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Bailong Elevator: Ride the World’s Tallest Elevator in China

Zhangjiajie National Park, China. Avatar mountains

Zhangjiajie National Park, China. Avatar mountains
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If you’re a fan of breathtaking mountain scenery but you’re not keen on hiking, the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China should be at the top of your travel list because it is home to a roomy glass elevator—known as the Bailong Elevator—that zooms to the top of a towering quartz sandstone cliff and offers riders a panoramic view of rocky pillars that are often shrouded in mist.

The mountains of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are so striking that they inspired some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the nature-centric Avatar films. In 1999, the beauty of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park prompted developers to build an alpine elevator that would offer visitors a sweeping view of the park’s forests, mountains peaks, and stately rock formations.

After the Bailong Elevator started operating in 2002, critics claimed that the lift was too invasive, attracted too many people, and caused irreparable damage to the mountains of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. After only being open for a few months, the Bailong Elevator closed to address safety concerns.

Despite a vocal chorus of critics, the Bailong Elevator has become increasingly popular since it reopened in 2003. Visitors can ascend over 1,000 feet in one minute and 32 seconds. Bailong Elevator enthusiasts claim that the lift has actually helped to preserve Zhangjiajie National Forest Park because visitors who ride the lift are more likely to observe the park’s beauty from a distance instead of wandering into pristine areas.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is also home to the world’s lengthiest and highest glass bridge. The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge offers a panoramic view of the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Visitors must check large backpacks and wear shoe coverings—which are provided free of charge by park officials—before traversing the bridge. The dazzling view from the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is worth stowing your belongings and covering your shoes.

If you’re obsessed with traveling to spots that are mentioned in Guinness World Records, a trip to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is an absolute must. You can take a thrilling ride on the world’s tallest elevator and an exhilarating walk across the world’s longest glass bridge in the same day. World records aside,…

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