Zhangjiajie 01: Tianmen Mountain
Informations collected from Internet and Travel Websites.
Photos by GNT
From Changsha, we went to visit Changde with Poem wall, then FengHoang with beautiful Phoenix Old Town, then to Zhagjiajie.
By Sóng Việt Đàm Giang
- Chinese: 天门山 Tiānmén Shān /tyen-mnn shan/ ‘Heaven's Door Mountain’
- Location: just south of Zhangjiajie city, NOT in the National Park, north of the city —
- Height: 1,519 meters (4,983 feet)
- Mountain Tourist Area (above 700m, 2,300 ft): 10 square kilometers (4 square miles)
The mountain is best reached by cable car. The aerial tramway ride is the longest in the world, taking about 30 minutes for over 7 kilometers. The last part of the cable way is very steep, going up at 37 degrees over sheer cliffs to one of the mountain peaks.The cable car starts close to the bus station and railway station. The scenery viewed from the cable car is fantastic: lush mountain peaks, the 99 Bends (99 sharp curves on a road up to the mountain peak), and deep valleys. One cable car holding eight people.
The Cliff-Hanging WalkwayThe walkway was built along the edges of this mountain's summits, clinging to the vertical cliffs.
The Glass Skywalk — "the Walk of Faith"
The glass walkway (or "the Walk of Faith") is part of the cliff-hanging walkway, and is the highest section. The skywalk is 60 meters long, with a width of 1.6 meters. On a clear day, walking on it, a sheer drop of thousands of feet below can be clearly seen. It gives a thrilling feeling like walking in the sky. It is interesting to see people (scared of the height) leaning against the cliff as they cross it. On foggy days, it is easier to walk across as you can see nothing below, however the thrilling feature of the walkway is lost. If it rains the day before, there is usually heavy fog at the mountain top.
The 99 Bends
There are 99 sharp curves on the road up to Tianmen Cave, the famous 99 Bends. The best place to see and take photos of these bends is from the cable car.The road is built for tourist use, taking tourists from the mountain foot to the top of the mountain and Tianmen Cave. Tourist buses take travelers from the midway cable car station along some of these 99 bends to Tianmen Cave. The bus doesn't stop on the way. It takes about 20 minutes to the cave. The ride, full of sharp turns along vertical cliffs, is not recommended for those who are easily carsick.
Tianmen ('Heaven's Door' 天门 Tiānmén) Cave is a large (30 meters or 100 feet wide) water-eroded hole between two peaks, like a huge doorway in the cliff face. It's the highest hole of its sort in the world.
To reach the cave, take a tourist bus (usually a mini-bus) on the 99 Bends, then steps up to the cave. Then, there are 999 steep and narrow steps up to the cave — "the Stairway to Heaven". It is a hard and tiresome climb (about 30 minutes).
Or easy way is to take escalators from cliff-hanging walkways area down to the cave.
Our itinerary goes this way:Take cable car from town (Zhanjiajie City) up to a lesser peak (about 30 minutes)
Walk around the cliff-hanging walkways (and the glass walkway).
Walk on the way (a little) to escalator station.
Take several escalators down to the Tiamen cave .
Enjoy view on Tiamen cave, then take escalator down to a Bus station where we take a tourist bus driving on the 99 bends down to another bus station then take the regular bus back to cable station in the city (Zhangjiajie city).
It was one of the most wonderful days of the trip.
Sóng Việt Đàm Giang