Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I just returned from a trip to Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China.
Zhangjiajie poised itself to be a rising tourist city for its natural scenery. For the past 20 years, infrastructure such as roads, hotels, mountain elevator, cable car system were built and new attractions were discovered and developed. I am hoping to visit the latest discovery said to be bigger and better than the Grand Canyon in probably another 5 years' time. Zhangjiajie is located in the northwest part of Hunan about 400 kilometers away from Changsa, capital of Hunan. Out of its total population of 1.62 million, about 72% belong to ethnic minority groups, including Tujia, Bai and Miao nationalities.
The most interesting or bizarre incident that associated with Zhangjiajie is the renaming of part of its scenic area to "Avatar Hallenlujah Mountain" after its floating mountains taken in 2008 were featured in the blockbuster movie "Avatar". The tour guide told us six government officials are currently helping with the preparation of "Avatar part 2". I noticed Avatar posters everywhere in the five star hotel that we stayed and also at every entrances and rest stations on top of the beautiful mountains. To me, the predominately blue posters polluted the otherwise tranquil and sacred mountain peaks and valleys.
Zhangjiajie obviously hopes to capitalize and ride on Avatar's fame.
There are over 300 marvelous scenic spots in Zhangjiajie National Forest. It is divided into a few areas and the common one is Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area. We visited the main attractions such as Tianzi Mountain, Yangjiajie and Baofeng Lake.
This is my first attempt by publishing my sketchbook via Issuu. There are rooms to improve. Enjoy the sketches.