Thursday, 3 May 2018

Zhangjiajie Pt 1: The Glass Bridge

When Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was first opened in August 2016, it received much media coverage showcasing its glory and masterpiece technology. I was particularly amused by clips of videos which highlighted visitors whimpering in fear and crying like babies while trying to walk on it. Is the bridge that terrifying? I had to check this one out I thought.

Less than two years down the road I was finally at the site. Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge also nicknamed Brave Men's Bridge is still the most popular attraction in Zhangjiajie today, a district famed for its natural wonders and heritage. This pedestrian bridge was built mainly as a tourist attraction and serves the ultimate purpose of reaping in $$$ from visiting tourists. Mind you, it isn't cheap at all to walk on this bridge. 
Suspended across a very deep canyon and hanging from two high cliffs, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge at 1411 feet long and 984 feet above the ground was until recently the world's longest and highest glass bridge. China's obsession with glass bridges however saw an end to its reign as the world's longest when Hongyagu Glass Bridge was opened at the end of 2017 and the world's highest when Batai Mountain Glass Bridge was opened at the beginning of 2018. Despite this it still attracts an overwhelming crowd that runs into the tens of thousands each day.
Not only is the entrance fees exhorbitant, there is also a lot of hassle visiting this attraction. From purchasing the tickets (that requires your passports) to the many sections of long queues (sometimes as long as 4 hours), being peeved by unruly tourist crowds that are made up mostly of China locals (jumping queue by pushing people in front of them looks like their specialty), complying with visiting time which is very controlled and going through stringent security where you and your belongings have to be scanned, I was wondering whether it is worth the while. Visitors are allowed to bring along their mobile phones but are not allowed big bags, cameras, selfie sticks (though a number managed to sneak these in), wear high heels  and shoes with spikes. Visitors are also made to wear shoe covers. [ Going through a Chinese travel agent to visit this place is most advisable]
And how does it feel like standing on the bridge? It wasn't a bit scary and far from terrifying. The crowd numbering close to a thousand was confidently walking and happily snapping away photos of themselves. No whimpering, no screams of fear and no crying made me wonder whether the clips of video I saw were all but mere acting.

If you look down through the glass bottom you can see the canyon below albeit the images are not that sharp. After less than two years the glass surface has become dull  due to inevitable scratches caused by the thousands who walk it each day. Standing at the side, you do get a very majestic view of the canyon but I was afraid to take more snapshots as a slight nudge by the overzealous crowd could send my mobile flying off the bridge into the deep canyon below.
The scenery is superb. After all the bridge is constructed in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park which is a very scenic area.

I walked 430 meters to the end of the bridge and walked back.
If you were to ask me whether you'd miss anything spectacular by not being here, my answer is 'No", so cheer up!

Related Posts:
Zhangjiajie Pt 1: The Glass Bridge
Zhangjiajie Pt 2: Yuanjiajie Scenic Area (Avatar)
Zhangjiajie Pt 3: Tiamen Mountain
Zhangjiajie Pt 4: Baofeng Lake
Zhangjiajie Pt 5: Other Attractions I visited
Zhangjiajie Pt 6: Glimpses of Zhangjiajie

No comments :

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...