The Bailong Elevator or 100 Dragons Elevator is a glass lift built on the side of a quartz sandstone mountain range in the Wuling sightseeing area in Hunan Province.
The view from the top is stunning with a panoramic vista of Zhangjiajie National Park which is a World Heritage Site.
The elevator is also known as the Chinese Eiffel Tower. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, and holds three world records:
- Tallest full-exposure outdoor lift.
- Tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator.
- Fastest passenger lift with the largest carrying capacity.
The lift rises 1,069 feet up the side of a cliff to the top of the plateau in two minutes. There are glass three pods on the side of the machine, and each can carry 47 people.
So for anyone suffering from vertigo, this might be a challenging experience, but at least the floor isn’t glass!
In one hour, the whole system can transport 3,000 people which is often necessary because the region gets 5 million visitors per year.
If you were to walk up instead, it would take you four hours to hike up 999 stone steps!
To reach the lift, you either take a cable car, or a bus that has to drive around 99 bends to get there.
Construction began in 1999, and finished in 2002, after great opposition from environmental groups who said it wasn’t fitting for a World Heritage Site designation.
Tunnels and shafts had to be excavated in the sandstone column to house the elevator. The whole project cost 120 million yuan (about $20 million).
As well as featuring energy saving devices, and its own earthquake detector, the elevator also has controllers to accurately weigh the pods and their passengers.
Research by Ming Yue