It has been rumored around that Hunan province was where
bandits were hiding among steep and dangerous mountains. But I don’t
believe it, because back to East Jing Dynast (266-420 AD) one of the
most famous poets Tao Yuanming praised Hunan in his masterpiece “The
Peach Garden”, and left the world with infinite yearning of a fantasy
land. I liked reading this beautiful article and felt intoxicated since
I was a boy. I kept a place in my heart for “The Peach Garden”.
After visited Zhangjiajie, I immediately regarded this place as my
Zhangjiajie was discovered by one of most well-known painters Wu Guanzhong in modern China in 1979. Of course, some people disputed this fact. An indisputable fact was that in January 1, 1980, he published a short article introducing Zhangjiajie in "Hunan Daily", describing it as living in purdah without being recognized. This drew a tremendous attention nationwide. Of course, Zhangjiajie used his celebrity fame as a brand to advertise its reputation to the public. Soon it was named as China’s first National Forest Park, "Zhangjiajie National Forest Park", in September 1982. Coincidently in September 1982, I flied to the United States to pursue my graduate study and stayed since. Gradually from reading and hearing, I got to know Zhangjiajie. Until one day I finally realized that I must visit this place. Last autumn, my wish became true.
Zhangjiajie was named after Zhang Liang who was a renowned premier of the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD) and lived in seclusion here. Zhangjiajie is famous for its gorgeous mountains and water lands. During our visit, we lived in the “The Peach Garden Town” for 4 days. We climbed ups and downs, and covered all four major areas of the Park, including Tianzi Mountain, Huangshi Village, Yuanjia Village and Yangjia Village. The scenic landscape well fits its reputation. Wu Guanzhong wrote in his article: "The stone cliffs and pinnacles are upward like linear lines, which are engraved with horizontal cracks that are intersected like paintings." It was not surprised he described that way because he was a painter :) Looking far, bamboo like peaks and rocks shot up everywhere and looked so wild with delicacy. Cliffs were dedicated with small trees and bushes, adding green color and cool taste to the landscape. Caves were deep inside and spring streams flowed gurglingly with dancing dragonflies and butterflies above, which seemed to make fun with visitors. Such place only exists in the Heaven! Standing here, a long-loud-heroic halloo could be echoed by the mountains around without end, one simply wanted to stay forever and forgot about the rest of the world. No wonder Wu Guanzhong wrote: "In order to explore the beauty of painting, I have searched hard over many mountains, such as Yandang, Wuyi, Qingcheng and Shilin, and fell like none of them matching Zhangjiajie. Using Emei Mountain for a comparison, it is humongous and pretty scary, but it does not have prominent characteristics of Zhangjiajie. I think that at least most artists will agree with me."
When time goes by, we all agree with his point.】
1. 武陵源门. The entrance near “The Peach Garden Town” to the Park.
3. 天子山. Tianzi Mountain
4. 天子山索道。 Cable Car，Tianzi Mountain
8. 天女散花. Celestial Beauty Scattering Flowers
14. 回音壁。The Echo Wall.
19. 十里画廊采药老人. An old herb picker in Ten Mile Gallary.
24. 、《西游记》里的花果山取景于袁家界金鞭溪。The Golden Whip Stream.
26. 袁家界乾坤柱，《阿凡达》中的“悬浮山”哈利路亚取景于此。Avatar Halleluhah Column, Yuanjia Village.
27. 袁家界天生桥。 Natural Arch, Yuanjia Village.
28. 天生桥。 Natural Arch.
30. 取道杨家界匪窝乌龙寨。A slit towards Wulong Bandit Village, Yuanjia Village.
31. 杨家寨天波府，曾经是土匪头子住的地方。解放初土匪头子呆在这里不肯下来，解放军奈何不了他，后来还是他自己下来自首的。The Heaven
Mansion, Yuanjia Village. There was a story about this place. When The
Liberation Army marched here in 1949, a bandit head was hiding on the
top of this pinnacle. There was nothing the army could do about him,
until one day he climbed down himself to surrender.
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