Known throughout the world for its glass walkways, Tianmen Mountain is one of China’s best national parks. Not only that, but just next door you’ll find the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park; giving you more than just one great destination in convenient travelling distance.
Tianmen Mountain is in China’s Hunan provide. The Zhangjiajie area is somewhat awkward to get to due to the lack of transport options in the area. There are flights to the local airport, yet these are usually expensive and limited. It’s best to get a train in, but make sure to book in advance.
Once you make it to Tianmen Mountain’s summit through, you’ll find yourself confronted by some of the best views in China. Countless tales and myths have unfolded here, and climbing the mountain is believed to give you luck for the rest of your life.
-Tianmen Mountain translates to Heaven Door Mountain.
-The Mountain features a “hole” inside of it. This is the mentioned “gate” in its name.
-The mountain is a total of 1,519 meters tall (or 4,983 feet for those who don’t know metric).
-Jeb Corliss flew through Tianmen Mountain in 2011 by jumping out of a helicopter and gliding through the 100-ft wide “hole” with just a wingsuit.
-It is believed that an ancient general of Li Zicheng, known as Li Guo, had hidden treasure inside of the mountain. Many have come to the mountains in search of this treasure, yet none have found it. Maybe it still lies in wait.
-An ancient myth states that Tianmen Mountain was once home to Unicorns. Whether you believe it or not, you might want to keep your eyes peeled, just in case.
History Of Tianmen Mountain
Tianmen mountain is just next door to the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and the two have always been incredibly well linked in the past. Whilst you currently have to pay two different entrance fees for the different areas, they should both be explored. Tianmen Mountain offers some of the best views of the entire area. With Zhangjiajie just next door, a quick cable or bus ride over can then lead you to even more great quality snaps.
In ancient times, Tianmen Mountain was largely left alone. Without modern conveniences and pathways, the mountain became the perfect place for thieves to hide and people to bury their treasure. It is even believed by some that an ancient general had used the mountain as a place to hide treasures he had stolen.
During the Tang Dynasty, a large temple was constructed upon the summit. It would have been hard to access for many, and meant a pilgrimage for the monks who were to live there. Today, it is easily accessed by a chairlift or through a constructed footpath, as is the rest of the summit.
In 2011, Tianmen Mountain shot to international prominence when a professional skydiver known as Jeb Corliss flew through the mountain using only a wingsuit. Corliss jumped from a height of 6,000 feet, managing to just about clear the 100-foot hole and land safely on the other side.
Since this time, Tianmen has become somewhat of an extreme sports destination, being host to the Wingsuit Flying World Competition.
Culture Of Tianmen Mountain
Tianmen Mountain Cableway: The longest cableway in the world. The cableway runs from the city center of Zhangjiajie (the city), through the National Park, and to the top of Tianmen Mountain. At the time of writing, it is the longest in the world and measures a total of 7455 meters. The project was an amazing feat in its own right, yet more than that it offers some of the best views of the National Park you’ll find.
Coiling Dragon Cliff: The newest glass skywalk located in the Tianmen scenic area. Opened in 2016, this glass skywalk has been the location of many a frightened face. The skywalk rests at 1,400 meters above sea level and extends for about 100 meters with a width of 1.6 meters. The views from the top are incredible.
The Original Skywalk: The first glass skywalk to open on the mountain, this “walk of faith” offers an alternate landscape beneath you, as you try to make it through the dangerous area. It’s also over 1400 meters in altitude though, so don’t expect anything too easy – especially if you’re afraid of heights!
Tianmen Cave: Located at an altitude of 1260 meters, Tianmen Cave is oft regarded as one of the 4 wonders of the Tianmen scenic area. To reach the area, visitors must walk up 999 steps (a lucky number in Chinese culture), where they will be greeted by the colossal entrance. The cave reaches heights of 131.5 meters once you’re inside. It’s very impressive.
Bonsai Garden: You’ll find this ode to relaxation at the summit of Tianmen mountain. Whilst everything else here seems to focus on the huge and colossal, the Bonsai Garden flips that rhetoric on its side and lets you know how little size matters. The Bonsai Garden – despite being filled with huge trees – looks like a small Bonsai tree from a distance. It’s magnificent and beautiful.
Tips For Visiting Tianmen Mountain
-Tickets for the mountain cost 258 RMB, plus 3 RMB for insurance. You have to pay this Insurance fee.
-You will likely be asked to present identification. Make sure that you have your passport on you.
-The Cable car to the top of the mountain is included in the price of your ticket. You can also get a bus back down the mountain once you’ve finished the climb.
-The cable car ride takes 15 minutes, the bus ride takes 40.
-Note that if you decide to climb the mountain on foot, parts of it are incredibly steep. Make sure you’re confident you can make it before you start the climb.
-Make sure to travel to the mountain on a dry, warm day. If you go after it has been raining, the mist will be too thick and you won’t be able to see anything.