Lying to the north of Zhangjiajie City, Wulingyuan Scenic Area is a charming tourist attraction. It is said to be 'The ampliative miniascape and the contractible fairyland' and was admitted to the 'World Heritage List' in 1992. The spot boasts of natural beauty where mountains, valleys, forests, caves, lakes and waterfalls exist in total harmony. The strangely-shaped peaks, the absurd stones, the hidden valleys, the wonderful waters and the limestone caves form the 'Five Wonders' of Wulingyuan and they are really worth seeing.
Wulingyuan consists of four parts- Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve, Tianzi (son of heaven) Mountain Natural Resource Reserve and the newly added Yangjiajie Scenic Area.
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is the first state-level forest park in China. The park is a real treasure house. The Lobster Flower (Long Xia Flower), a sort of flower that can change color five times in a day, is unique in the park. The views in this area include the Golden Whip Stream, Huangshi Fort and Yuanjiajie. The Golden Whip Stream is a poetic stream, with crystal clear water running quietly between strangely-shaped peaks. The Huangshi Fort and Yuanjiajie are both classic spots that can not be missed in the park
The Tianzi Mountain Natural Resource Reserve is rich in strange peaks and rocks, and in constant clouds and fog. This reserve is renowned for four marvelous spectacles-the cloud and mist, the night with shining moon, the winter snow and the morning and evening rosy clouds.
The Suoxiyu Natural Resource Reserve is the center of the scenic zone and is the largest among the four areas of the park. Suoxiyu is transliterated from the language of the Tu Minority Group, and it means 'a mountainous village with dense fog'. This area includes the Ten-mile Gallery (Gan Xi Gou), where vivid pictures formed by its peaks are rather impressive. The West Sea, also called the sea of stone forests, is amazing. Bao Feng Lake is also an excellent place to visit to gain an understanding of the local customs of West Hunan Province.
Yangjiajie Scenic Area was preserved since 1990s. Legends had it that in order to suppress rebellion, the famous Yang Family (a family quite loyal to the court and contributed to the fighting against Qi Dan in the Song Dynasty) camped and settled here later because of the continuous war. And as a result, Yangjiajie emerged. So far, the pedigree of the Yang Family is still well kept in this area which also contains the Tian Bo Mansion, Liu Lang Bay and Qi Lang Bay.
To see the most fabulous scenery, the main highlight is following the many paths through the stunning sandstone landscape. In addition to the striking beauty of the landscape, the region is also noted for the fact that it is home to a number of endangered plant and animal species. Together with the natural scenery of the four sections of the park, the life and customs of several Chinese minority groups (Tu, Miao, Bai) are also of interest. Their houses, farms and their singing and dancing undoubtedly add an element of happiness and beauty to Wulingyuan.