The UNESCO-listed Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area encompasses more than 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) of Central China’s Hunan Province. The vast protected area is most famous for its 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars, some poking more than 650 feet (200 meters) into the sky.
While the stone forest is impressive enough as is, it also hides serene streams, natural pools and waterfalls, natural bridges and 40-odd karst caves. The park is also home to impressive biodiversity, including over 3000 species of plants.
Wulingyaun is divided into four national parks: Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve, Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Yangjiajie Scenic area and, most famously, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Hiking is popular throughout, and with so much area, there are plenty of trains to occupy avid hikers for days or even weeks.
The entrance ticket is good for all four national parks for a period of four days. It includes rides on the internal bus system, but cable cars, elevators and tourist trains will cost extra.