After you have finished exploring the epic scenery of Guilin & Yangshuo, one place that you could consider exploring is the amazing Zhangjiajie National Park. We traveled to Zhangjiajie from Guilin by train, which took approximately 9 hours. To fly from Guilin to Zhangjiajie you may need to fly via Shanghai or Beijing as the closest airport to Zhangjiajie (Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport DYG) is only serviced by a limited number of airlines

Flying between Guilin & Zhangjiajie

Flying between Guilin and Zhangjiajie is the quickest way to travel, however, we did not find any direct routes on our travel dates. This may not always be the case. Skyscanner is the most convenient way to see if there are flights on your dates. Baggage rules on domestic flights in China can be confusing so make sure to click through to the booking page to calculate the baggage fees to determine if flying is cost-effective.

How to travel by train between Guilin & Zhangjiajie

There are no direct trains between Guilin and Zhangjiajie. The quickest train route from Guilin to Zhangjiajie is via Changsha (total travel time of around 9 hours). If you would like to make this journey, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Catch the fast train from Guilin Train Station to Changsha South

The first step is to catch the fast train from Guilin Train Station to Changsha South. This journey will take you approximately 3 to 3.5 hours. Despite online sources to the contrary, as a foreigner, you can buy tickets for this train at Guilin Train Station. However, there can be long lines and wait times of over an hour to get a ticket. You are able to buy both train tickets here (the first train to Changsha South & the connecting train to Zhangjiajie). A seat in second class costs 181.5 CNY (27 USD) for this leg of the journey. After you purchase your ticket, you are required to proceed through airport style security (passport required) so make sure you have enough time before your train departs.

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Step 2 – Catch the metro from Changsha South Station to Changsha Station

The bad news is Changsha South Station is not where you need to catch your next train to Zhangjiajie. The good news that Changsha South Station is connected to Changsha Station easily via subway line 2. The journey will take 15 minutes and cost 2 CNY. If you have a delay between your two trains, there is a Starbucks located directly between the two stations at Changsha Avenue Station on subway line 2.

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Step 3 –  Take the train from Changsha to Zhangjiajie

From Changsha, catch a train to Zhangjiajie. The train is not a bullet train and will take 4.5 hours and cost CNY86.5 (US$13). We found second class is comfortable enough for a relatively short journey. The trains are very clean and the seats reclined a fairly long way. An attendant brings around trolleys of food & drink every so often if you have forgotten to bring snacks along with you.

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Alternative transport routes from Guilin to Zhangjiajie

The above option is the fastest connection however, if it is sold out, the other connections from Guilin are as follows:

Guilin – Quzhou – Zhangjiajie (32 hours)
Guilin – Huaihua – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Rongshui – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Sanjiangxian – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Yantunbao – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Huaihua – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Jingzhou [Hunan] – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Rongan – Zhangjiajie (14 hours)
Guilin – Rongshui – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)
Guilin – Sanjiangxian – Zhangjiajie (15 hours)

Where to Stay in Guilin & Zhangjiajie

We usually start and end our searches with Booking.com as we find it easy to use and we trust their review scores.

In Guilin we recommend splitting your time between this city and the nearby picturesque city of Yangshuo.

  • Here is a list of all available properties in Guilin.
  • Here is a list of all available properties in Yangshuo.

To save you time, we have completed a search of accommodation in different budget categories in Guilin & Yangshuo that we would personally select and stay in.

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To visit the National Park in Zhangjiajie, you have a few choices as to where to stay:

As we arrived by the above train at 11pm at night, we decided to stay in Zhangjiajie City at the Art Hotel. This hotel was clean, comfortable and very modern with a fantastic wifi speed (very unusual for China). We only paid 170 CNY a night ($25 USD). The 9.8 review score the hotel boasts on booking.com is definitely a true representation of the quality of the hotel. The hotel also has a very nice common area and some pretty cute cats to play with. If you chose to stay at this hotel, do not pay anymore than 10 CNY by taxi from the train station to the hotel.

We hope this guide helpful in planning your journey between Guilin and Zhangjiajie. We would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below!

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