Zhangjiajie City is situated in the northwest of Hunan Province, in the juncture of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the subsidence of Dongting Lake, stretching over the area from between 109'40 and 110'20 E to between 28'52 and 29'48 N. It is bordered on the north by E'xi Autonomous Prefecture of Hubei Province, on the west by Xiangxi Autonomous Prefectue of Hunan Province, on the south by Huaihua City of Hunan, and on the east by Changde City of Hunan. The city stretches 167 km from east to west, and 96 km from north to south at best. Zhangjiajie city covers a total surface area of 9,563sq km (3,692sq miles).
Zhangjiajie is founded on basis of tourism, and is known for its unique tourist resources. Zhangjiajie was approved as China's first National Forest Park, together with Mountain Tianzi Reserve and Suoxi Valley Reserve as the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. It merges such relieves as peaks, forests, caves, lakes and waterfalls as a whole, displaying such features as wonderfulness, beauty, serenity, wildness, and thrilling into a picture. It wins praises from visitors both at home and abroard as “an enlarged potted landscape and also a miniature fairyland”. Consequently, in 1992, Wulingyuan was enlisted in the “World Natural Heritage” by UNESCO and it was selected as one of the first world geological parks in 2004. There are also satellite tourist attarctions like “the Soul of Wuling”——Mountain Tianmen, “Hundred Li Gallery”——Maoyan River, “the No.1 Cave in Asia”——Jiutian Cave, “the Famous Temple in the South of Yangtze river”——Puguang Temple (Universal Light Temple), “Taoist Sacred Place”——Mountain Five-Thunder, the capital of former Xiang'echuanqian Province of Soviet China, the Long March starting point of the Second Group Army—one of the three main forces of China's Red Army—and the former residential site of Marshal He Long, as well as six natioal or provincial natual reserves such as Mountain Ba Da Gong (which means Eight Dukes), which was enlisted as one of the observatories of “the People and the Biosphere”.
Zhangjiajie is a treasure house for natural resources, which enjoys the good names of “Plants' Gene Bank” and “Animals' Kingdom”. There are woody plants of 106 families, 320 genera and 850 species, backboned animals of 146 species. Among them 56 species of plants and 40 species of animals are under national protection. Precious plants include gingko, Chinese dovetrees, Chinese yew, cherry and so on. Valuable medicinal herbs include glossy ganoderma, the tuber of elevated gastrodia, the tuber of multiflower knotweed, the bark of eucommia and so on; while rare animals, the giant salamander, unicorn, Sumen antelope, south China tiger, leopard, macaque, zibet and so on. The forest covers as much as 67 per cent of the entire city and ranks No.1 in Hunan Province. And in the core natural resorts, visitors both at home and abroad consider it as “a natural oxygen cafe”. Zhangjiajie has a lively and colorful folk culture, with a unique style of architectures, arts and crafts, folk customs, in which Sangzhi folk songs is included in the list of the first “National Immaterial Cultural Heritages”.