A Travellerspoint blog

The Majestic Tianmen Mountain Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Coffee’s good. I can’t write without coffee. I also can’t write sitting in my hotel room. For some reason I have to be in a fast food eatery. Also the fast food eatery has to be noisy and busyish. I like the constant jibber jabber that buzzes all around me.

Sometimes what comes with it is rather funny and I kind of like that too!

As usual I’m on the second floor with a window seat overlooking a busy intersection and also as usual the seating section behind me continues to fill with people who think that I don’t know that they are looking over my shoulder to see what I am typing and also to see if they can understand it. As usual it’s the young children that race over and openly check out what I’m doing and then race back to their table to tell the rest of the family.

On several occasions I’ve even been lucky enough to meet a fast food beauty!

Mountains are good! I love visiting mountains. Mountains are a great way to meet people. Today I met a beautiful girl while walking on a freaky plank road The plank road was suspended one and a half kilometers up on the side of a cliff. Maybe she felt sorry for me slithering along the cliff face trying not to be near the rail.

Located just eight kilometers south of Zhangjiajie Cities downtown area is the Tianmen Mountain (Heavenly Door) Scenic Area which has been designated as the second national forest park in Zhangjiajie region. Rising nearly one thousand five hundred meters, Tianmen is the highest peak in the Wulingyuan Mountains and is regarded as the 'soul' of Zhangjiajie city.

The park is not only full of beautiful girls scantily clad in tiny denim shorts and high heels but it also comes complete with graceful trees, karst peaks and medicinal herbs and plants, a temple at the top, a freaky mountain top with a big hole through it, the longest cable car in the world along with a chairlift or two.

The mountain boasts its own 'seven wonders' that we will visit during this blog.

I started my day early (honestly I did) and grabbed Bus Number 4 on Huilong Lu that took me across the river to the other side of the city. All up the journey took about five minutes and when the bus lady told me that it was my stop I thought she was trying to be funny until she pointed out the window to the passing cable cars.

So yes, the cable car station is in fact right in the city.

<u>The Tianmen Mountain Cableway</u>:

For cable car buffs this is one hell of a ride and for those like me who are scared to death of them (yet always seem to end up on them) this is the ride for you. It is the longest passenger cableway in the world with ninety eight cars and fifty seven towers. It has a total length of seven thousand four hundred and fifty five meters (7455) and a height of one thousand two hundred and seventy nine meters.

This beast takes you from within the city, across farm lands where it only begins to rise and once you pass the middle station that is when you begin to get nervous. From there it is up and I mean UP and from what I can gather, like today what you can see in front of you are cables that disappear into thick white clouds.

When I arrived at the top my 'car friends (two sisters and a friend from Chongqing city) and I headed out of the cable car station and were left a little confused as to what to do or where to go next. We were expecting a large board with a map of the mountain on it but what we found was a &#8216;You Buy You Buy’ store and no map. After a few minutes we finally found a trail that led behind the &#8216;You Buy You Buy’ store and not far along that we found a sign that offered to ways to go.

I chose the Plank Road and the sisters chose the observation in the other direction. As you do when you are on a mountain top covered by thick clouds.

<u>The Ghost Valley Plank Road:</u>

As above with cable cars, for those who like walking on a tiny walkway suspended on side of a cliff nearly one and a half kilometers in the air with only a small rail between you and a not so instantaneous death then just like Huangshan’s plank road, this is the one for you.

This is the first of two plank roads upon which you can breathtakingly walk along the side of a mountain with nothing beneath you except the planks under your feet. Both combined are a total length of nearly one kilometer and on the map they are called the &#8216;Plank Road Along Side The Guigu Cliffs’ but on older boards they seem to be known as the &#8216;Ghost Valley Plank Road’.

The walk is totally awesome and only the children went any faster than an almost crawl.

The rest of us with Golem like actions slithered along the cliff wall and when we spotted someone coming in the opposite direction we pretended that we hadn’t seen them in hope that they would be the ones to risk their life with polite offerings of allowing the other to pass.

