The mountains of Tianzi in China: scene of the movie 'Avatar'

Sure you have seen Avatar (Who doesn't?), One of the highest grossing science fiction movies in history. What you may not know is that Pandora is not as far away as it shows. In fact, one of its scenarios is in China and can be visited. Read on to discover more about the mountains of Tianzi, the landscape inspired by James Cameron.

How to get to the mountains of Tianzi

Zhangjiajie National Park - JekLi

Tianzi Mountains are located in the north of the Wulingyuan area. It is a region of panoramic and historical interest that is part of the Chinese province of Hunan. The Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve is one of several reserves that form Wulingyuan and is within the territory of Zhangjiajie.

Thus, you can reach it from Zhangjiajie city, one of the biggest tourist destinations in China. Zhangjiajie is very well connected and you can go by plane, train, car or bus.

Tour buses depart from Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to Tianzi Mountain periodically. You can catch there and the journey takes about 80-90 minutes.

Mind you, keep in mind that the complex is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. The best months to visit the mountains of Tianzi are April, May, September and October.

Enjoy the views in the best way: ride the cable car

Zhangjiajie Cable Car - NIRUN NUNMEESRI

You can't miss the most impressive view of the peaks. The cable car travels a route of more than 2 kilometers in length with a fall of almost 1000 meters.

At a minimum, the trip takes about six minutes during which you can admire the incredible beauty of the Tianzi mountains. The landscape includes the entire valley, the rivers of crystal clear water and the same mountain.

The legend of the Tianzi mountains

Tianzi Mountain - thanat sasipatanapa

The name comes from a man named Xiang Dakun. He was the leader of the Tu ethnic group during the last years of the Song dynasty (1127-1279).

This man, Xiang Dakun, He started a revolution and proclaimed himself as 'Tianzi', which means Son of Heaven. In the place, visitors will be able to observe many sites related to the history of Xiang Dakun.

The inspiration for the Alleluia mountain of Avatar, the home of the Na'vi

Tianzi Mountain - Gil.K

These impressive sandstone mountains that formed over 300 million years ago were a source of inspiration for director James Cameron. And no wonder: the place is full of magic. The lush vegetation, together with the rock formations and the constant mist provide the reserve with a beautiful and frightening environment at the same time.

And it's one of those formations, Tianzi Mountain, which has passed to the big screen like Hallelujah Mountain, the home of the Na'vi. The high and fascinating mountain that appears in the film is none other than the Tianzi mountain of southeast China.

"Fantasy is not a way to escape from reality, but a more pleasant way of approaching it."

-Michael Ende-

Take advantage and take a tour of Zhangjiajie

Tianmen Mountain - PunyaFamily

In Zhangjiajie you will find countless attractions and places you can't miss. The Tianzi Mountains is one of them, but there are many more. Here is a list of them:

  • The Grand Canyon of Zhangjiajie has the tallest glass suspension bridge in the world. We do not recommend it for those who have vertigo, but it can be an unforgettable experience.
  • Zhangjiajie National Park
  • Tianmen Mountain
  • Baofeng Lake
  • The Yellow Dragon Cave

Further, We recommend you take the opportunity to taste the typical food. Chinese cuisine is very varied, as you will know. And the cuisine of Hunan province mixes the salty flavors of the cuisine of northern China with the sweets of the south. In addition, they make use of their own spices, especially chili.

They highlight the beer duck, Changsha style tofu and chicken Dong'an. Of course, there are many more exquisite dishes and we encourage you to try them all, if you have the opportunity.

The mountains of Tianzi and the region surrounding Zhangjiajie are a dream place where you can enjoy Chinese culture and admire the power of nature. There is no doubt that the reality is much more impressive than a fantastic movie, no matter how good it is.