I took a day trip to Shilinxia Resort to visit the glass viewing platform a the top of the mountain. Traveling from the China World Hotel in Beijing's CBD district, it was about a two and a half hour drive.
The viewing platform is (246) feet high / (75) meters high and(197) foot span / (60) meter span. Needless to say it is not for the faint of heart, or anyone with a heart condition, or those that do not want a heart condition.
The drive up was uneventful in the morning, however coming back traffic was a little heavy. The weather was nice and no jacket was needed at the bottom. We looked in some of the shops and took in the sights at the park entrance level. You would want to allow at least an hour for this.
Beginning our accent up to the cable car along a stone path there were a few small vendors selling water, drinks and ice cream. After a 15 minute hike up the walkway we arrived at the cable car. I have not ridden on many cable cars and for me it is a little frighting to jump on a moving object.
The ride to the top was calm and silent allowing plenty of time for photos. The scenery on the way up is beautiful. Reaching the top you will feel the first drop in temperature. At the cable car landing there are more vendors selling drinks and snack items. We had a water, took some photos and started climbing the stairs to the glass viewing platform.
This is where you start to think if you made a good decision about your plan for the day! The steps are cut into the stone in places and most times have no hand rails. The stone steps are uneven with varying rise and run. In short watch your step. In some places the stairs are steel and have hand rails. These are much easier to navigate. There are plenty of viewing areas to take some photos and rest.
After a while you will start to see the glass viewing platform, it even seems close, but its not. As we got closer to the to we skipped a few rest areas. So by the time we reached the top I was exhausted and sweating a bit even though at this elevation it was quite cool. And after walking around some on the mountain top taking photos and looking at the sculptures, I got very cold. Before we went down some dark clouds came in and there was a small snow flurry.
After delaying as much as possible I donned the shoe covers provided and against better judgement approached the glass structure! I will freely admit that I absolutely do not like being on the glass, none at all.
Somehow I put my fear, good judgement, self preservation and all things that represent the sanctity of life on hold while I defied death and walked onto the glass platform!! In these times I am no hero, I stayed close to the handrails and tried not to look down. I have watched video's of Chinese people is complete shock being dragged onto the glass by a helpful friend or significant other. I had committed to myself I would not overtly act in this manner, even though inside I felt like I was at death's front door.
Using all my energy, focus and spiritual powers I proceeded down the glass walkway and to the glass circle. The cold air had now become bone chilling painful. As I reached the halfway point around the glass circle path which is the point furthest away from earth, with my right hand clutching the handrail I realized the glass platform was MOVING. When you have resolved out of panic that you have had a good life and there is comfort in knowing this could be your last day, hour, minute or second on this earth and you believe nothing more could bring additional horror to your life..... the thing sways in the wind. Yes as I stood still for a moment I could feel the glass platform osculating and not just a little. At this moment I summonsed the last drop of courage I could muster and started a calm and steady stride back to the sold earth that I recently discovered I had such an affection for.
After arriving back on mother earth I was greeted by a smiling Chinese man with outreached hands. Had I slipped into the after live? Did taking two breaths in twenty minutes cause my heart to explode? Is this nice man my guide to the after life? As these thoughts were racing through my head I could hear my friend voice repeating the same words which seemed to be louder and louder each time.... GIVE HIM YOUR SHOE COVERS
Oh yeah be sure to return your shoe covers after exiting the glass. And personally I wanted to hug the Chinese guy. Not the "guy" thing firmly clasping hands while leaning in with a pat on the back. I wanted to hug and embrace him as a beautiful human and myself as a survivor. Well I didn't.
After regaining control of my facilities, having a bottle of water we began our descent of the mountain.
The ride back to the hotel was rather quite, sleeping a bit, then being awaken to the jolt of the car and thinking about the events of the day knowing quite well, I would do this again!
The entrance to the park has children's playground equipment. There were mostly Chinese families here this day.
There were several really nice wood carvings located near the gift shop area.
There is a small lake as you start your hike up to the cable car. The lake was very natural having moss and aquatic growth. I actually like this approach.
Walking bridge across the small lake.
The mountain scenery is beautiful. There are many rest areas that are great spots to get some photos.
The stone stairway winds up the mountain side. Very beautiful stone work.
Some areas have steel stairs. They are much easier to navigate.
View from the trail of the glass viewing platform.
Structural anchors for the viewing platform.
Glass walkway out the viewing platform.
When we returned to the parking level I took out the drone and flew it up to the glass viewing platform. I was nice to get some aerial photos.
- You will need a VPN in China
- You can not fly a drone in Beijing
- Water is sold along the way to the top, Drink It
- Depending on the time of year it can be cold at the top
- It is a long hike after the cable car, on uneven steps
- Take a jacket
- Don't lay on the glass, you will be promptly told to get up (in Chinese)