Liv­ing on the edge

> China’s most ter­ri­fy­ing tourist at­trac­tions of­fer vis­i­tors dare­devil kicks

The Sun (Malaysia) - - GOING PLACES -

THERE are plenty of strange sights to keep you en­ter­tained in China. These in­clude Dongyang’s spring del­i­cacy of boiled eggs soaked in the urine of young boys (or ‘vir­gin boy eggs’, as they are called lo­cally), and whole sharks and croc­o­diles for sale in the su­per­mar­ket.

Not sat­is­fied with this ba­sic level of weird­ness, the coun­try has been re­dou­bling ef­forts to at­tract vis­i­tors with ever-wack­ier at­trac­tions. These in­clude three in­ven­tive ways to en­dan­ger the lives of plucky vis­i­tors.

Here are a few choice picks of China’s most ex­treme at­trac­tions, past and present.

Coil­ing Dragon Cliff Walk­way In Au­gust, a skimpily 5ft wide, glass-bot­tomed walk­way opened at a height of 4,600ft on Hu­nan’s Tian­men Moun­tain.

Coil­ing around Tian­men’s cliff face for a dis­tance of 100 me­tres, masochis­tic brave tourists ‘en­joy’ the walk with an un­ob­structed, ver­tig­i­nous view of the plung­ing val­ley be­low.

Glass bridge, Zhangji­a­jie Grand Canyon In the same month, the world’s high­est and long­est glass bridge opened – again in Hu­nan – yawn­ing teas­ingly over the Zhangji­a­jie Grand Canyon. Span­ning 430m across the 985ft drop be­low, the sixme­tre-wide bridge was closed only two weeks after open­ing.

An of­fi­cial told the press that the bridge could safely hold 8,000 peo­ple per day, but 10 times that num­ber of peo­ple had been turn­ing up to walk on it.

The bridge is ap­par­ently now un­der­go­ing an “in­ter­nal sys­tem up­grade” to en­sure it can man­age the over­whelm­ing vis­i­tor num­bers.

Cliff swing, Chongqing Re­cently, a ter­ri­fy­ing video of a vis­i­tor swing­ing over a 1,000ft drop at Wan­sheng Or­dovi­cian Theme Park near Chongqing set the in­ter­net aflut­ter.

The flimsy rope swing is pushed by an ar­chi­tect of doom mem­ber of staff, send­ing the smil­ing pas­sen­ger high into the air as a foggy chasm plum­mets un­der­neath.

Can­ton Tower ‘Bub­ble Tram’, Guangzhou Hats off to the bright sparks be­hind this in­spired feat of en­gi­neer­ing, which trans­forms your run-of-themill ob­ser­va­tion deck into a fair­ground ride tee­ter­ing near the top of a 1,968ft sky­scraper.

Guangzhou’s Can­ton Tower was briefly the tallest tower in the world be­fore Dubai stepped in with the record-bust­ing 2,722ft tall Burj Khal­ifa.

But the real sell­ing point is the roller­coaster-like track that cir­cum­nav­i­gates the Can­ton’s slop­ing, el­lip­ti­cal ob­ser­va­tion deck at around 1,500ft off the ground.

Six­teen trans­par­ent pods cir­cle the track to give 360° views. Each car takes be­tween 20 and 40 mildly alarm­ing min­utes to do the cir­cuit.

Guo­liang Tun­nel A tourist at­trac­tion in the same sense that trav­ellers em­bold­ened by the free­dom of life on the road are com­pelled to head kamikazestyle down Bo­livia’s Yun­gas, the Guo­liang Tun­nel was hand-carved 400ft up the side of a moun­tain in He­nan prov­ince back in 1977.

The 20ft-wide road car­ries both foot traf­fic and ve­hi­cles for a dizzy­ing 1,200 me­tres, with the risk of sim­ply fall­ing off into the abyss very real.

While driv­ers con­stantly honk their horns to help pre­vent col­li­sions, the ris­ing num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing for the thrill alone can hardly be mak­ing things eas­ier for the driv­ers.

Bund Sight­see­ing Tun­nel Shang­hai’s un­abashedly bizarre ‘sight­see­ing tun­nel’ – bear in mind this is a tun­nel un­der a river, from which the city’s sights are markedly ab­sent – is al­ways worth a men­tion for be­ing so thor­oughly bonkers.

It links the fu­tur­is­tic Pudong district with clas­sic-look­ing wa­ter­front area The Bund, which are sep­a­rated by the Huangpu River.

The 10-minute train ride in glass cab­ins sees pas­sen­gers sub­jected to bright lights and whirling lasers, while an omi­nous voiceover booms en­light­en­ing phrases like “nascent magma” and “fos­siled vari­ants”.

This be­comes all the more bam­boo­zling when you con­sider catch­ing the pub­lic ferry from one side of the Huangpu to the other costs less and al­lows you to see ac­tual sights. – The In­de­pen­dent

Thrilling at­trac­tions … (clock­wise from left) the Coil­ing Dragon Cliff Walk­way in Tian­men Moun­tain; the Cliff Swing in Chongqing; the Bub­ble Tram in Guangzhou; and (bot­tom, far left) the Guil­iang Tun­nel in He­nan.

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