A twisting dragon-like road from the foot of the mountains led to the 'Heaven Ladders' of Tianmen Cave. The road is less than 7 miles but the elevation rises rapidly from 650 feet to over 4,250 feet. It reminded me of the winding bus route to Machu Picchu, which was a much more primitive one-lane dirt road. This one has 99-bends which created an amazing sight from the trails and cable-cars above!
The surrounding mountains created dramatic scenery.
We walked a narrow path along the edge of a cliff to the entrance of an extremely long series of escalators which took us from the Tianmen Cave to the highest peaks of Mt. Tianmen. The seemingly endless 12 sections of tunnel, spans more than half a mile, hoisting a height of 370 yards. It is equipped with 16 sets of 100-foot heavy-duty escalators and three sets of 65-foot ones. These escalators can carry 3,600 tourists on a one-way trip per hour. What an engineering feat! Our amazement continued as we slipped on protective shoe covers and slid along the glass "walk of faith" which clung to the side of the sheer cliffs ahead.
We made our way to the Tienman Cableway, where we stopped for a snack before beginning the descent from our heavenly mountain abode. The cables stretch for a mind-blowing 24,459 feet. That's more than 4.5 miles, making it the longest cable-car ride in the world!
Spectacular vistas emerged from the dusk as four of us passengers twisted and turned to capture the beauty on film. The 30-minute descent to the city of Zhangjiajie, was an incredible "flight".
As we bid farewell to Zhangjiajie, I found myself reflecting on our wonderful experiences in the magnificent snow-capped Swiss Alps. And just as then, I was feeling sad to say good-bye! The gorgeous Tianmen peaks, remain forever in my memories, the Alps of Asia.