Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, China
Ninety-nine turns in less than seven miles and I feel fine!
An hour jaunt from Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and we were standing on another of China’s breathtaking mountains, Tianmen. The more compact Tianmen Mountain National Park is a day of extremes. We took the world’s longest mountain cableway nearly 25,000 feet to reach the top. We stood at 4,900 feet above sea level watching tourists dare one another to cross glass-bottom bridges. We rode what seemed like the world’s longest escalator through the mountain to admire Tianmen Cave, a natural opening in the mountain. We white-knuckled it down the 999 steps under the cave to reach the road with 99 turns and descend the mountain of hyperbolic proportions.
So, what do you see at the top? Breathtaking mountain and city views, a colorful and elaborate Buddhist temple, a couple of traditional musicians, and hundreds of (mostly Chinese) tourists. Is it worth standing in line for? Definitely. Despite the throngs of tourists, the top of the mountain is a serene and beautiful winding path around the perimeter. The vertigo-inducing cliff-hanging walkway wraps around the mountains where no two views are the same.
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