What is the first thing that springs to mind when you think of China?
Mega cities? Skyscrapers? Factories? Pollution? Human ant heaps?
The abovementioned definitely count among the side effects that accompany the fastest industrial revolution in the history of mankind, and therefore China is to most people probably synonymous with this undesirable by-products of development and progress.
It is also true that nearly all consumer goods are nowadays produced (and imitated!) in China, which involves air, water and sound pollution as some of the biggest headaches with which city fathers in this region are faced with. But in a classic example of a yin-yang balance, this huge country also houses many of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, of which the Zhangiiajie National Park in the Hunan Province is one of the jewels in this crown.
The authorities recently spoiled us with a long weekend, which offered us with the ideal opportunity to pay a visit to that part of this fascinating country. Between Zhangiiajie and the nearby Tianzi Mountain we came across the following:
Gangways with glass bottoms that will instantly heal anyone with a case of acrophobia. Permanently. Because he will die of a heart attack.
Dozens of aerial railways, of which one is the longest in the world. Mine is still longer than yours!
The rock jungle where the film Avatar was filmed.
A lift that is able to lift you 330 m high along the side of a cliff within seconds.
Jaw dropping scenic beauty.
Thousands of Chinese nature lovers.
It stays a distinctive challenge to travel in the Chinese heartland, seeing as the English of most people over there is limited to “hello”, “okay” and “David Beckham”. But on the positive side, my charades skills are now once again razor-sharp. One word, two syllables, first syllable sounds like…
During our visit we didn’t break, misplace, miss or lose anything. And nothing ridiculous, saddening or fashionable happened.