Bailong Elevator, the world’s tallest elevator

The World’s Tallest Open Lift – The Hundred Dragons Lift

The Bailong Elevator, which translates as “The Lift of the Hundred Dragons”, was built in 1999. The elevator was needed to bring tourists up the 330-meter-high mountain. Before the elevator was built, hikers could only make the ascent on foot, and since the rock is practically sheer, few dared to do so.

In 2002, the Wulingian area where the elevator was being built was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists can now climb to the top of the cliff in just a few minutes and enjoy an ethereal scenery.

The world’s highest free-moving mountain elevator, called the “Bailong Elevator,” was finally installed in 2001 in China’s most beautiful reserve park (Wulingian District, Hunan Province). The two-story elevator cabin can hold 50 people (or 1,380 people per hour). The piquancy is added by the fact that the walls of the elevator are transparent, so that the strong-minded passengers, along with a small dose of adrenaline can enjoy contemplation of the mountain scenery open to them

The project was met with fierce criticism from environmentalists who were unhappy that it was located in the central part of a protected area.

Mines and tunnels were cut into the rock to provide infrastructure for the elevator. In addition, in the event of an earthquake or natural disaster, people from all three elevator cabins could be quickly evacuated.

Despite the protests, the elevator serves tourists, and indeed contributes to the growing popularity of this region of Hunan Province.

After the structure was put into operation in 2002, it was temporarily closed for safety reasons. After some improvements, the elevator resumed operation in 2003 and is now an iconic place among tourists. The elevator saves 3 hours of walking and takes travelers to the mountain in just one minute, which offers a beautiful view of the valley with quartzite pillars.

Wulingyuan is the cliffs in Zhangjiajie National Park, which is located in Hunan Province in southeastern China. It is an amazingly beautiful place and at the same time a natural zoo, botanical and geological reserve. The place is famous for its quartzite cliffs up to 800 meters high. The highest peaks of Wulingyuan reach a height of more than 3 km above sea level. The mountains are a picturesque sight: huge stone pillars above the rainforest, rugged sharp peaks, waterfalls, a giant system of caves.

Mount Jiankunzhu, located near the Chinese city of Zhangjiajie, was renamed “Hallelujah Avatar” on Jan. 24, 2010, Reuters reports citing local officials.

The idea to change the name of the mountain stems from the local authorities’ desire to capitalize on the success of the film. “Pandora is far away, but Zhangjiajie is close,” the city government said on its website. Officials expect that the mountain’s new name will attract tourists to the region. www.drive2.ru/c/472164104023311112/

Zhangjiajie is the oldest of China’s national parks and perhaps the most remarkable. Opened in 1982, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List ten years later. The park is home to over 500 species of animals, including civets, monkeys, birds, and salamanders. It is also home to such rare plants as gingko, pigeon tree, and mahogany. The area is also home to the Tianjishan Geopark, famous for its spectacular mountains, and the Soxiu Park, which is featured by the Huanglong Cave, the largest room of which can hold ten thousand people. Since Zhangjiajie is a popular tourist area, there are excellent hotels and restaurants with excellent cuisine. As a souvenir, visitors can buy handicrafts of the local Miao, Tujia, and Bo people who have lived in these lands for many thousands of years and have developed original crafts whose secrets have been passed down from generation to generation.

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The Bailong Elevator, which translates as “The Lift of the Hundred Dragons”, was built in 1999. The elevator was needed to bring tourists up the 330-meter-high mountain. Before the elevator was built, hikers could only make the ascent on foot, and since the rock is practically sheer, few dared to do so.

In 2002, the Wulingian area where the elevator was being built was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists can now climb to the top of the cliff in just a few minutes and enjoy an ethereal scenery.

The world’s highest free-moving mountain elevator, called the “Bailong Elevator,” was finally installed in 2001 in China’s most beautiful reserve park (Wulingian District, Hunan Province). The two-story elevator cabin can hold 50 people (or 1,380 people per hour). The piquancy is added by the fact that the walls of the elevator are transparent, so that the strong-minded passengers, along with a small dose of adrenaline can enjoy contemplation of the mountain scenery open to them

The project was met with fierce criticism from environmentalists who were unhappy that it was located in the central part of a protected area.

Mines and tunnels were cut into the rock to provide infrastructure for the elevator. In addition, in the event of an earthquake or natural disaster, people from all three elevator cabins could be quickly evacuated.

Proponents of the project say that these elevators, with the largest passenger capacity in the world, have saved mountain trails from overloading.

But their opponents point out that the region, which is visited by 5 million people each year, is already oversaturated with tourists and another attraction that would increase their numbers would only harm the environment.

Despite the protests, the elevator serves tourists, and indeed contributes to the growing popularity of this region of Hunan Province.

After the structure was put into operation in 2002, it was temporarily closed for safety reasons. After some improvements, the elevator resumed operation in 2003 and is now an iconic place among tourists. The elevator saves 3 hours of walking and takes travelers to the mountain in just one minute, which offers a beautiful view of the valley with quartzite pillars.

