"Tianmenshan National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Zhangjiajie Things to Do Tip by mke1963

Zhangjiajie Things to Do: 23 reviews and 76 photos

Tianmensan has recently opened as a National Park, although there has been access for a long time to the Tianmen archway which lies on one side of the mountain. The new area is the "plateau" at around 1200 metres and reached by the Tianmenshan Cable Car.

The mountain is not on the intinerary of most tour groups so is considerably quieter than the Zhangjiajie/Wulingyuan Park to the north of Zhangjiajie City. During the summer 2006 the area is having the usual heavy, unnecessary "Chinese park infrastructure" installed: big solid concrete and stone paths, wastebins every ten metres, more signboards than a London Underground station, fences, toilets, and some huge building that may be a hotel or a museum. Lots of concrete and steel being poured and lots of concrete being clumsily disguised as treetrunks for various purposes.

However, the circular walk is great fun and it is peaceful, although the main viewpoints have been concreted over and have the obligatory photograph vendor, usually pumping out loud music. In China, VERY LOUD MUSIC improves the view you see, because with no VERY LOUD MUSIC how on earth would you know that you were at an important place? <sigh>

Now Tianmenshan has also put up a good number of interpretation signs, with eco-information in Chinese and English. It is basic stuff but unfortunately, both the Chinese and English are very difficult to read because the information is carved on huge wooden boards and then heavily varnished, so it is a real struggle to read. Halfway through reading the first one, I just gave up and ignored the others. It's a pity that joined-up thinking is so absent in Chinese parks.

This park has a very big variety of trees and plants, and although there are many good wooden tree labels, there is no further information available from the park authorities. In China you need to come pre-armed with knowledge as you aren't going to receive a lot when you arrive.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 8, 2006
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