September 16, 2017: We visited the infamous mountains today made internationally known by the movie “Avatar”! But first, we had a continental breakfast early in the morning at 6:30 a.m. in the dining room at the Mellow Crystal Hotel. This was a really good buffet with tons of selection including of course the familiar noodle station (that every hotel we’ve stayed at so far has). The dining space wasn’t very large and we had to vacate our table soon for other hotel guests but the variety of food and the way it was set up was very nice. There were lots to choose from including a whole section for chilled appetizers and salads too. It was quite impressive. I also got my fill of white rice too!
After this, we loaded our luggage onto the tour bus and set out on our day. It was another hot sweaty day reaching up to the 30s.
We arrived at the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon or (Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge) in an hour or so and were subjected to a few security spots before we finally arrived at the glass bridge. We had to leave all unnecessary belongings and large backpacks or purchases behind too. They didn’t want anyone of us bringing things that might scratch the surface of the glass since it was a relatively new structure (only being built and opened to the public last year in 2016).
When we finally arrived at the foot of the bridge, we were given the cloth slippers to wear again (just like the other day at the Tianmen Mountain cliff glass path). There were so many people here at this Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge! It was gorgeous.
We were given 45 minutes to explore the length of the bridge and to take photos. There were so many tourists there that it was difficult at first to take a photo with all of the glass panes around you to make it look like you were floating in mid-air, but after a while, the number of tourists died down and we were able to take some decent shots. It was so hot and sunny! I must have tanned another shade of sun on my face as we were taking these photos. XD
This was really fun though and the glass bridge really was full of these glass pane inserts for people to walk through as if they were walking in thin air. The length of the the glass bridge extending through the grand canyon was also very impressive.
After this, we went for lunch. Lunch was a really good meal that day. We had lots of variety of food including some meat that was served on a plate resembling a shovel. We hadn’t had a lot of meat in our meals so the fact that we had two plates of meat during this lunch meal was a bonus. I liked the room that we dined in too. It was so cozy even though it was super hot still. I also really liked the fried egg dish. The fried river shrimps were absolutely delicious too but I was told that we should limit our consumption of these because if the river where the shrimps grew from was dirty, the shrimps would have absorbed all of the the pollutants; even worse than other seafood. We also received a cake-like food that actually was very tasty!
After lunch, we headed to Tianzi Mountain (天子山)! Unbeknownst to me at the time (because the itinerary was in Chinese), I wasn’t aware that these were where the infamous mountains from the film “Avatar” were.
We got our tickets from the tour guide and boarded a purple bus with our tour mates. As we were on the route up, we saw the gorgeous mountains that looked pointy and tall; quite different from the ones we saw in Tianmen Mountain.
Upon arriving and visiting the restroom, we saw wild monkeys on the paths. We were warned that these monkeys were capable of theft so we had to be extra cautious of our belongings!
We took photos before we entered the “world’s tallest elevator” to go up to the top. I could already see more of these characteristic mountains.
The elevator ride had an open view where you could see it go up. There were a lot of people in the elevator though so it was quite difficult to see everything if you weren’t standing near the window.
Once we exited the elevator, this was where all the hiking and sightseeing of the Tianzi Mountain began. There were so many tourists! I’ll let the photos give you a glimpse of what we saw although you definitely have to be there to give the views justice.
I definitely saw the “Avatar” mountains too! It was difficult to take quality photos because there were ten millions of people there. Haha…
The park also created an Avatar creature from the movie for people to take photos with. As you can imagine, there was a line-up. Some Chinese tourists didn’t understand the concept of lining up so we had to be aggressive and stand our ground in order to get our turn with the creature for a photo. It was tricky to get a good photo to say the least.
After this, we rode the purple bus back to the second layer of the mountain and spent time at the Jinbian Stream. We saw lots of monkeys including a mother monkey with her youngster. Someone shook the electrical wiring which scared the monkeys back up to their dens. There was a giant river crossing made up of large rocks that we crossed through. There were a lot of people having picnics on the grass.
The day finally ended with the ride to our hotel for the night. This hotel was the Jingxi International Hotel which was on a busy street. The room itself was very large and nice. I loved how there was a balcony facing the busy street! Standing there, you could hear the non-stop “music” of the street. Every couple of seconds, there were honks and beeps from the vehicles. Here in China, honking your car wasn’t considered rude. It was actually a way to let other drivers know that you are changing your lane or driving near them. Thus, you can imagine how many car “melodies” there were.
Despite the large room, the restroom was this hotel was kind of unacceptable. The restroom was very large with a sink and counter, large mirror (with disgusting red stains on it of who-knows-what), a separate stand-in shower, and a tub! However, the stand-in shower had a lot of rust on the bottom and was very unappetizing to look at… Thus, that night for my shower, I actually showered in the tub. Good thing that the tub actually had a hand-held showerhead too.
We had dinner that night at the dining room in the hotel. I thought that the food was fine but one tourmate at our table (who mentioned he worked at a restaurant before) commented that the cauliflower had something wrong with it and thus the food kind of spread throughout the table and nobody really ate much of anything anymore. I thought that the unique balls on the table that looked like rice covered it were actually meatballs and were quite tasty. The fried egg was also popular again.
During dinner was when they shared the DVD video segments that the tour guide’s assistant had taken of us as well as promoting the “magazine” souvenir of photos that they wanted to sell to us.
As an unofficial visit, the tour guide led us that night to a shop across the hotel to browse silver. The shop was full of silver goods from anything like watches, jewelry, water canisters, and more.