Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Following through on a recent national trend of building paths in extremely high places, China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province has opened on Monday August 1 the country’s newest high-altitude walkway to tourists both foreign and domestic who would dare to test their courage in walking along its meandering course.

And if that’s not enough to strike the fear of heights into your hearts, then consider the fact that, much like the Grand Canyon walkway back in America, the Coiling Dragon Path built into the side of Tianmen Mountain is made up of glass, 2 and a half inches thick yet clearly see-through. That ought to give you a magnificent view of the park down below with the added illusion of walking on air, at least for a few seconds before you get woozy and decide to stick close to the mountainside, walking on the metal supports as much as possible.

Located in Hunan province, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is really impressing visitors with the Coiling Dragon, which hugs a portion of Tianmen Mountain’s sheer slope while snaking a good 100 meters and 99 turns from a dizzying height of 4,700 feet above sea level. If one can overcome their primal fears at the sheer drop viewable through the glass path, it makes for a wonderful photo op to showcase the beauty of Hunan province, one of China’s wide open spaces.

Access to the path is simple enough; although all walkers are required to put on protective shoe covers provided on site before being allowed on the path, both to avoid scratching the glass too much and leaving tracks of dirt that are just too scary for window washers to clean out.

The Coiling Dragon is but the third glass bottomed skywalk built in the area of Tianmen Mountain, which gets its name (“Heavenly Gate”) from a natural opening through the mountain. The park that operates the walkway, Zhangjiajie, is aptly named (“Sky Avenue”) for its high-altitude attractions. An earlier construction in the area is the so-called longest glass bridge in the world, at 1,410 feet long and crossing a 300-meter deep valley. The glass path was sturdy enough to stand sledgehammer blows in a test conducted by park authorities just last June to assure its safety to tourists.

And if that wasn’t enough of a guarantee, they deliberately cracked a section of the bridge and drove a car full of people over the area, with no problems.

That at least is a better certification than what can be gotten from a similar skywalk construction being done in Shifou Mountain just 82 miles from Tianmen. It’s going to have a path made out of wood.

(Info from CNN, BBC and Daily Mail)

Photo Credit to inhabitat.com