Rising over 300 meters (1,000 feet) over the bluff that inspired the landscape of the hit movie “Avatar,” the world’s tallest outdoor elevator takes courageous tourists to breathtaking views.
The three double-decker elevators in central China’s Zhangjiajie Forest Park ascend the cliff in just 88 seconds, a quick draw as domestic tourism slowly recovers in China after coronavirus imposed travel measures and strict lockdowns earlier this year.
It transports tourists to the top of the sandstone rock face that inspired the fictional jungle moon of Pandora – home to the blue-hued Na’vi people – of James Cameron’s smash hit in 2009.
âOne of the main reasons we came is because the site inspired Avatar,â said Qiao Ke, 45, who took the elevator with his family.
“The film really struck us. And it’s really beautiful here.”
âIts geological structure is very suitable for using elevators as a means of transportation, so we made this Bailong elevator,â said Liu Jie, the director of the company managing the elevator, whose name means âOne Hundred Dragonsâ. .
âBefore, there was only a cable car with limited capacity, so tourists had to wait a long time,â Liu added.
The alternative was to brave a three hour climb on foot.
“It’s super fast,” retiree Jin Shihao told AFP after completing the trip, which costs $ 19 (129 yuan) for a round trip.
About 8,000 tourists take the elevator every day. However, the numbers are still down significantly from an average of 14,000 before the pandemic.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)