Breathtaking Views of China’s ‘Avatar’ Mountains, Which Inspired the Movies

"It's kinda the Garden of Eden with teeth and claws."

Pandora, a fictional habitat in James Cameron's sci-fi blockbusters Avatar (2009) and Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) has been described by the filmmaker as such: 

Full of bizarre flora and fauna and floating land masses, Pandora takes a cue from the Wulingyuan Scenic Area located in China's Hunan province.

This public bit of information has been a boon to China's tourism, as the blockbuster has sparked curiosity about the real natural wonder.

Funny story: The craggy mountains in Wulingyuan used to be called the Southern Sky Column. Shortly after the first Avatar film was released, however, Chinese government officials formally changed the attraction's name to the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain.

Bringing new meaning to the saying 'head in the clouds,' the UNESCO World Heritage Site has over 3,000 sandstone pillars and peaks which reach heights of more than 200 meters or 660 feet.

While Wulingyuan may not have six-legged or flying beasts, the area is home to the Asian wild dog, or known as dhole, the 'armored' pangolin, and countless other cool creatures.

In addition to the 'Avatar mountain,' two must-sees at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park include the world's longest cable car ride and a glass skybridge.

Click the link below to learn why Chinese netizens initially balked when the Avatar sequel hit cinemas on December 16, 2022.