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”.

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.

The Grand Opening Event of Club Med Guilin Resort

The grand opening event of Club Med Guilin kicked off, with a ribbon cutting ceremony presided by the Chairman and CEO Henri Giscard d’Estaing. It was the official inauguration of Club Med Guilin on Monday, September 24, 2013.

The Grand Opening Event of Club Med Guilin

Henri Giscard d’Estaing, the Chairman and CEO of Club Med, attended the grand opening event of Club Med Guilin

The Club Meb Guilin is located in 47 hectares of private grounds within a sculpture park in the rural area between Guilin and Yangshuo. The resort boasts two contemporary style hotels with 330 Elegantly appointed luxurious rooms with rooms for a restful and warm ambience.

Club Med Guilin Resort, China

Club Med Guilin Resort, China

The world leading high-end holiday operator Club Med has more than 80 resorts worldwide. The company ventured into China in 2010, opening a village at a ski resort called Yabuli, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang. For the second one – Club Med Guilin, it come as the its first “culture-centric” resort in Asia.

Guilin is a UNESCO World Heritage-designated historical city, famous for its unheavenly natural beauty – the Li River, teraced rice paddies, mysterious caves. There are weeks of possible exploration out there. Travelers can go on excursions to the city’s scenic karst mountains and meet the minority tribes. All of these await you!

Spring hiking tour to Xingping Ancient Town in Yangshuo, Guilin

Travelers come to Yangshuo to get out of town and into the countryside. There are weeks of possible exploration, including hiking, cycling, rock climbing or any combination thereof. On a bright spring day, a hiking trip to Yangshuo countryside would be a exactly good idea.

On April 20, My colleagues and I  made a great trek to Xingping ancient town in Yangshuo. After 1-hour drive from Guilin, we arrived at Putao Town, 40 km away from Guilin. Our 19-km hiking trip started from here, and would take around 5 hours to reach Xingping town. The trekking route: Small Yaomen Village – Shitoucheng – Xianggong hill – Dahebei Village – Xingping ancient town.

Group photo by the Li river, Guilin

Group photo by the Li river, Guilin

We went through Small Yaomen Village, and headed on to Shitoucheng perched among karst peaks. A steep set of old rocky stairs winds its way by the mountain sides, and led us to climb up to the West Gate of Shitoucheng. All the houses in the village have been built up entirely from limestones without the use of cement, hence the name of the village (literally “Stone Town”). The settlement has 4 main stone gates at each of the compass points and 18 lesser gates.

Shitoucheng, Yangshuo

Shitoucheng or Stone Town, Yangshuo

Inside the shitoucheng, the terrain is a little rough; and the narrow, rocky and even muddy path rises and falls. We hiked into this amazing old-world village through verdant orange groves and paddy fields. It took us about an hour to reach its North Gate.

 

We left the village, and contined on the hiking tour. Along a wide and paved road, we reached to the foot of Xianggong hill with an hour. People can climb up to the hilltop and enjoy a great view across the karst landscape. Waves of misty peaks stand out from the rich green valleys, and stretch into the distance, Actually, the peak is a famous shooting base for photography.

Beautiful Yangshuo countryside

Beautiful Yangshuo countryside

Our next stop is Dahebei Village, a scenic place at the western bank of Li River. The picture on the back of the Chinese 20 Yuan note was taken here. After a 2-hour hike from Xianggong Hill, we went into the village and walked by the riverside. The surroundings is indeed gorgeous, with green karst peaks rising directly from the river and rice fields. With the soft breeze and beautiful sights, it was a great refreshment to us.

Li River scenery on the back of Chinese 20 Yuan note

Li River scenery on the back of Chinese 20 Yuan note

Opposite to the village stands the famous Xingping Ancient Town. It took just 2 minutes to across the Li River by public ferry boat. From the Xingping Pier, we make the way to Xingping Bus Station. Our hiking trip came to an end; and then, we transfered back to Guilin.

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.

Guilin set to be the International Tourism Destination

China has revealed a plan of the construction and development of Guilin international tourism destination, in an effort to boost the city’s economic growth. By 2020, the plan will be basically completed, and Guilin will become an important platform of world-class landscape tourism and leisure holiday destination.

Guilin International Tourism Destination

the Press Conference of Guilin International Tourism Destination

A Press Conference of Guilin International Tourism Destination Construction was held in the State Council Information Office on March 26, 2013. Special policies will be applied to support Guilin’s development and benefit residents’ life as well.

In November 2012, agreed by the State Council, National Development and Reform Committee officially replied Guilin International Tourism Resort Construction Development Planning Outline. So far, the NDRC has approved Hainan and Yunnan provinces as well as Guilin as three reform pilot areas. Guilin, as a prefecture-level city, is the only one to get its construction rose to a natinal strategy.

Guilin is a world-famous scenic city for its picturesque Li River, spectacular Longji Rice Terraces, colorful ethnic culture and much more. In 2012, Guilin has received 1.9 million overseas tourists, up by 11 percent over the previous year.