They have existed there for millions of years. Once at the bottom of the ocean, as a result of geological events they became visible above the Earth. Over time, heavy rains, strong winds, and ice shaved them like sculptures transforming them into the wonders of nature that everybody looks at with great admiration. I am talking about the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and the sandstones, located in the Wulingyuan region of the Hunan province in the People’s Republic of China, visited by thousands of tourists each year. Since 1992, the area hosting these quartz sandstone towers that rise from the rain forests and offer magnificent sceneries is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At the peak of Zhangjiajie among the formations resembling ridged rocks is the world’s highest natural bridge. The locals call it the “First bridge under heaven.” This wonder of nature was the source of inspiration for some of the nature scenes in the film Avatar, and with its status as one of China’s leading symbols, is featured in many photographs of China.
Walking around the National Park is an absolutely unique experience. Clusters of white clouds that occasionally descend over the valley make the visitors feel as if they are walking around a pure white garden in the sky. Spending time with the monkeys that stroll freely around the pathways; taking pictures of the outstanding beauty of the sandstone peaks; traveling up to the viewing platform in the Bailong (Hundred Dragons) Elevator made of glass and known to be the highest outdoor elevator in the world, rising up to 330 meters, turns these unique moments into an unforgettable memory. But this is not all Zhangjiajie offers. As you walk around the plunging waterfalls, the caves, the variety of birds, and the various types of vegetation of the Grand Canyon, you find yourself amidst an enchanting atmosphere. The deep underground caves, natural pools, and tens of thousands of stalactites in the Yellow Dragon Cave in Wulingyuan are such an indescribable, exciting experience that it will certainly remain in your memory for years to come.