13 November 2011

The Avenue Toward Heaven – China’s Scariest Road

There are some roads in this world which just look scary. If there was a list of such roads then the Avenue Towards Heaven (also known as the Big Gate Road) in Tianmenshan, in the Hunan province of China might well be very near the top. It goes from a staggering 200 meters below to 1300 meters above sea level.

It is little wonder then that the road which was started in 1998 took eight years to complete. Its twists and turns are certainly not for the faint hearted. The road climbs Tianmen Mountain just south of Zhangjiajie City (which was previously called Dayong) is very much the must see scenic area in Hunan.

It is also called the road of 99 turns – nine is a lucky number in China as it symbolizes that heaven has nine palaces. If the road is a little too scary for you, there is an alternative.  A cable car goes from of Zhangjiajie City to the top of Tianmen Mountain.  Sounds like out of the frying pan and in to the fire – the cableway is 7455 meters in length making it, so the Chinese claim, the longest in the world.