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Public Zone 公開區 => Travelogues 遊記相薄 => Topic started by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:40:36



Title: Zhang Jia Jie, China 張家界 (Mar/Apr 2002)
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:40:36
The first time I heard of Zhang Jia Jie was in 1986. My friend who liked photography talked about the natural scenery and beauty.

In Mar/Apr 2002 I finally had a chance to visit. We had a great time with our friends, had lots of good food and a very nice host.

The only disappointment was the weather. It was hazy almost everyday. Not the best to take pictures.

If you can read simplified Chinese, you can click here for other people's pictures.

(Pictures scan from colour slides in 2002. It was one of my first scans. The quality is not very stable.)


Title: Cliff
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:41:34
The cable car to the top of Tian Zi Shan (天子山) - one of the most popular sites in the ZJJ area.


Title: Rock Formation
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:42:13
The area is famous for the scenery of strange formation of rocks like this. Some of them looks ready to fall any minute.


Title: More Rock Formation
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:42:29
Another rock formation in Tian Zi Shan (天子山).


Title: Dagger
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:42:48
This rock formation in Tian Zi Shan (天子山) looks like a dagger coming out from the earth.


Title: Photographers
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:43:13
The man on the right (out of focus) is our guide for the day. He is also one of the two photographers who make living solely out of photography of the area. He sells his photos and as well as photo supplies near the cable car station in Tien Tsz Shan. Our host arranged to have him show us spots for photography.

He came to the Zhang Jia Jie area in about 1995 as part of the engineering team to build the cable car. He met a local girl, married her, and stayed on.


Title: Bao Hu
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:43:59
The bridge on the way to Bao Hu (宝湖).

The entire Bao Hu was man-made by blocking a range of valley between mountains. We can see the dam about 100 meters high but only maybe 10 meters wide.

The boat pictured here is for garbage collection.

The lake seems to be solely for tourism. There are houses along the lake that look like hotel rooms. Since everything is planned and purpose build for tourist, they look nice, if not a bit too artificial.


Title: Waterfall
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:44:51
The waterfall, also purpose-built, at the exit of Bao Hu.


Title: Dried Rabbit
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:45:15
Around the city of Zhang Jia Jie, we see many dried animals hanging in store front.

The ones pictured here were in fact part of the deco in a hotel restaurant.


Title: Road Works
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:45:37
Around mid-night, workers still busy working on the road expansion project in preparation for the coming May Day golden week.

The May Day holidays, along with Chinese New Year holidays and the National Day holidays, are the three major travel seasons in mainland China. Zhang Jia Jie is a popular destination for holiday travels.

(In our subsequent travel in China, we can see new infrastructure project everywhere we go, from Xinjiang to Tibet. This contrast sharply to our experience in Peru and India.)


Title: Cable Car Station
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:46:56
View from the cable car station in Tien Tsz Shan.


Title: Pillar
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:47:21
One of the supporting tower at the Tien Tsz Shan Cable Car. We were told that this is the most difficult tower to build.

The towers are mostly build on sheet cliffs.


Title: Cable Car
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:48:11
The cable car pass between rock formations. The cable car management allow us to use the maintenance car. The maintenance car has no glass enclosure and a flat platform - idea for photography.

Second picture is looking downhill from the cable car. The building in the middle is the cable car station.


Title: Happy Man
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:48:33
Our driver during our stay in Zhang Jia Jie. With a son still in elementary school, he is a happy man. He told me that quality of life here has steadily improved in the last few years.

I think this is true in Zhang Jia Jie in general. Hunan used to be one of the poorest province in China. But during this trip, I saw more than once families in the villages keep Pekinese dogs as pets, instead of the regular local-mixed-breed guard dogs. I think this is a sign of wealth and disposable income.


Title: Misty
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:49:00
After a night of heavy rain, the mountain was covered in mist in the morning.


Title: Into The Mist
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:50:49
Stairways to heaven?


