WULINGUAN, HUNAN, CHINA

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Changsha, Front Entrance And Reception

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Changsha, Front Entrance And Reception

large portrait in lounge

large portrait in lounge

building for cable cars, eight people to a cabin

building for cable cars, eight people to a cabin

breath-taking view of the mountains and trees

breath-taking view of the mountains and trees

Picture of cliffs from the sky elevator

Picture of cliffs from the sky elevator

IMG_8890

999 steps to heaven's gate

999 steps to heaven’s gate

landscape of heavenly gate, with mysticism of the fog

landscape of heavenly gate, with mysticism of the fog

view of the hills, with cable car

view of the hills, with cable car

the summit, with the key to heaven, but too foggy to find the door

the summit, with the key to heaven, but too foggy to find the door

view of our group, 23 tourists, plus a Malaysian guide. Heaven's gate is just a water hole

view of our group, 23 tourists, plus a Malaysian guide. Heaven’s gate is just a water hole

Due to fog and rain, the Glass Walk, at 4700 ft ht, 200 feet long, 2.5 inch thick, is comparable to Grand Canyon, US

Due to fog and rain, the Glass Walk, at 4700 ft ht, 200 feet long, 2.5 inch thick, is comparable to Grand Canyon, US

we have reached the Glass Sky Walk

we have reached the Glass Sky Walk

WULINGUAN

We arrived at Changsha by Thai Airline via Bangkok. Check-in Crowne Plaza hotel late at night, and missed our dinner, despite the five-star hotel was located in the city centre. As usual we check- out early, and hardly have the opportunity to enjoy the facilities in all the hotels, except for sleep, shower and meals.  Again we skipped all the city and surrounding attractions, and travelled four hours (about 320 km) to our destination, Wulinguan, Hunan Province. (Changsha is the capital and the hot bed for Chinese revolutionaries, including Chairman Mao). After lunch, we travelled to our destination some 15 min. away.

Wulingyuan (Chinese: 武陵源; pinyin: Wǔlíngyuán) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hunan Province. It comprises Zhangjiajie National Park, Suixiyu Valley Natural Reserve and Tianzi Mountain Natural Reserve. Together they covered 135 sq. mile. It is popularly known as Zhangjiajie or Avatar for western ears.

On arrival there we saw a long queue of people. (Mind you China has a population of 1.3 billion people, and many have no qualms in overtaking queue by crude ways In fact we jumped queue too in a legally permitted way.).  It’s not unusual to stand and queue for four hours. Somehow our local tour guide helped us to bypass that first hurdle, and we went straight to a VIP express- lane, which required another one and half hour of waiting. You need strong legs, big  bladders, some tolerance of dehydration, the ability to shut your ears to human noises, and power of gossips to  fill in the time.  Then it was a half hour (covering seven km at 38 degree twists) of exciting ride by the world’s longest cable car (French technology, Poma) just to reach a moderate height summit.  You have your rest and stroll around to snap pictures after pictures. Then you are wheeled in electric bus, ascend a mountain to decent another, in 99 twists and turns of serpentine narrow road, in rain and mist. Or you could borrow uniform from skating transformer to speed up. Fantastic view all the way, if you survive the journey well.  Finally we arrive at the bottom of Tian Shan Men (lit. Sky Hole Mountain), with a height of 4900 ft, and 999 concrete steps to climb. The gate is caused by water erosion between two peaks, and is 100 ft wide.  When I reached the summit, I couldn’t visualise the hole, despite I was standing within it, for it was drizzling and foggy. In the hole, I could not see the hole; too near to see things too closed.  The descent journey down the 999 steps required strong and steady pair of legs and stamina. For my age and osteoarthritis, I was no slower than the young ones. The Point Therapy did help with mobility.

 

4 thoughts on “WULINGUAN, HUNAN, CHINA

  1. The Emu

    Excellent reading and pictures my friend, your pictures show a great diversity of wonder and history, good that your osteoarthritis didn’t let you down, my osteoporosis is the bane to my health these days.
    Regards.

    Reply
  2. szeyeen

    You had down on. Was it that cold? Hope you had great Hunan food. Love those Hunan cured ham. Yum-yum .. drooling as I think of the spice and flavour of Hunan cuisine.

    Reply
    1. wonkywizard Post author

      Well, I am always very sensitive to cold weather. We didn’t have chance to taste cured ham there, but we did partake pork with hot chilli.

      Reply

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