WULINGYUAN NATIONAL PARK
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This place might look familiar if you’ve watched the movie Avatar which was filmed at the Yuan jia jie (renamed after the movie as “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain”) scenic area. Zhangjiajie city is in the southwestern part of Hunan province which is located in the south-central China. The Wulingyuan National Park has been recognized as one of UNESCO famous heritage site since 1992. It is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, cloud-reaching sandstone pillars and lush green forests. In addition, the entire park is replete with a great variety of flora and fauna. In the Wulingyuan area there are three main sites which are the Zhangjiajie Forest Park, Suoxi Vale and Tianzi Mountain.
The best time of the year to go is either April when the cherry blossoms bloom or September-October when the weather gets comfortable again. It is recommended to plan your trip for 3-4 days to get a complete impression of the destination. You will need at least 3 days to get around Zhangjiajie Park and 1 more day for the Tianzi Mountain. Much hiking and climbing will be going on during your trip so make sure to prepare yourself for some exercise!
MOUNT KAWA KARPO
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Mount Kawa Karpo is also referred to as “Meili Snow Mountain”, and considered one of the holy mountains in Tibet. It’s a wonderful place to experience great trekking as well as Tibetan culture. Kawa Karpo is said to purify the negative karma of a lifetime. It is located in the eastern part of Tibet and borders on Yunnan Province in southwest China. Kawa Karpo has over 20 peaks, 6 of which are over 19,700 ft. high. The mountain is permanently covered with snow and its beauty has been recognized by UNESCO.
Summer till late October is the period open for trekking, as spring still may have some snow that might block some parts of the pathways and the heavy snowfall in winter makes climbing the mountain impossible. However, it is mostly recommended to visit in September when the area is showered in brilliant autumn colors.
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Wow! Many artists have also said that “Danxia is a masterpiece; it appears like a perfect painting on a canvas”. The Danxia landscape is also referred to as “Rainbow Mountains” and was mainly formed by the loss of red sandstone combined with long-term weathering and freeze-thaw peeling. It is composed of curvy, layered and colorful rock formations with steep cliffs. Danxia is 40 kilometers away from the Zhangye city, and Zhangye is divided into three scenic areas: Linze Danxia Scenic Area also known as Danxia National Geological Park, Sunan Danxia Scenic Area and Binggou Danxia Scenic Area.
From June till September the weather in Danxia is comfortable enough to walk around and take amazing pictures. Tips for the photographers: best time to take pictures are at sunrise and sundown when colors get vibrant and change continuously. There are sightseeing cars within the park that go through all 4 platform viewings in case you’re not up for a long walk (the Danxia landforms cover several provinces in Southeast China!).
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Huangshan’s English translation is “Yellow Mountain”, and is known for its magnificent natural landscapes, history and inspirational scenery which attracted many artists and served as an inspiration for outstanding art including poetry, literature and temple architecture. On your Huangshan journey you will see incredible ancient pine trees, waterfalls, rocks, caves, lakes and hot springs; hiking through the numerous stone pillars and finally reaching the peaks of the mountain often shrouded in thick clouds. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in eastern China in the southern of Anhui province, very close to Shanghai and Hangzhou and buses and trains run very frequently every day.
Huangshan is beautiful all year round; it really depends on the individual’s preference. In autumn there are chrysanthemum blossoms and red leaves of the Yellow Mountains and in winter frost flowers and rime, sea of clouds. It is recommended to plan your trip for 3 days, 1st day to climb up and stay a night at the mountains, 2nd day to climb back down and 3rd day to stroll around the Huangshan city. Be prepared for a lot of hiking, despite having the cable cars, pack well such as rainy coats, lots of food, walking stick, selfie stick, your camera and you are ready to go!
JIUZHAIGOU NATIONAL PARK
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Jiuzhaigou National park translates to “Nine Villages Valley” and embraces nine Tibetan villages, over 200 bird species, numerous orchids and rhododendrons. In addition, a big number of endangered plant and animal species, including the famous Sichuan giant panda and golden monkey live here. On your trip through the Jiuzhaigou National Park, you will witness its outstanding scenery such as the crystal clear blue and green lakes, spectacular waterfalls, snow-capped mountain peaks and its unique wildlife. This world renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, is located in the north of Sichuan Province, on the edge of the Tibetan Himalayan Plateau. The area is very carefully protected to maintain its remarkable natural beauty and keep the lakes.
The best time to travel to Jiuzhaigou is in autumn and spring; if you are on a budget and are interested in seeing snow-capped mountains and frozen waterfalls then winter is the best time to go. To get to the Jiuhang Airport; there are many direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Chongqing and Hangzhou. There are also regular buses running from Chengdu which take 10-11 hours to arrive to Jiuzhaigou.
By Christina Ng, Marketing at Teaching Nomad
About our company: Teaching Nomad is an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Our goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, we have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, we have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online at www.teachingnomad.com/job-search for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad is here to make teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions or inquiries!