Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Tianmen Mountain National Park

Tianmen Mountain © huangdan2060
Tianmen Mountain © huangdan2060

A trip to Tianmen Mountain National Park, located in neighbouring Hunan Province, is the ideal weekend excursion from Guilin. This area boasts some of the most beautiful, and most photographed, natural landscapes in China. From Guilin, it is a 265 mile (426km) drive to Zhangjiajie city, which nestles within the famous mountain park. From the centre of town, visitors can take one of the world's longest cableways up into the mountains, enjoying breathtaking scenery along the way.

The Tianmen Mountain National Park can easily occupy visitors for a whole day, as there is so much to see and do. Tianmen Cave, a massive archway created by an ancient cliff collapse, is known as heaven's gate because it looks like a doorway into another world. Travellers have to climb 999 steps to reach this natural phenomenon, but it is well worth the effort and is said to bring happiness and health (999 is a lucky number in Chinese culture).

Other attractions in the park include various scenic areas, some impressive temples, and the Walk of Faith. This appropriately named mountain pathway is constructed of glass, so that as visitors edge along it they can see the ground 4,690 feet (1,430m) below. The 197 foot long (60m) transparent pavement is a uniquely thrilling sightseeing experience; those brave enough to walk it will be rewarded by truly heart-stopping scenery. The mountains can get cold, so the best time to visit Tianmen is during summer and autumn (May to October).

Address: Yongding District, Zhangjiajie

Website: www.tianmenshan.com.cn