Willamette World News

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Scenic Site in China Inspired Settings in Avatar

Diane.jpgBefore the movie “Avatar” made its grand international premiere and hit phenomenal box office success, a Hollywood photographer came to Zhangjiajie in 2008 and took pictures that inspired artists who designed the settings of Avatar.

diane1.pngThe floating “Hallelujah Mountains” in the movie were inspired by the “South Sky Pillar.”


Zhangjiajie is a prefecture-level city consisting of Yongding and Wulingyuan districts endowed with striking natural beauty. This site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. It is also home to a number of endangered plant and animal species. Therefore, it was listed in the World Natural Heritage Catalogue by UNESCO in 1992 and was awarded the title of “World Geological Park” in 2004.


Quartz Sandstone Peak Forest and Karst Caves constitute the outstanding landscape features of Zhangjiajie, which are rare in the world. Here you’ll find yourself with hundreds of grotesque peaks, beautiful waters, towering trees, deep valleys, marvelous caves and exuberant forest that have formed a complete primitive ecological environment. In fact, Zhangjiajie, honored as “a living Chinese landscape painting,” is a perfect combination of the beauty of Guilin, the grotesqueness of Mount Huang, the peril of Mount Hua and the magnificence of Mount Tai. It is also widely acclaimed as “a miniature fairyland” and “a maze of nature,” attracting a growing number of tourists from home and abroad.


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