Shennongjia 神农架

Hubei Province, Shennongjia UNESCO Global Geopark of China
湖北省 神农架世界地质公园

Official web site: English and Chinese

How to get there: 4 hours by bus from Yichang Central Bus Station 宜昌中心站 to Muyu Zhen (Muyuzhen) 木鱼镇. Yichang is the second largest city in the province, and Muyu Zhen is the main tourist center in Shennongjia. The bus stops for 15 minutes in Xingshan County 兴山县, the only stop.

Time of visit: October 2017

There are 5-10 main scenic areas or sub-areas, depending on source. 3-4 of them are well worth visiting. The most beautiful place is Shennonggu Valley 神农谷 which belongs to Shennongding scenic area 神农顶景区. Shennongding itself is the highest peak in Shennongjia, a couple of kilometers from Shennonggu Valley.

Scenic areas (click on the links to see separate posts about each area):
Guanmenshan 官门山景区
Tianshengqiao 天生桥景区
Shennongding 神农顶景区
Shennonggu Valley 神农谷
Tianyan 天燕景区
Dajiuhu (“Big 9 Lakes”) 大九湖湿地公园
Dangyang Grand Canyon 当阳大峡谷 (does not belong to Shennongjia, but it’s very close)

We didn’t visit the three areas below:
Shennongtan 神农坛景区
Hongping Hualang Gallery 红坪画廊
Laojunshan 老君山

Besides Shennonggu, Tianyan and Dajiuhu should not be missed. Shennongjia is very big, and many scenic areas are very far from each other. Taxis are rather expensive, but it’s easy to find private cars, 300-400 yuan for a full day (depending on how far you are going, and your negotiation skills). We asked the restaurant where we had breakfast, they found a cheap car and driver immediately.

We stayed 4 days in Muyu Zhen, there are many hotels and restaurants in this rapidly growing village.

Guanmenshan, Tianshengqiao and Shennongtan are very close to each other, 7-12 kilometers outside Muyu Village (along the main road from Yichang to Shennongjia). Tianshengqiao and Shennongtan are not really worth visiting, rather small and crowded and not much to see. Most groups stop here.
Guanmenshen is bigger and not crowded at all, but there’s mostly forest and no panorama views.

From Muyu Village it takes one hour to Shennonggu, 1 1/2 hour to Tianyan, and 2 1/2 hours to Dajiuhu.

When you visit Dajiuhu, consider staying one night in the area and visit Dangyang Gorge 当阳大峡谷 the next day, it’s not far from Shennongjia (it belongs to Chongqing, but it’s just a 60 minutes trip from Dajiuhu).

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The bus from Yichang to Shennongjia:
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A ticket for 269 yuan valid for 5 days, covering all scenic areas:
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All maps are bigger then the screen, right click on the maps and download them to see the full size:

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Bus line 1 to Tianshengqiao, and circle line 2 from the bus station around Muyu village.

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Tourist bus line to Guanmenshan, Shennongtan and Tianshengqiao, but only during peak season.

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Time table for all long distance buses:
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Group activities in the wilderness:
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