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Zhangjiajie (simplified Chinese: 张家界; traditional Chinese: 張家界; pinyin: Zhāngjiājiè) is a prefecture-level city in the northwestern part of Hunan province, People's Republic of China. It comprises the district of Yongding and counties of Cili and Sangzhi. Within it is located Wulingyuan Scenic Area which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 as well as an AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration.
The new name of Zhangjiajie City was adopted in 1994, after the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area (武陵源) in order to give it more prominence and after this site had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The National Forest Park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and now a popular tourist attraction within the park. The three-character name (张家界) can be interpreted as follows: "Zhang" (张) is a common surname in China; "jia" (家) can be translated as "family"; and "jie" (界) can be translated as "homeland", giving the completed translation of "Zhang family homeland." It has been reported that at least one tourist guide has said that the name may have been chosen to convey the idea or impression of "Open the family door to welcome the world" (张开家门引进世界), but this is not the locally accepted and directly-translated meaning of the name. The official version of its name is linked to a Han general, Zhang Liang, who resettled in the area after a suspicious Liu Bang, the Han emperor, started to persecute his staffs and generals who had contributed to his becoming emperor. It was so named to signify that the Zhang family had set up home there.
The Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area comprises the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the Tianzishan (天子山) mountain ranges, Baofenghu (宝峰湖) and the Suoxi Valley (索溪峪), and is a very popular filming and tourist destination.
Also in the Zhangjiajie area, Huanglongdong (黄龙洞) and Longwangdong (龙王洞) are caves known for many natural rock formations (much like Wulingyuan) and its underground cataract.
The Bailong Elevator is also located in the area.
Each year, Zhangjiajie hosts the International Country Music Week Festival, which has featured international acts such as American Country Music group Lucy Angel.
The Zhangjiajie Airport services scheduled service to major airports in China. It is about 5 km away from the downtown and 30 km away from Wulingyuan Scenic Area. There are domestic flights available between Zhangjiajie and other cities, such as Changsha, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou etc. Flights between Zhangjiajie and Seoul, Busan are also available.
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