<u>The Immortals Air Garden:</u>

The mountain is an integrated geological unit which has the landform of middle mountain karst platform with peak groups and canyons. The hillocks spread wildly to form wonders of stone forests in the air and with moss &#8216;spreading all over the place (I had to add that in Brad!), wild vines that twist and turn around everything in sight what the locals like to tell you is that is becomes the sight of natural bonsais like grand gardens which were created by the immortals. <u></u> <u>Tianmenshan Temple:</u>

Just as your vertigo begins to subside your plank road adventure is over and after a short but lovely stroll Connie and I came to the Tianmenshan Temple. The temple was first built in the Tang Dynasty (AD581 to 618) as a center of Buddhism in the area of western Hunan. The present temple has an area of around then thousand square meters and now adopts more of a Qing style (AD1614 to 1911) than the original Tang.

For those who are starving by the time they reach the temple then for 35 Yuan you can pile yourself a plate full of vegetables in the temples Vegetarian Restaurant. Even if you’re not a vegetarian (like me) the food is absolutely delicious and you quickly forget that you have no dead animals on your plate ready to sink your teeth into. <u></u> <u>Yunmeng Fairy Summit:</u>

<u></u>At one thousand five hundred meters above sea level the summit of Zhang Jiajie offers views unlike that of many of the other sixteen mountain peaks that surround it that make up the Tainmen Mountain park area. While visiting the temple Connie and I noticed a solitary yet glorious pagoda on the latter summit so being the adventurous kind we decided that we couldn’t leave the mountain without climbing to the top of it. To reach the pagoda you need to catch a twenty two Yuan chair lift from the Tianmen Temple or if you please you can take the forty minute walk.

Sadly though, at the moment the beautiful pagoda has been gutted. Restoration work has only just begun and will continue for several months.

Once you have visited the Yunmeng Fairy Summit your adventure at the mountain peak is pretty much at its end but and you will need to walk a small part of it again. For those like me, who unhappily thought their day was at an end and quickly began to question the ticket price you also need to meet a Chinese Beauty whilst walking the plank road.

Happily Connie told me that we still had the Tianmen Cave to visit. It was then that I remembered the awesome mountain top with a hole through it.

After our short walk along the part of the Plank Road we grabbed the cable car down to the Lower/Middle Cable Car Station where we began the second half of our day together. <u></u> <u>Avenue Leading to the Sky</u>:

From the Lower/Middle Cable Car station you need to board one of the free shuttle buses. Thankfully you don’t have to walk and that the price is included in your park ticket.

The Avenue Leading To The Sky is the amazing road you see snaking its way up the mountain as you sit comfortably in your cable car far above. The locals say that it has ninety nine turns which symbolizes that the heavens above have ninety nine palaces. The locals also like to boast that the avenue runs up ward with a posture of the mountain like the soaring of a great dragon and that it also hangs like a jade belt with zigzag turns circling the hills.

&#8216;They’ also say that one reaches directly the taint-celestial ladder! Which I do believe they mean that it takes you to the stairs that lead to the Tianmen Cave.

<u>Tianmen Cave</u>:

The Tianmen Cave is a natural water eroded cave that supposedly has the highest elevation in the world. I can’t say that for sure but I can tell you that Yangshuo’s Moon Hill is less than a doughnut in comparison. In the year AD263 (the Wuyong Period of the Three Kingdoms) the thousand meter high cliff of Songliang Mountain suddenly broke open into a door like cave which became a rare wonder of the world and not long after it became Tianmen Mountain and attracted the attention of emperors, officials, sages, hermits, dignitaries and men of letters.

Not so long ago eight hundred million people around the world watched as some crazy pilots flew through it and not so long after that some world renown Spiderman Guy actually free climbed it in forty minutes.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane PS: Connie said to tell you that she loves coffee too! _________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Chemical Brothers The album was &#8216;Exit Planet Dust’ _________________________________________________

Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie


Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Tianmen Mountain with Connie

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login