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Looking up, looking down at an ethereal world of wonder(2)

2018-01-19 Editor: Huang Mingrui ECNS App Download

The bridge was closed temporarily just two weeks after opening in 2016 due to "possible safety hazards." All that resolved, it has become so popular that visitors may have to wait up to three hours to gain access.

As a fallback position that's no less thrilling, visitors may choose the glass skywalk in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area of Tianmen Mountain. The 60-meter-long skywalk hugs a vertical cliff 1,420 meters above a valley. Look down and you may find your stomach in your throat.

For both the glass bridge and skywalk, visitors need to wear protective shoe covers in order to keep the glass clean. The covers are available at the entrances of the bridge and skywalk.

Cost: 133 yuan for the glass bridge; 235 yuan for the canyon and glass bridge; 10 yuan for the glass skywalk

How to get there: The skywalk is within walking distance once you arrive in Wulingyuan on the west side of Tianmen Mountain. Shuttle buses are available from there to the glass bridge.

Huanglong Karst Cave

Magnificent stone scenery is viewable inside as well as outside of the mountains.

The enormous Huanglong Karst Cave in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area is unique among the numerous karst caves in China.

The 140-meter-high cave features stalagmites in hundreds of different shapes. Visitors with imaginations see limestone flowers, waterfalls and animals. With colorful, artificial illumination, the whole cave takes on the sense of being in a kaleidoscope.

The most notable stalagmite is called the "needle that stills the waters." The 19.2-meter-high calcium carbonate rock structure, tallest in the cave, is so thin that its average diameter is less than 20 centimeters. Experts estimate it has been forming for 200,000 years and might reach the top of the cave in another 60,000 years.

The "needle" is considered such a rare attraction that the management company of the cave insured it for 100 million yuan (US$15.5 million) in 1998.

How to get there: Take a bus from the city of Zhangjiajie to Wuilingyuan, and from there take bus No. 1 to the Huanglong Cave Station.

Jinbian Brook

The 7.5-kilometer-long Jinbian Brook that runs through a stone forest park in Zhangjiajie might be the most sedate but relaxing attraction of the area.

No need to labor up a mountain or test personal bravery on a glass walkway. A stroll along the brook through a deep valley is filled with peace and solitude. The pathway is lined with wooden planks, making the walk easier for visitors of all ages.

This is heaven on Earth. The water is clear and sparkling, the trees rich green and the stone pillars ethereal. It's the kind of spot one doesn't want to leave, for fear of breaking the magic.

Jinbian literally means "golden whip." The name originated from Jinbian Rock, a whip sword-shaped rock on one end of the brook. The 380-meter-high rock is often dyed golden by the sunshine. Beside it looms another giant rock in the shape of an eagle spreading its wings. The two rocks form the most iconic scenery of the brook area.

This area is home to macaques that have been inhabiting the forest for hundreds of years. They don't fear humans. Indeed, they are brazen in seeking food handouts from visitors. But be careful with the little rascals if you decide to play with them for a little bit.

How to get there: Take a bus from downtown Zhangjiajie to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park ticket office station. After entering the park, it is about a 500-meter walk to the entrance of the valley.



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