Wulingyuan Scenic Area, lying to the north of Zhangjiajie City, is a charming tourist attraction. It is one of the 40 famous scenic spots in China. It was listed as one of the world legacies in 1992, and as the world geology park in the year 2002.
Wulingyuan Scenic Area has its peculiar natural landscape, which features the original sandstones, dense forests, deep ravines. There are thick forests and running streams in the area which constitutes a picture that resembles a landscape painting. The five most spectacular scenes in this spot are the peculiar peaks, deep canyons, beautiful waters, thick forest and the mysterious caves.
Covering an area of 690 square kilometers, Wulingyuan consists of four parts-Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve, Tianzi (son of heaven) Mountain Natural Resource Reserve and the newly added Yangjiajie Scenic Area.
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first state-level forest park in China. Over ninety-seven percent of the park is covered with varieties of trees and other valuable plants. The park is a real treasure house. The spot boasts of natural beauty where mountains, valleys, forests, caves, lakes and waterfalls exist in total harmony. Over 560 scenic sights can be found here. The strangely-shaped peaks, the absurd stones, the hidden valleys, the wonderful waters and the limestone caves form the ‘Five Wonders’ of Wulingyuan and they are really worth seeing.
The Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve is the center of the scenic zone and is the largest among the four areas of the park. About 200 scenic spots can be found here. Suoxiyu is transliterated from the language of the Tu Minority Group, and it means 'a mountainous village with dense fog'. This area includes the Ten-mile Gallery (Gan Xi Gou), where vivid pictures formed by its peaks are rather impressive. The West Sea, also called the sea of stone forests, is amazing. Bao Feng Lake is also an excellent place to visit to gain an understanding of the local customs of West Hunan Province.
The Tianzi Mountain Natural Resource Reserve is rich in strange peaks and rocks, and in constant clouds and fog. The reserve lies at a high elevation which makes sightseeing physically challenging. The Yellow Dragon Spring, Teaboard Tower and Lao Wu Chang are areas which have been developed for visitors. This reserve is renowned for four marvelous spectacles-the cloud and mist, the night with shining moon, the winter snow and the morning and evening rosy clouds.
It wasn't until the 1990s that the Yangjiajie Scenic Area was preserved. Legends had it that in order to suppress rebellion; the famous Yang Family (a family quite loyal to the court and contributed to the fighting against Qi Dan in the Song Dynasty) camped and settled here later because of the continuous war. And as a result, Yangjiajie emerged. So far, the pedigree of the Yang Family is still well kept in this area which also contains the Tian Bo Mansion, Liu Lang Bay and Qi Lang Bay.
In addition to the top scenes mentioned above, the rural landscapes also attract a lot of visitors. The local farmers are hospitable and you may also take a visit to their homes.