi-colored silk threads – mostly red. There are a wide range of embroidered designs, and the wedding dresses are always elaborately decorated with lotuses and butterflies.

dyeing cloth in Longsheng

Yao women were dyeing cloth in a vat.

embroidery of Yao minority in Longsheng

embroidery of Yao minority in Longsheng

Among Longji Rice Terraces area, most of Red Yao people live in Dazhai Village and Huangluo Yao Village. Every year, on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month, people gather together to celebrate the annual Hongyi (Red Clothes) Festival. To them, it is a most important festival just after the Red Yao’s New Year. Moreover, Red Yao girls will hang out all the clothes to expose in the sunshine. Wander around in a Yao village, and you will be standing in a red ocean.

Red Clothes Festival in Longsheng,Guilin

Red Clothes Festival in Longsheng,Guilin

In 2014, do not miss such a once-a-year chance to attend the grand event on July 2! For this 2-day Longji Rice Terraces Tour, please view http://www.guilinholiday.com/tour-v353-2-day-longji-rice-terraces-tour.

Autumn harvest of Gongcheng Persimmon Festival 2013

In celebration of autumn harvest, the tenth Gongcheng Persimmon Festival takes place in Gongcheng Yao Autonomous County of southeast Guilin, from October 26 to November 24. 2013, for about one month.

Autumn harvest of Gongcheng Persimmon,Guilin

Girls of the Yao minority were dancing in the persimmon orchard.

During the festival, a wide range of activities themed around “Happy Persimmon Town” includes persimmon-throwing fight, persimmons selection, folk song & dance performance, bonfire night and much more. Hongyan village of Yao ethnic group is the main venue for the event. Thousands of people make their way there especially for the persimmon.

Among the verdant hills and clear waters, Hongyan village can be seen over hundreds of acres of persimmons. In harvest season, the golden color lightens the gates and porches of every family, creating a spectacular scene. With the picturesque landscape and charming Yao customs, the villagers started a ‘joyous farmhouse tour’, which offers tourists accommodation in private homes. Tourists can pick fruit in the garden, fish by the riverside or simply enjoy a cup of special Yao tea.

Hongyan village of Gongcheng county,Guilin

The idyllic countryside scenery of Hongyan Village, Guilin

Gongcheng county has been awarded the title of “Chinese persimmon town”. The Gongcheng persimmons, are not only sold throughout the country also exported to Southeast Asia, Europe and America. To promote the rural tourism, the annual Gongcheng Persimmon Festival has been countinously held since 2003.

Longsheng Zhuang Village celebrated Spring Plowing Festival

Longji Village, about 110 km away from Guilin, is a ancient and charming settlement of Zhuang ethnic group within Longji Rice Terraces area. For centuries, the Zhuang people have grown rice in the terraced paddy fields. Traditionally, spring ploughing is a important farming parctice. According to the local custom, people would choose an auspicious date to start plowing. That is the Spring Ploughing Festival comes. This year, the annual festival was celebrated on April 27, 2013.

Spring Plowing Festival, Longsheng
The annual ceremony was held to mark the beginning of spring ploughing. 

Spring Plowing Festival,Longsheng
The Zhuang people symbolically ploughed the field to pray for good harvest. 

Spring Plowing Festival,Longsheng
Tourists join with the Zhuang people in the fish-catching activity after the ceremony.

Spring Plowing Festival,Longsheng
During the night, a large lantern “two dragons playing with a pearl” in the terraced fields. 

Spring Plowing Festival,Longsheng

Bonfire Night, with various folk song and dance performances.

Lunar March 3 Song Fair Festival

Lunar March 3 Festival, also Song Fair Festival (Ge Xu Jie in pinyin), held on the third day of March according to the Lunar Calendar, is renowned as a significant traditional culture recreation of Zhuang ethnic minority. This festival commemorates the household folk singer Sanjie Liu, after whom the famous Sanjie Liu Impression Show is named in Yangshuo.

Bamboo pole dance of Miao minority

Bamboo pole dancing

On April 12, 2013, the Song Fair Festival kicked off in Lujia Village on the bank of Peach Blossom River in Guilin city. The festival was supported by Guilin government aiming to protect, maintain, promote and further explore folk culture of Zhuang ethnic minority. The activity was divided into five sections, which contained singing folk songs, snatching ducks, performances, exploding fireworks and appreciating fellow villagers. People from different places danced and sang together, just like one big family!

A woman act as a matchmaker.

The matchmaker was pulling a red thread to single man and woman.

Besides the folk songs, folk food is another highlight of the activity. Lujia village does very well in food made of Tofu, such as soybean milk, Tofu fish, Tofu chicken, etc. The villagers set a street of folk food offering a series of tasty specialty snacks to all the people. Through this festival, Lujia village becomes a representative of folk-culture tour of Guilin city.

The 11th Guilin Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival 2013

The 11th Guilin Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival will be held in Daling Mountain Peach Garden, from Feburary 18 to March 20, 2013. This year’s festival is themed around “Beautiful Gongcheng, where the peach trees are in full bloom”. Visitors, not just for sightseeing, can experience Yao minority customs through various interesting activities.

Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival,Guilin

Visitors appreciate the blooming of peach blossom

Usually, the flower festival starts early march, when peach blossom are abloom all over the mountain. This year, the flowers bloom 15 to 20 days earlier than normal time for the warm weather. In the peach garden, there is a 2,000 metres peach-tree-lined road for visitors to appreciate the blooming of the flowers. Young single people also seize this festival to immerse themselves in the romantic flowers, wishing to boost their year-round love luck. Chinese people believe that the peach blossoms give good fortune when it comes to romance.

Gongcheng oil tea,Guilin

Gongcheng oil tea

Together with the Guilin Gongcheng Peach Blossom Festival, there is another festival held concurrently in Gongcheng – the 3rd Guilin Gongcheng Oil Tea Culture Festival. Oil tea is a special tea drinking of the Yao people, with beautiful color, strong smell, and tasty flavor.

During the month-long festival, visitors can admire the blossom sea, sip peach blossom wine, sing with the locals, join the Yao dance, and taste the special food.

Time: From Feburary 18 to March 20 in 2013
Place: Daling Mountain Peach Garden, Xiling Township, Gongcheng County, Guilin, Guangxi