Baofeng Lake is truly unique in Zhangjiajie. The Ying Wo Zhai path runs away from the lakeside, up and through a steep chasm. Sheer walls of rock hem you in on either side. Above, enormous boulders lie dormant, trapped in the jaws of rock.
The walls part to reveal a cliffside walkway - the bird's nest for which the path is named. Views outwards are sublime, especially after the rain. Islands of stone float on a white sky. I imagined these were other birds nests, home to the offspring of mystical creatures, looking out on the world.
The pass continues past a couple of temples. The bell tower of one overlooked the valley and its mist-coated slopes. In the other, a lonely buddha gave the hollow building a chilling atmosphere.
On the water of Baofeng Lake, mountains float on water, not cloud. Every bend in the boat ride brings another spectacular sight into view. At the far side of the lake, a pair of crags tower above the rest. On my visit, cloud twisted around the flanks of these immense stone guardians in a lethargic whirlwind.
It was a sight worth traveling the world for.
Words & Photography: Scott Norris (@radventuresofficial) // Summer 2016
Access from Wulingyuan township. Buses run there from Zhangjiajie city (12 元, 40mins) They are not numbered and read 武陵源.
From Wulingyuan township, head for Baofeng Lake ticket office at the end of Baofeng Road - the road heading south out of Wulingyuan.
Entry costs 96元 (slightly less for a student under 24 years old) and includes a boat ride.
From the ticket office at the end of Balofeng Road head up the path adjacent to the road.
Take the first right. An inscription on the rock reads 'Ying Wo Zhai'.
Climb the steep pass and follow it through two tunnels and the cliffside.
At the junction, carry straight on, heading downhill.
At the second Temple, go right through the archway. Follow signs for Baofeng lake/boat trip.
Take the boat at the lake and once landed, follow the clear path back down towards the entrance.