Walking on Air – The Glass Bridges of China

Walking on air is something that previously only gods could do. Or Criss Angel! Now you can too, with the glass bridges and platforms at some of China’s most famous – and highest – tourist attractions.

Mount Langya Glass Platform

China seems to be intent on giving its tourists a severe case of vertigo. The country has built yet another glass bridge, this time suspended 1,476 ft above a rocky gorge on Mount Langya in the Hebei province. Visitors can walk several hundred feet along the 5,015 sq ft see-through walkway, which ends in a large viewing platform.

The observation deck is large enough to hold 200 people at a time, and tourists who manage to look down will be greeted with a bird’s eye view of one of China’s most beautiful national forest conservation areas. They will also be able to catch a glimpse of a cave halfway up Mount Langya that is full of stalactites and stalagmites.

The bridge is one in a long line of towering see-through structures being built in China.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge

The world’s longest and highest glass bridge, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge opened to the public on August 20, 2016. It offers a way to enjoy a panoramic view of the stunning Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon — if you dare to walk on it!

The glass bridge will not only serve as a walkway. Visitors can go bungee jumping and zip-lining off of it as well.

  • Length: 430 meters (1410 feet)
  • Width: 6 meters (20 feet)
  • Height: 300 meters (984 feet)
  • Highlights: bungee jump and beautiful natural views of towering sandstone pillars

And that is not the only glass attraction in Zhangjiajie. There are three glass skywalks in Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area, about 85 kilometers away from Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. The glass skywalks cling to the vertical cliffs at a height of over 1,400 meters (4,700 feet).

Glass Walkways on Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie, China

It is certainly not a path for the faint-hearted. On one side a sheer rock face, on the other a 4,700 ft drop – and all to separate the brave traveler from a deadly plunge is a 3ft-wide, 2.5in thick walkway. And if that is not enough to bring terror into the pit of your stomach, the path running alongside a Chinese mountainside is made out of glass, allowing a crystal-clear view of where one false step can take you. So it was perhaps understandable that one woman tackled the walkway by sticking as close to the cliff as possible, feeling her way along with tentative steps.

The skywalks are situated 4,700 ft above sea level on the side of the Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie, China. And it would appear to be too scary for the cleaners – tourists are asked to put on shoe covers before passing to help keep the path clean.

Tianmen Mountain, literally translated as “Heavenly Gate Mountain”, is so called because of a huge natural cave that occurs halfway up to the summit. Situated in Hunan Province, its highest peak is around 5,000ft above sea level and it is home to a wealth of rare species of plants .

The first glass skywalk on Tianmen Mountain, called “The Walk of Faith” opened in November 2011. Since then it has been a must-see tourist attraction on the west side of the mountain. Another glass skywalk was opened on the east side in April, 2015.

The Newest Skywalk — “Coiled Dragon Cliff”

The third glass skywalk in Tianmen Mountain Scenic Area “Coiled Dragon Cliff Glass Walkway” opened to the public on August 1st, 2016. It offers a new way to enjoy the stunning mountainous landscapes — though you might be too terrified to appreciate the views!

  • Location: above the “99 Bends”, about 600m from the top of the cableway
  • Altitude: over 1,400 meters (4,700 feet)
  • Dimensions: 100 meters (328 feet) long, 1.6 meter (5 feet) wide

Stand on the crystal clear walkway, you can see all the way down to the bottom of the cliff and Tongtian Avenue (Heaven-Linking Avenue), which is the road up the mountain featuring a staggering 99 turns.

Shilingxia (Stone Forest Valley) Platform

Those suffering from fear of heights in China have a new location to challenge themselves with the opening of what the owners are calling the world’s largest viewing platform. Jutting out into a valley near Beijing, the Shilingxia (Stone Forest Valley) platform offers views of the surrounding countryside and the villages far below.

The suspended bridge is 32.8 meters long, 11 meters longer than the one in the United States, and is the longest in the world. Its glass area is 415 square meters, the largest in the world for glass viewing platforms. Moreover, this is the first time that titanium has been used. Scenic area manager Li Shuang, who says the structure represents the first time Titanium has been used for tourism purposes, said some visitors had a hard time getting round the platform. The platform opened to the public on May 1, 2016. It’s 768 meters above sea level and juts out 400 meters above the ground.

And no matter how terrifying these glass walkways may be – they can only be an improvement from another sky high mountain walkway located in the same province.

Shifou Mountain, located 82 miles away, offers sightseers a 3ft-wide road made of wooden planks thousands of feet high. When finished the wooden ‘road’ – which is the width of a dinner table – will stretch for 1.8 miles making it China’s longest sightseeing path.

 

You can also check the videos included here, as well as other amazing sights, on our YouTube channel.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s