Title: Honey Gathering Buckets
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:51:05
We saw many buckets places on rocks and cliffs. We were told they were placed by honey gatherers. Many of these buckets can only be reached by considerable climbing.

I took this picture in a moving cable car.


Title: Paint Job
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:51:41
At the time of our visit, workers was chipping off old paints in the area around Tien Tsz Shan, before applying new paint. This worker is risking his life to work on the tip section of the railing.


Title: Pine Trees
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:51:58
Now you know where the Chinese painters got their inspiration.


Title: Sheer
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:52:17
Yet another cheer cliff in Tien Tsz Shan. I can't stop wondering and admire the trees that thrive on rock gaps.


Title: Canola
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:52:55
At the time of the visit, we can still see many canola fields blooming. We saw this one on the way to Huang Long (黃龍).


Title: Collapsed
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:53:14
On the way to Wang Lung, we found the direct route was blocked off because a section of the road collapsed the previous day.

Like drivers in any developing country, our driver decided to talk his way through the road block and press on. We managed to squeeze through this collapsed section like the van pictured here.


Title: Watching The Paint Dry
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:53:42
At the end of the road section that was partially collapsed, we found a road block blocking traffic enter from the other side.

Workers were working on erecting and painting the road block (partially visible on the right) while villagers look on. They seem to have all the time in the work to watch the pain drying.

While our driver talk to the workers to let us out, I took this picture from the front passenger seat, through the driver side window.

When I show this picture to my father, his comment was that these people are not too poor, because they live in brick houses, instead of mud houses. Indeed Hunan used to be one of the poorest area in China. Now with tourism money, at least this part of Hunan is prospering.


Title: Elf Castle
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:54:07
At the first sight of this, my thought was of Elf castle and such.


Title: Huang Long
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:54:27
Another view from the Wang Lung sight seeing area. Wang Lung seems to be bigger than Tien Tsz Shan.


Title: Squat
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:54:57
Squat - the national sport of mainland China. This picture was taken in Jin Bian Xi (金邊溪).


Title: Sign
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:55:22
See the way they wrote the English description. You got to give them credit for trying.


Title: Forest Path
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:55:49
We spent about two hours walking along the Jin Bien Qi. Very nice walk and highly recommended for anyone visiting the area.

If you don't want to walk, you can also hire a sedan chair, like the people coming toward the camera.


Title: Resting
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:56:31
Sedan chair carriers resting at one end of the Jin Bian Xi.

After I took this picture, the guy standing on the left was making noises and threaten to "kill" me. Not a normal thing to said to potential customers.


Title: Chairman Mao
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:56:52
Another drive-by shooting with my Contax T3 camera.

We were en route to the airport when I saw this shop. I guess Chairman Mao is still looking after them.


Title: Hospital
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 12:57:12
More drive-by shooting with small and quiet Contax T3. This time we passed a hospital. Kind of lay back here.


Title: Shop
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 13:03:41
Yet more drive-by shooting from the passenger side window.

We were told that these were offerings for the Ching Ming festival. People would bring the little lanterns to the ancestors graves.


Title: Big Hole
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 13:04:02
When we were near the airport, our driver told us about an air show here in 1999, and that airplanes fly-through the hole here. Below is a description of the area from the air show organizer's web site.

"Eight kilometres south of Zhang Jia Jie City proper stands a solitary mountain 1'518 meters above the sea level. It looks like a huge platform, with precipitous sides. On the Eastern side there is a huge cavern that runs south and north like a gate, hence its name Tianmen (the Gate to Heaven). The gate is 132 meters high, 37 meters wide and 70 meters deep. At the foot of the Mountain lies the Zhang Jia Jie airport."


Title: Smoke
Post by: chin on 08 February 2009, 13:04:17
See the incredible cloud of smoke made by the impact of the landing aircraft.

At this rate, each new tire won't last too many landings. No wonder aircraft tires are considered strategic material, and among first in any embargo.

(Few months later at an air museum I found out that tires for military jets last only 15 landings or so.)