The 330 meter high Bailong Elevator in China is the highest outdoor elevator in the world and just a mere sight causes a queasy feeling in the stomach. Would you go for it voluntarily?
Even if you do not plan to set a foot in the elevator itself you should at least come close to it. The landscape around it is so impressively beautiful and unique that you absolutely need to see it.
Here, in the fairy tale world of Zhangjiajie National Park in Hunan, China, James Cameron shot parts of his sci-fi blockbuster Avatar. Thousands of sandstone pillars, some more than 200 meters high, were used in the film as a model for the floating mountains on the moon Pandora.
Floating mountains in the film Avatar
The steel structure of the Bailong Elevators (“Elevator of the Hundred Dragons”) with a total of three lanes is built on a vertical rock wall, which is part of a massive plateau. Anyone who dares to overcome the 330-meter altitude difference in one of the tiny cabins will be rewarded with a rather spectacular view over the national park.
Three meters per second
The journey to the top is an experience in itself. At three meters per second, the cabin glazed on three sides shoots upwards. Initially it is dark but then comes the WOW effect, when suddenly the view opens onto the bizarre-looking outside world of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area. Wulingyuan Scenic Area has been awarded a Unesco world heritage since 1992.
Those who dare to use the elevator are awarded with the above scenic views.
The higher you get, the smaller the tree-like stone pillars become. And somehow you are happy when you finally have solid ground under your feet again. After all, the Aufzusgkonstrukion is in an area known for earthquakes, and particularly reassuring is the fact that the operation had to be suspended temporarily between 2002 – because of safety deficiencies.
The good news for all claustrophobic people is not far away, a cable car leads to a lookout point. However, one should not be afraid of heights…