This place should be considered as a transit point only : you arrive, buy your sleeper train ticket for the evening or, more likely, the next day, and head toward Shaoshan. If you have got time to spare, you can visit the museum or send emails.
Avoid spending the night there as it is expensive and locals have a tendency to overcharge big noses. If you have no choice or an early train to catch, you can check the following convenient place :
Chezhan Hotel (229 3366), next to the Train Station. / Not so nice Dbl or Trpl with tiny bath 220 or 238 but probably down to 154 / Can get you sleeper tickets against a 10Y commission
Hotels << Get precise info, book online and save money !
Notes : Bus to Zhangjiajie from West Bus Station. Other
destinations from South Bus Station / Bus to Guangzhou every even day / e.d. =
even days only
Trains to Shaoshan very early in
the morning : No5365 dep 6:40 arr 9:30 or NoK585/584 (from Guangzhou) dep 6:52
Except if you arrive very early, there will be no connecting transport from the train Station and you will need to go first to the South Bus Station, 45mn away by bus 7 or 701 (from directly south of the train station). Once at the station, you may have the option of a comfortable Iveco bus (Y20) or an ordinary minibus (Y12). Both are apparently leaving on time, even if quite empty, and both will leave you in the new part of town, 5km away from the sights. Your third bus ride will cost you 1.5Y and take around 10mn.
The trip to Wulingyuan (Zhangjiajie) : Train + Bus / N & SSS / L&R / Y177+Y1+Y5
Our night train's ride was only disturbed by the unstoppable Chinese smokers, strong air cond... and loud speakers. Nothing unusual unfortunately...
We arrived on time but made the mistake to get on the bus going directly from the train station to Zhangjiajie village for 10Y. At least if there are enough people... and usually there aren't as there are faster and cheaper options. It took us 1.5 hours and another arriving train to realize it.
We therefore switched to the big "public" bus going to the city center "Shi Nei" for 1Y (20mn). From the bus stop, we walked 3mn to the bus station from where we took one of the frequent bus to the village for 5Y (1 hour).
The trip to Hengshan (by John Tosi, Australia) : I travelled from south Changsha bus station on a private bus. Located off to the right of the main bus station area is a smaller room. Private operators will approach you. These are quicker than the normal larger buses and are good value at 33Yuan. Roads are reasonably good and improving.
See also trip from Guangzhou to Changsha...