A SMALL CITY OF BIG WONDERS, ZHANGJIAJIE: Crossing the World's Longest Glass Bridge
“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.” ~ Unknown
On to day three of my weekend trip to Zhangjiajie! This post will cover the first half of the day, being the morning. Sadly, this was the last day of my weekend getaway. It was hard to believe since it went by so fast! But I guess that’s the weekend for you. The last day was no different in speed, intensity and wonder. It started off early as we had many things to see before returning to the airport that evening.
The next major item on our tour was the well-known Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. Another wonder, this glass bridge is not only the longest, but tallest suspended glass bridge in the world. This incredible architectural feat started a trend of glass bridge construction throughout China resulting in many “glass bridge” locations. Still, this one holds the record for length and height, suspended nearly 1000 feet and extending over 300 meters. Built in 2016, by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge crosses Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Side note: Since the architect is Israeli, for the first year that it opened, all those with an Israeli passport were able to see the bridge free of charge.
I’m sure you have noticed from the pictures that the bridge is not entirely glass. Wouldn’t that be truly amazing! No, this bridge gets titled with glass from the 99 glass tiles that line the center of the bridge. As you cross the bridge, you can step or peer over one of the tiles for the impactful view below—that is, if you’re brave enough. While entirely safe and built to be canon proof, glass is still glass, no matter how thick.
After a group of thirteen visitors took a jumping photo on a glass tile, it cracked! I could only imagine how fast their lives flashed before their eyes. This explains the limited number allowed on the bridge and the dress code of shoe covers. It doesn’t explain though why you can’t bring cameras though. The only pictures you’re allowed to take are with your phone. They also limit other items being brought onto the bridge as well. In addition to this you also need your passport to buy tickets.
As I was crossing the bridge, in all honesty, I was underwhelmed. The bridge was not as intense as I expected it to be. I was not screaming like the old ladies nearby afraid to walk over the glass. As a matter of fact, I just sat down on it. The glass was scratched and scuffed so you can’t see clearly below. The experience was strangely untroubling.
Despite this, I was contented by the view and would recommend this to still do simply to say it has been done. On the glass bridge, the view of the canyon, in this season, was surreal and I enjoyed viewing from the high vantage point. As high as I was, I could still hear the water below. Perhaps it’s just good ears.
After checking this spot off the list for the morning, I enjoyed a glass of warm milk with the rest of my group. At the top of the bridge entry, there is a small, quaint café. It is a nice spot for chilling out after walking the length of the bridge (we were there for about an hour) and consistently shooting; also, really nice as you have to climb quite a few stairs to reach it.