6-Day Natural Beauty of Hunan Tour

This 6 day tour focusses on the natural landscapes of Hunan province. From the towering limestone peaks in Zhangjiajie National Park to the tranquil Zuolong Gorge, to the dizzying cable car ride to the top of Tianmen Mountain, you will be impressed by the majestic beauty of this area.

Tour starts/finishes: Zhangjiajie
Fitness level required: Moderate
Time of year available: March-early December
Time of year recommended: March-April, mid-May to October

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zhangjiajie
Arrive in Zhangjiajie. Transfer to the Wulingyuan Scenic Area for overnight.

Day 2: Zhangjiajie National Park (B, L, D)
Spend a full day hiking and sightseeing in the Zhangjiajie National Park, officially recognised as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 1992. First, take the cable car up Tianzi Mountain, then sightsee Yangjiajie and Yuanjiajie on foot, before taking the elevator back down the mountain. Overnight in Wulingyuan.

Day 3: Yellow Dragon Cave-Zuolong Gorge (B, L, D)
Visit Yellow Dragon Cave, a large underground complex of subterranean chambers, passageways, waterfalls,  rivers and hundreds of thousands of stalagmites and stalactites. Then drive to Zuolong Gorge, having lunch in Furong Ancient Town on the way. In the afternoon, take a 2-3 hour adventurous, and slightly dangerous hike through the forested gorge, balancing on spikes and climbing ladders along the gorge walls. After an early dinner in a local’s home, drive for 1.5 hours to reach the Mingzhu Da Jiudian (a nice guesthouse in the countryside) where you will stay overnight.

Day 4: Dehang Scenic Area- Fenghuang (B, L, D)
Spend the whole day exploring the Dehang Scenic Area.  Hike up to the Questioning the Heavens Platform (2-3 hours return) and watch a cultural show about the marriage customs of the Miao minority people. Then after lunch, visit Liusha Waterfall and watch another show featuring Miao minority costumes, as well as traditional song and dance. In the late afternoon, drive for 2 hours to Fenghuang Ancient Town, the centre of the Miao minority people. Sample local delicacies in a stilt restaurant overlooking the brightly lit Tuo River. Overnight in Fenghuang.

Day 5: Fenghuang Ancient Town-Zhangjiajie (B, L, D)
Get up early to see the locals going about their everyday business before the crowds of tourists surface.Watch the women washing their clothes in the river, the young children batheing and the older children playing elastics in the back alleyways on their way to school. Visit Liu Da Pao, a local artist, to see a demonstration of his unique form of batik. Get lost in the labyrinth of cobbled lanes and alleyways. After lunch, drive back to Zhangjiajie, stopping at Furong Ancient Town on the way. Overnight in Zhangjiajie city.

Day 6: Tianmen Mountain (B, L, D)
Take the 7.4km long cableway to the top of Tianman Mountain, the highest mountain in Zhangjiajie (standing at 1520 metres). Then spend the rest of the morning hiking out to the various scenic spots.  See sub-primitive forests, Tianmen Temple (Buddhist centre of Western Hunan) and Tianmen Cave, made famous by Russian stunt pilots who flew through the 30 metre wide natural archway. Come down the mountain and visit the Junsheng Sandstone Gallery and the Tujia Folk Museum before transferring to Zhangjiajie Airport for your late evening flight home.

Tour prices

The following table shows the price per person for groups of varying sizes. This trip uses private transportation for the duration of the tour and 3 star standard hotels. If you would like to use public transportation for your trip, or stay in hotels or guesthouses of a different standard, please contact us for a revised itinerary and quote.

2 people 3 people 4-5 people 6-7 people 8 + people
Single supplement
Price per person
5200 CNY 3900 CNY 3550 CNY 3000 CNY 2750 CNY 800 CNY

Price inclusions

  1. Accommodation: 4 nights in 3 star standard hotels/guesthouses, 1 night in a wooden stilt guesthouse in Fenghuang.
  2. Entrance tickets : Zhangjiajie National Park (248 CNY), Yellow Dragon Cave (80 CNY), Zuolong Gorge (70 CNY), Dehang Scenic Area (65 CNY), Tianmen Mountain (258 CNY), Tujia Folk Museum (25 CNY)
  3. Cable car tickets: Tianzi Mountain ascent (52 CNY), Bailong Elevator descent (56 CNY)
  4. All transportation:  Transportation for all transfers is by private 9 seater business vehicle (up to 6 people) or an 18 seater Jinlong bus (7-10 people)
  5. Meals : 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners as indicated on the itinerary. Lunches and dinners will be standard Chinese food including rice and a variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Breakfasts will be a combination of Chinese breakfast foods (noodles, steamed buns, eggs) and western food (pancakes, fried eggs) where available.
  6. Guide: An experienced English speaking tour guide

Price exclusions

  1. Snacks, drinks and western food
  2. Travel insurance
  3. Personal expenses such as phone calls or laundry fees
  4. Entrance ticket to Fenghuang Ancient Town (this only needs to be purchased if you wish to visit places of interest in the town)

Notes

  1. Surcharges will be charged for peak travelling times such as Chinese New Year, May Day (May 1st-7th) and National Day (October 1st-7th). For tours at these times please contact us for a customized quote.
  2. The prices quoted are to be used as a guide only. A final tour quote will be provided to you at the time of enquiry which may be higher or lower than the price listed above.

Gallery

Below are some images from previous tours in this area. Click to view larger images.


Travellers’ feedback

Lynton and Jenny Enever write….

The Hunan tour was the third time we have travelled with Backroads of China and superlatives roll off the tongue very easily when we tell friends about it. We reaped the rewards of our labours to see spectacular scenery, tucked away villages and the cable car ride of a lifetime. Eric our guide was so good working in with what we wanted on all fronts. Great local food and as good a tour as we’ve experienced in China.

Collin and Daphne Sweeney write….

We weren’t quite sure what to expect – but we were very pleasantly surprised by the whole experience of our trip to China . It was so good to be able to walk around the streets, market, museum and national park in Zhangjaijie and absorb something of the difference in culture, meet friendly local people and see some folk in their colourful minority dress. We were fascinated by the ancient city of Fenghuang, and the trip into a village where we able to visit inside a home, witness their simple way of life, see the ladies craft – and even try on their local hand embroidered clothes- was very special.

Thank you for arranging such a well thought out itinerary, for the friendly and capable guides, and for attending to all the little details which made our China trip something we’d love to repeat.

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