Thursday, August 7, 2008
Zhangjiajie City is located on the northwestern border of Hunan Province. Covering an area of 9,516 square kilometers , there are four areas under its governance: Yongding District and Wuling District, Cili County and Sangzhi County. Zhangjiajie is subtropical moist mountain climate, thus for tourists it is an ideal place to spend one's holiday. Zhangjiajie is a rising tourist city famous for its unique natural scenery and abundant tourism resources. It is located in the northwest of Hunan province, about 400 kilometers away from Changsha, capital of Hunan, covering a total area of 9,563 square kilometers with 76% mountainous area. Among the total population of 1.62 million, almost 72% people belong to ethic minorities, including Tujia , Bai and Miao nationalities.
Origin of the name
The new name of Zhangjiajie City was adopted in 1994, after the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area in order to give it more prominence and after this site had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The National Forest Park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and now a popular tourist attraction within the park. The three-character name can be interpreted as follows: "Zhang" is a common surname in China; "jia" can be translated as "family"; and "jie" can be translated as "homeland", giving the completed translation of "Zhang family homeland." It has been reported that at least one tourist guide has said that the name may have been chosen to convey the idea or impression of "Open the family door to welcome the world" , but this is not the locally-accepted and directly translated meaning of the name.
Natural Ecological Environment
Zhangjiajie is known for its unique tourist resources. Wulingyuan Scenic Area, made up of the First National Forest Park--Zhangjiajie and two nature reserves-Suoxi Gully and Emperor Mountain, possesses 369 square kilometers. The main land feature is quartzes sandstone that is rare in the world. It is a perfect combination of the beauty of Guilin, the queerness of Huang Mountain, the peril of Hua Mountain and the magnificence of Tai Mountain. Pavilions, bridges, caves, lakes and waterfalls are everywhere. Consequently, it enjoys the name of "an enlarged potted landscape", "a miniature fairyland".
Zhangjiajie is a treasure house for natural resources. There are woody plants of 106 families, 320 genera and 850 species, backboned animals of 146 species. Among them 56 species of plants and 40 species of animals are under national protection. Precious plants include gingko, Chinese dovetrees, Chinese yew, cherry and so on. Valuable medicinal herbs include glossy ganoderma, the tuber of elevated gastrodia, the tuber of multiflower knotweed, the bark of eucommia and so on; while rare animals, the giant salamander, unicorn, Sumen antelope, south China tiger, leopard, macaque, zibet and so on.
Zhangjiajie enjoys its rich forest resources. It has 1012 acres for forest, which covers 64.61 percent of the entire city and ranks NO.1 in Hunan province. The project of "Beautifying, Purifying and Illuminating" is being carried out. There are 1.55 square meters green land per person. Undoubtedly, it is an ideal ecological tourist zone and an international holiday village.
Zhangjiajie raises excellent people and contains various resources. The long history of many nations, original customs together with modern culture contribute to a colorful painting.
Zhangjiajie is a habitation for minority nationalities. During the long history, Han people, Tujia people, Miao people, Bai people together with the people of other nationalities co-create a unique culture.
Zhangjiajie, a fairyland gathering essence of the heaven, has brought up thousands of elites in the hundreds of years. Among them, there are He Long-the great Chinese proletarian revolutionary leader, one of the founders of PLA, one of the ten marshals in China; Xiang Dakun, the leader of a great peasant uprising; He Pengfei, an assistant commandant in the navy of PLA; Liu Mingdeng, a chief of Taiwan soldiers in Qing Dynasty; and Chen Nengkuan, the receiver of "Two Missiles & One Satellite Medals".
Due to the reform and opening-up for more than two decades, special culture, campus culture, community culture, traveling culture, and other modern cultures constitute the lively and colorful culture world of Zhangjiajie; while inheriting traditional advantages and creating some new features as well. Now the number of cultural entertainment places, including cinemas, singing-dancing halls, cultural clubs, parks reaches more than 1000. The city also enjoys 3 public libraries with 105,000 books, 5 regional TV stations and 5 broadcasting stations, which cover all the urban and rural areas. There are 1599 schools of all levels with 251,100 students in all.
Zhangjiajie is named after the Zhangjiajie Scenic Area. In 1979 Zhangjiajiese found this rare forest in the world. In 1982, after the permission of the State Council, the State Planning Committee approvedZhangjiajie to be the first national forest park in China. In 1988, Dayong city where Zhangjiajie is located, jointly combined with Sangzhi where the Emperor Mountain lies and Cili where Suoxi Gully sits, became a city under the direct administration of provincial government. In 1992, Wulingyuan nature reserve, consisting of Zhangjiajie national forest park, the Emperor Mountain reserve and Suoxi Gully reserve, has been listed in the "World Natural Heritage" by UNESCO. In 1994, Dayong city was renamed as Zhangjiajie city under the permission of the State Council. Now, Zhangjiajie has basically become a large-scale, high-rank tourist resort where mountains, lakes, caves and historical culture and special customs are well blended in the area of 500 square kilometers. It has Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Emperor Mountain reserve and Suoxi Gully reserve as its core, and Maoyan River, Nine-Heaven cave, Five-Thunder Mountain, and the Universal Light Temple as its satellite tourist resorts. So far, more than 20 scenic spots have been explored, and more than 30 tourist routes have been formed. The total traveling lane adds up to more than 500 km.