‘Land of Avatar’ in China

That’s right, the scenes of the floating Hallelujah Mountain in the fantasy mega-movie, which came from the imaginative mind of Canadian James Cameron, were actually inspired by the real-life quartz-sandstone mountain towers which rise from the forest floor in China’s magnificent Zhangjiajie National Park in the country’s southern Hunan region.

Since the movie’s release earlier this year, interest in the massive park dotted with waterfalls, lakes, towering cliffs and lush vegetation, has peaked and now just about every tourist to China is making a visit to the park a must.

Avatar is the biggest box office cash hit ever, with revenues topping $2 billion U.S. so far.

Recently, the Chinese government announced it was renaming the park’s Southern Sky Mountain, which, at 3,544 feet, is the largest rock tower in the park, “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in recognition of the park’s role in the film.

But Zhangjiajie is so much more than towering mountains.
It’s also home to Baofeng Lake, which sits atop one of the mountain ranges, as well as some of the rarest plant species on earth, and Yingwo Village, a place where local artisans gather along a narrow rocky path leading back to the park entrance, and sell you some unique handmade crafts for only pennies.

The park is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Wulingyuan — a tropical forest that covers 690 square kilometers and where most of the 3,100 pointed sandstone columns that inspired Avatar‘s “floating mountains” can be found.

While in Zhangjiajie, visitors will also have a chance to visit Golden Whip Stream, another special area within the park where you can hike for seven kilometers surrounded by grotesque peaks reshaped by time and get lost among waterfalls and exotic plants.

The 5-days/4-night park tours can be combined with Tour East Holidays’ industry-leading inventory of China trips that include its Shanghai Expo Tour, where you can attend the world’s largest-ever world exhibition either before or after your visit to Zhangjiajie.

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