The Shennongjia Nature Reserve in eastern Hubei Province shares its border with Chongqing Municipality in the west and Baokang County of Hubei Province in the east. It covers an area of 803,833 acres (about 3,253 square kilometers). In 2013, it was approved as Shennongjia Global Geopark. Afterwards, it was listed as a world heritage by the UNESCO in 2016. Because of its marvelous natural scenery, rare foliages, endangered animals and famous legends such as the mysterious "Wild Man" (Chinese Yeti) said to be found in the mountains, the forest zone has attracted many tourists every year, amongst whom are researchers and scientists.
Origin of Name
Shennongjia Forestry District was named after a very famous Chinese chief in prehistoric time, Shennong, also known as Yandi. He was believed to be one of the two ancestors of Chinese people (the other was Huangdi). He invented crockery, discovered herbal medicine by personally tasting herbs and taught his people how to cultivate. It is said that while Shennong tasted herbs here, he suffered from poisoning more than seventy times! However in the end, he managed to discover many useful herbal medicines. To commemorate his great work, he became the namesake for the land we speak of today, Shennongjia.
Shennongding Peak, the highest mountain of the scenic area, is 10,188 feet (about 3105.4 meters) high, above sea level. The lowest point, Shizhu River in southeastern Shennongjia Forestry District, is only 1,306 feet (about 398 meters) high, above sea level. Visitors can enjoy witnessing the different beauties of the four seasons at different altitudes. Flowers blossom out at every corner; firs, spruces, dove trees, and many rare trees can be seen everywhere. Virgin forests, clear streams and grand waterfalls in the thousands of canyons beckon visitors to indulge in the wild nature. Peculiar caves also often amaze visitors. There is the Swallow Cave that inhabited thousands of swallows, the Tide Cave that floods three times a day, the Icy Cave that is always icy in summers, the Fish Cave that inhabited lots of fish at times of thunder and much more. Wild animals, some of which are really rare species, are also frequently seen (i.e. the golden haired monkey, giant salamander, spotted deer and etc.).
The most peculiar species founded in the forest zone are certainly the "white animals". The first albino animal spotted in the scenic area was a white bear, which looks like a giant panda in white skin. White monkeys, white roes, white deer, white squirrels, white snakes, white crows and even white toads have also been gradually discovered by scientists. Aside from the endangered animals, it is a natural garden for herbal medicines as well. More than two thousand kinds of precious herbs, such as Jiaogulan (gynostemma pentaphyllum, which is as efficient as ginseng), actinidia, muskiness, fritillaria, Chinese angelica and etc., can be easily found in the forest zone.
Story of Wild Man
The Wild Man of Shennongjia is a mysterious figure as famous as Nessie and UFOs. The records of the Wild Man appear many times in ancient Chinese books, and since the 1970s, many people have declared that they had spotted The Wild Man. They are described to be ape-like, about two meters (6 ft.) high, covered by red or brown hair and can move very fast while standing erect. There have been many research studies held, which have yielded some evidence of the creature, such as the footprints and hair of The Wild Man. It is believed by many people that The Wild Man is an ancient species just like the giant panda and the golden haired monkey. Recently, some hikers and visitors also announced their sightings of The Wild Man. But to this day, no Wild Man has yet been caught.
Without a doubt, the forest zone is an attraction teeming with virgin scenery and folk legends, awaiting the enjoyment and excitement of casual tourists and researchers alike.
How to Get There
There are three central towns in the area: Muyu, Hongping and Songbai. Among them, Muyu is where the tourist center sets up. As the forest zone is very large, it is a good choice to rent a car inside the zone. The price ranges from CNY 150 to 300. The living conditions and services in Muyu Town are the best in the whole zone, so it's better for visitors to spend nights here.
Take a coach from Shiyan Passenger Transport Center to Shennongjia. The bus departs at 09:00 and bus fare is CNY 85.
1. Take a bus from Fujiapo Bus Station to Shennongjia. The bus leaves at 07:00 and the fare is CNY 165.
2. Take a bus from Hongji Bus Station to Muyu Town. The bus leaves at 07:00 and the fare is CNY 170.
3. Take a flight from Wuhan to Shennongjia. Then take the airport shuttle bus to Muyu Town.
1. Take a bus from Yichang Passenger Transport Center to Muyu Town. The bus leaves at 08:20, 09:30, 10:50, 11:50, 13:30, and 15:50. Bus fare is CNY 76.
2. Take a bus from Yichang Passenger Transport Center to Xingshan County. The bus departs every 30 minutes before 19:00. Bus fare is around CNY 32. Then take a bus from Xingshan Bus Station to Muyu. Bus fare is around CNY 22.
Take a cruise ship and disembark from Badong Port. Then take a bus from Jubaopen Passenger Transport Center to Muyu Town at 07:30. Bus fare is CNY 61.
Muyu Town: Shennong Shanzhuang (2 stars); Tianlu Hotel
Songbai Town: Shennongjia Hotel
| ||High Season (Mar. 26 – Nov. 25) ||Low Season (Nov. 26 – Mar. 25) |
|Combo Ticket ||CNY 269 ||CNY 130 |
|Shennong Peak ||CNY 130 ||CNY 75 |
|Dajiu Lake ||CNY 100 ||CNY 50 |
|Guanmen Hill ||CNY 95 ||CNY 47.5 |
|Shennong Altar ||CNY 55 ||CNY 27.5 |
|Natural Bridge ||CNY 55 ||CNY 27.5 |
|Tianyan Scenic Area ||CNY 45 ||CNY 22.5 |
1. The combo ticket covers the six scenic areas listed in the above box. It’s valid for five days with multiple entries. The separate ticket for each scenic area only allows a single entry.
2. Children below 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) enjoy free entry.
|April to October ||06:30 - 17:30 |
|October to the next March ||07:00 - 17:30 |
Note: The best time to visit is from May to October. However, if you visit in winter, you will be gifted with a totally different travel experience. Two ski resorts, one called International Ski Resort, and the other called Tianyan Ski Resort, are for your choice.
1. Virgin forests in the Zone are not totally open to visitors because of their large size, so you'd better find a local guide from the tourist service center;
2. You will probably want to pack your raincoat and some plastic bags so that you can keep your clothes and camera dry;
3. A knife, match and compass are also highly recommended;
4. It's usually very cold in the night, so you'd better pack more clothes;
5. It is easy to get lost in the mountains, so don't leave the road too far away!
6. Wear boots and trousers in the forest so that you can prevent bites from mosquitoes and other insects.
- Last modified on Oct. 18, 2018 -