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My beautiful encounter with Zhangjiajie

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By Nawaz Shah | | Updated: May 05, 2023

[Pakistan] Nawaz Shah, Ningxia Medical University

If you want to walk above the clouds or see mountains in the air, Zhangjiajie is definitely the correct choice. I love traveling, and I have been to many places. But when it comes to the number one site in my heart, none is worthier than Zhangjiajie.

The first stop of my trip was Qiankun Column. As a movie fan, I had long been yearning to see this shooting site of the movie Avatar. What impresses me most in the movie is a hovering mountain called “Hallelujah Mountain,” which not only has waterfalls, but is always levitated in the air, seemingly motionless from the distance.

Nawaz Shah [Photo provided to]

At the moment when I was standing here, I was amazed by the spectacular beauty in front of me. The majestic peaks were verdant and luxuriant, rising into the clouds; the graceful white clouds freely rolled and curled, gladdening my heart and refreshing my soul. All these made me admire nature’s extraordinary work.

Only when I stopped at Huangshizhai, or Yellow Stone Stockade, did I realize the outstanding beauty described in such lines as “The cable car rose breaking clouds and riding wind, I am going straight to Huangshi to be a saint,” only regretting that I hadn’t visited here earlier. It was raining heavily on the day of our visit, which added a layer of haziness and beauty to the mountains. Riding in the cable car, I was surrounded by the familiar deep green, which reminded me of my hometown Malakand, Khayber Pakhtunkhwa. My eyes moistened as memories of happy times spent with my family and friends rippled through my mind. While my friend was still introducing Huangshizhai my thoughts had already drifted a thousand miles away...

Ningxia Medical University [Photo provided to]

“Here we are!” The cheers of my friends pulled me back to reality and we began our morning hike. In the afternoon we strolled along the Golden Whip Brook. The stone path under our feet, the stream, flowing water and trees beside us, and the small monkeys that showed up from time to time, made us feel the comfort of melting into nature. In this natural oxygen bar, we greedily breathed in the fresh air and even felt a sense of “oxygen toxicity” in a trance.

Climbing up the stone steps of the Golden Whip Brook, I picked up my camera and wanted to preserve the gorgeous hues in front of me. In my eyes, Huangshi Village and Golden Whip Brook were like a couple, one left and the other right, one mountain and the other water, outlining a beautiful landscape.

Ningxia Medical University [Photo provided to]

Another place that left me a deep impression was the Bailong Sky Ladder. When my friends and I arrived at the Bailong Sky Ladder, the moment we looked up, we were shocked by its magnificence. It stretched far into the distance and seemed to have no end. When I stood on the sky ladder and went up to the top of the mountain along the ladder, thousands of wondrous peaks were displayed before my eyes, as if I were in a fairyland. The white clouds were so close by that I felt I could reach out to touch them. When I reached the top of the mountain, I realized what it really means “It dwarfs all peaks under our feet”.

To be honest, we were tired and happy after a week’s travel, but we felt that the trip was worthwhile. Although I don’t have another chance to go to Zhangjiajie for the moment, I have been paying attention to this beautiful place which is as beautiful as my hometown. Seeing that Zhangjiajie has become better and better through the development of rural tourism, I realize why President Xi Jinping emphasizes that “Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” China is my second hometown.

Ningxia Medical University [Photo provided to]

I love the beautiful scenery and the kind and friendly people here. I would like to be a propagandist and a practitioner of ecological civilization and contribute to the protection of the environment and ecology in my own meagre capacity.

I will start from myself, from small things, such as saving one more drop of water, one more kilowatt hour of electricity, one more piece of paper and using one less plastic bag, let the green, low-carbon, environment-friendly and civilized lifestyle become a habit, and enjoy the beauty of nature, the beauty of vividness and the beauty of life among the lucid waters and lush mountains.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).