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How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

by greencargirl Online Now Sep 9, 2009 at 8:49 PM

Hi Everyone,

We're planning a visit here soon (this month or next), along with Changsha, Chengdu, and JiuZhaiGou.

Any thoughts on how long is needed to enjoy ZhangJiaJie? We'll likely arrive in the evening, so we can start early the next morning and are wondering if one day is sufficient, though we prefer a liesurely pace.

Also, we're still trying to figure out the best route for our trip to all these places, looking at flight costs and so on. Right now we're thinking of starting in ZhangJiaJie (flying there from Beijing)where we can then go to Changsha, Chengdu, JiuZhaiGou, then back through Chengdu to Beijing. If you've done a similar route or have any thoughts on this, please do share!

Many thanks in advance.

Susan

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13 Answers
  • ellyse's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by ellyse Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 1:20 AM

    I haven't been to Zhangjiajie, but research seems to show that you should allow 2-3 days there.
    You might want to check and see if there're Zhangjiajie -- Chengdu flights so that you don't have to detour to Changsha. Unless you want to go to Changsha anyway, that is.
    Flying via Xi'an or Chongqing after Jiuzhaigou, might be a bit cheaper than flying via Chengdu.

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  • greencargirl's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by greencargirl Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    Ellyse, thank you; you probably just saved us some money in suggestng a return to Beijing from JiuZhaigou via Chongqing instead of Chengdu! We are planning to visit Changsha for just half a day to see Lady Dai (one of our children has a special interest in her), otherwise we could skip it and head straight to Chengdu. Otherwise, we suspect that our itinerary should follow this order (does it sound right to you?):
    Beijing to
    ZhangJiaJie
    ChangSha
    ChengDu
    JiuZhaiGou
    to Beijing (via Chongqing)

    I guess if the train ride is short, inexpensive, and easy, we could also go from Chengdu to Chongqing via train to get our flight into JiuZhaiGou, but we're not sure about the cost difference yet... Hopefully we can do the whole trip in 9-10 days total. Then, a couple of weeks later, head to Shanghai!

    Best,

    Susan

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  • ellyse's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by ellyse Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 5:01 AM

    9-10 days total? I presume you don't need any sightseeing time in Beijing.
    Here's my suggestion: Beijing -- Changsha (1 day) -- Zhangjiajie (2-3 days) -- Chengdu (2 days) -- Jiuzhaigou (2-3 days) -- Xi'an/Chongqing (transit, or 1 day) -- Beijing.

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  • greencargirl's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by greencargirl Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 5:16 AM

    Thanks again, Ellyse.
    We don't plan to visit XiAn, as we've been there before, so would just use Chongqing for transit. And you are correct, we don't need time during the 9 days for sightseeing in Beijing, because we're living here at the moment so can sightsee now and later.

    Susan

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  • ellyse's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by ellyse Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 5:31 AM

    Since you'll not be doing sightseeing in your transit city anyway, you could use either Xi'an or Chongqing, whichever is cheaper.
    If you use Xi'an you also have the additional choice of taking the overnight train back which would also save you some money.

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  • rrrkkng's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by rrrkkng Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    I am also going to Zhangjiajie/Changsha with family on 9/24/09, flying from Hong Kong and return on 9/29/09. I need to know more about this place before I get there, hope Ellyse and/or other VT members can recommend some web sites to me (I can read both Chines and English), thanks in advance.

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  • ellyse's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by ellyse Online Now Sep 10, 2009 at 6:31 PM

    Try destguides.ctrip.com/china/z... for some information if you can read Chinese.

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  • greencargirl's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by greencargirl Online Now Sep 11, 2009 at 4:40 AM

    Hi Ray, we only have our travel guide (LP) which hasn't got alot of detail, but will look at the page Ellyse sent, as well as other VT pages, and will talk to people there when we arrive. We'll probably go late next week (watching airfares now), and will post an update here for you if you're interested in how our family did it. We'll have 2 full days in the park.

    Susan

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  • rrrkkng's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by rrrkkng Online Now Sep 11, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    thanks to Ellyse and Susan, will read Ellyse's website tonight (can't read Chinese in the office computer), and will keep an eye on Susan's update.
    Many thanks again.

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  • greencargirl's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by greencargirl Online Now Sep 13, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    Here are some reviews of Zhangjiajie that are detailed enough that they could be useful...

    tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRevi...

    We plan to leave at the end of this week; can't wait!

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  • greencargirl's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by greencargirl Online Now Sep 22, 2009 at 4:48 AM

    rrrkking---

    We're just leaving Zhangjiajie tomorrow morning; we've had a great time, and the mountains are stunning here.

    If you've got any specific questions, please email me....I'll hopefully have internet access when we go to Chengdu, etc. over the next few days. I can tell you how we did Zhangjiajie, etc., if that's what you're interested in. Don't join a tour is my recommendation, and start EARLY each morning, if you can bear it :)

    Susan

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  • Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by puzzles.10 Online Now Jul 29, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    Hi, i just read your post and would appreciate some advice from you. I am visitng ZJJ this October. I noticed that you do not recommend any tour guide. I would like to do that (i.e. not to hire a guide) but I am not sure how easy it is to walk around the park. If it is so big, would we get lost if we walk around without a guide? For eg, walking along the Golden Whip Stream, how good are the directions?
    Could you please let me know your itinerary as well?
    Many thanks

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  • greencargirl's Profile Photo

    Re: How long is needed in ZhangJiaJie, etc.?

    by greencargirl Online Now Jul 29, 2010 at 5:57 AM

    You're correct; we did not use a tour guide. In my opinion it was better not to have one. The park is very large, but there's a park bus (free after you pay the entrance fee to the park), and everyone uses that in combination with the map they provide which is pretty good. You take the bus, and it will stop at each key stop. Before our trip, we read about the different places to visit (this may help you.) The main park road is shaped like a letter "Y", and we figured out that one side was better than the other (for us.) Our strategy was to arrive at the park when it opened, long before most of the tour buses. Then we took the bus to the main area we wanted to hike , and we had the trail nearly all to ourselves. Later we picked up the bus and went to the other stops, hiking around at many other places. No, I don't think you need a guide!

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