Those who choose to explore this beautiful place should note that the elevator is closed in bad weather. A ticket to the park costs $39 and one elevator ride costs $8.9.

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Wall of flowers, description and photo

Wulingyuan is the cliffs in Zhangjiajie National Park, which is located in Hunan Province in southeastern China. It is an amazingly beautiful place and at the same time a natural zoo, botanical and geological reserve. The place is famous for its quartzite cliffs up to 800 meters high. The highest peaks of Wulingyuan reach a height of more than 3 km above sea level. The mountains are a picturesque sight: huge stone pillars above the rainforest, rugged sharp peaks, waterfalls, a giant system of caves.

Admission to the park costs 158 yuan and entitles you to visit the park for two days. The airport is located 10 km west of Zhangjiajie, this is 33 km from the park entrance, and shuttle buses go to the city from there. Minibuses stop in front of the train and bus station, it takes one hour to get to the village and the park entrance. Trains go to Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and other regional centers in China.

Mount Jiankunzhu, located near the Chinese city of Zhangjiajie, was renamed “Hallelujah Avatar” on Jan. 24, 2010, Reuters reports citing local officials.

The idea to change the name of the mountain stems from the local authorities’ desire to capitalize on the success of the film. “Pandora is far away, but Zhangjiajie is close,” the city government said on its website. Officials expect that the mountain’s new name will attract tourists to the region.

Zhangjiajie is the oldest of China’s national parks and perhaps the most remarkable. Opened in 1982, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List ten years later. The park is home to over 500 species of animals, including civets, monkeys, birds, and salamanders. It is also home to such rare plants as gingko, pigeon tree, and mahogany. The area is also home to the Tianjishan Geopark, famous for its spectacular mountains, and the Soxiu Park, which is featured by the Huanglong Cave, the largest room of which can hold ten thousand people. Since Zhangjiajie is a popular tourist area, there are excellent hotels and restaurants with excellent cuisine. As a souvenir, visitors can buy handicrafts of the local Miao, Tujia, and Bo people who have lived in these lands for many thousands of years and have developed original crafts whose secrets have been passed down from generation to generation.

The city of Zhangjiajie is located in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, China. Its population is approximately one and a half million people. Nearby is the Wulingyuan district which is home to the Zhangjiajie National Park with its unusually diverse flora and fauna. The city has its own airport, which takes flights from all major cities in China. In addition to ethnic Chinese (Han), the Zhangjiajie area is also home to the Miao, Tujia, and Bo peoples who have their own distinctive culture.

Climate

Zhangjiajie has a humid, tropical climate with clear sunny days interspersed with torrential rain throughout the year. The year is divided into four seasons with short, cool winters and long, warm summers. There are no frosts or excessive heat. The average temperature in summer is +27℃ and in January, the coldest month, it hovers around +4.3℃.

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How to get there

Zhangjiajie Airport (located 10 km from the city and 33 km from the national park) can be reached from any major city in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Chongqing. There are regular shuttles from the airport to the national park. It takes about an hour to get from the airport to the park. The best way to get from Changsha by train is to take about five hours.

When best to go

Zhangjiajie can be visited almost at any time of year. Although it can be a bit chilly in winter, the snowfall makes the park a magical land. Spring fills the local nature with the fragrance of flowers, and autumn brings a splendor of colors. And the dense mists and the altitude that brings the mountain chill make for a pleasant atmosphere for a summer visit.

What to see

Zhangjiajie is especially interesting because of its picturesque Wulingyuan area, which is divided into four main areas:

  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
  • Soxiu Geopark
  • Tianjishan Geopark
  • Yanjiajie Geopark

Since the late 1980s, Wulingyuan has been one of China’s major national scenic areas. All in all, about seven hundred and seventy different plant species grow here, including a number of quite rare and found in the wild exclusively here. The fauna of Wulingyuan is no less extensive – twenty-eight species of local inhabitants are considered rare and protected by law. These include giant salamanders, smoky and common leopards, and a number of more common large carnivores.

Located in Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie National Park is the oldest national park in China. It was established in 1982 and has an area of 13,000 square kilometers. The landscape of Zhangjiajie is quite diverse – dense forests alternate with high mountains all of a sudden. The climate here is warm and humid. The park is home to over 500 different species of animals. There are also such rare plants as gingko, pigeon tree, mahogany. And there are even civets (cat family), monkeys, birds and salamanders. In 1992, the park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

