Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a unique national forest located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in the People's Republic of China.

In 1988 it was recognized as China's first National Forest Park.. In 1992, it was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. Its unique geographical features make it a popular tourist destination for both Chinese citizens and foreigners. Annually the park brings millions of in park revenues. Most of that money comes from tourists, and for this reason many of the park workers learn Korean as a second language. Also, the shop keepers in and near the park accept Korean Won in addition to the Yuan.

The most notable geographic features of the park are the -like formations that are seen throughout the park. They are the result of many years of erosion. The weather is moist year round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. Much of the erosion which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them. These formations are a distinct hallmark of landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.

Some highlights of the park include

* The self-proclaimed tallest, fastest elevator in the world
* An elaborate gondola lift system which transports visitors from the tops of the mountain peaks to the valley below.
* Several unique ethnic groups: The Tujia, Bai, and , who together comprise a majority of the residents of Zhangjiajie.