  • Tianshan Mountain is the first mountain in Zhangjiajie whose height has been measured by experts (1,518.6 m). The mountain is located 8 km from the center of Zhangjiajie and is one of the main attractions of the national park. The mountain is famous for its unusual Heaven’s Gate Cave, the highest cave in the world formed naturally by erosion processes. It has even been called the “magic cave of Western Hunan.” The cave was formed in 263 when suddenly a large chunk of the mountain just fell off, creating a huge cavity 131.5 m high, 57 m wide at its widest point, and 60 m long. Shrouded in clouds, the “Heaven’s Gate” is really quite impressive: you really seem to find yourself in heaven once you pass through it. There is a belief among the locals that the mountain is associated with the sky and has supernatural powers. So, in the XX century four times from the top of the mountain falls unexpectedly and for some unexplained reason, a waterfall of 1500 m high. Streams of water fell for 15 minutes, and then also suddenly disappeared. This phenomenon was observed in 1949 (founding of the PRC), 1976 (death of Mao Zedong), 1989 (suppression of student riots in Beijing) and 1998 (the largest flood), and superstitious Chinese believe these coincidences are not accidental. It has also long been rumored that countless treasures have been hidden on the mountain, brought here by one of the leaders of the peasant uprising during the Ming Dynasty. For centuries, treasure hunters have come here in search of treasure, but all their attempts to find it have been in vain. The highest and the longest cableway in the world (7,455 m) leads to the top of the mountain, with spans of up to 500 m! In some places ropeway rises sharply at an angle of 70 degrees, suddenly breaking straight into the clouds. Unforgettable experience! The main parts for building the cable car were imported from the French company ROMA. At the top of the mountain to the cave leads stairs with 999 steps. The number “9” in this case is not accidental: in Taoist tradition, this number is the symbol of the emperor and the highest number available to man. The meaning of this number once again emphasizes the mystery of this place, located at the boundary of the human and divine worlds. You can get down the mountain by bus on the Tongtian road with 99 turns. The name of the road is not an exaggeration: it is one of the most impressive serpentines in the world, “sky highway”. The length of the route – less than 11 km, and the distance between the turns – from 200 to 1300 m. At the top of the mountain right on the edge of the abyss among bizarre relict trees laid paths, in some places – a glass floor, so you can see the clouds under your feet.
  • Buddhist temple “Heavenly Gate”. , one of the main pilgrimage sites in Hunan Province since the Ming Dynasty. The graceful temple covers an area of about 10,000 square meters.
  • Yellow Dragon Cave. It is said that the Yellow Dragon Cave is even more beautiful inside than outside in Zhangjiajie Reserve. It is always cool and fresh during the day and night all year round, not hot in summer and not cold in winter. This cave is one of the main attractions of the reserve and one of the most beautiful “magic karst caves” in the world. Yellow Dragon Cave is a typical karst cave, in the formation of which water plays an important role. Drops of water seep through the cracks in the karst layers and constantly dissolve the limestone, thereby expanding the crevice. This process continues from year to year, until the crevice reaches a huge size. This is how the Yellow Dragon Cave occurred, reaching a height of 140 meters. At the highest point of the cave, the distance to the top of the mountain is only 17 m. Inside the cave there are the following “natural wonders”: two underground rivers, three pools, four waterfalls, 13 large “halls”, 96 galleries and hundreds of thousands of stalagmites, columns, stalactites and other formations. “The “interiors” of the Yellow Dragon Cave are so complex and unfathomable that even geologists call the place “magical. The Yellow Dragon Cave has several picturesque natural compositions, including the Dragon Palace, the Ballroom with draped stone curtains, the Immortal Waterfall, and more. In the Dragon Palace you can see the Dragon King, which can be accessed through the “Longevity” or “Happiness” gate. According to an old tradition, a visitor can choose only one of them. According to local beliefs, those who pass through the Happiness Gate will find prosperity in marriage, and those who choose Longevity will live happily ever after. The full journey through the cave will take about two hours. During that time you have to walk 2400 m and swim 800 m along the river. It is one of the longest caves in Asia, widely known outside of China. Yellow Dragon Cave is located 15 minutes from the town of Suoxiyu, an hour’s drive from the city of Zhangjiajie and 20 minutes from the Zhangjiajie Reserve.
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Yangjiajie Park is adjacent to Zhangjiajie National Park to the east and Tianjie Mountain to the north. The park was inaugurated in 1992. The area of Yangjiajie covers an area of 34 square meters and is divided into three parts – Xiangzhi Creek (Xiangzhi, Lunquan Valley and Baihou Valley – in which there are over 200 landscape areas in total.

  • Lunquan Valley is characterized by steep cliffs rising out of the ground at almost right angles. They are so close together that from afar they look like the defensive wall of an ancient city.
  • The Baihuo Valley is actually frequented by macaques. It is also a favorite destination for white herons who come in flocks to the area.
  • Lunquan Valley is known for the beautiful Dragon Spring waterfall. The waterfall falls from a cliff densely overgrown with ivy and exotic five-color flowers.

In the Xiangzhi area, tall sharp peaks are wrapped in a string of clear streams, and ancient paths are laid out along ravines, along which one can hear cicadas and birdsong as one walks.

The history of Yangjiajie is closely connected with the legends of the Northern Song Dynasty. According to legend, during one of the bloody wars of that time, a general from the Yang clan camped at the foot of Mount Tianjie. The war dragged on for several years, and during that time, more and more offspring of the Yang clan appeared in the area. Since then, the place became known as the “Yang lands,” which in Chinese sounds like “Yangjiajie. There are still graves of members of the Yang family, including their descendants buried here during the Ming and Qing eras.

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