The hole in the mountain

Zhang Jia Jie Travel Blog

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The "ribbony" road

This was basically an optional tour, but our whole group opted for this tour.

Our tour guide has highly recommended this trip for our group.  Tian Men Shan is a new tourist attraction in Zhang Jia Jie.  Apparently, the authorities have only just completed construction of a very long cable track in 2006.  The whole cable car trip can take you from the city of Zhang Jia Jie to the top of Mount Tian Men in just 40 mins.

Tian Men Shan literally translates to Heavenly Door Mountain.  It is easy to understand why the name comes about if you know where the attraction lies.  The Heavenly Door is actually a naturally formed arch through a mountain.  It can be seen from as far as the Zhang Jia Jie City.

Our day starts with the cable car ride.

  Though I have been "trained" to take cable car ride, especially after my Hong Kong trip, this trip still takes my breathe away.  The precarious locations at which the pillars where built on, the height at which the cable is built, the scenery are too pretty for me to close my eyes.  Before the cable car track was built, the only way to climb the mountain is by a long and winding road, which has 99 turns.  Though we would continue part of our journey on the road, we could only experience about 20+ turns, and there are markers on the road to remind you how many turns you have made.  It is also an amazing sight to see the ribbon-like road from the cable car above.

We were almost three-quarters way up our destination when we saw the heavenly hole.

  It was amazing.  The hole was said to be created naturally about 600 years ago.  There are many legends associated to it, and the one which I personally find very interesting is that, it appears that the hole is rotating.  Simply put, residents who have observed the whole from the city afar has noticed that the hole has grown smaller.  Hence the only explanation is that the hole is actually rotating, therefore people who see the hole from afar will notice the hole appear to grow smaller.

We were brought to an observing platform before we proceed to the Heavenly door to observe the paranomal view of the whole of Zhang Jia Jie.  Then, it is straight to the Heavenly Door.

The hole is situated right at the top of 999 steps.

The view on the other side of the hole
  Legend has it that if you go through the door, it will mean that you have stepped over to the heavenly side.  Of course, the 999 steps were created later to faciliate tourist, like me, to be up close to the hole.

The hole looks very big, there was sun rays, coming from the hole, which was just very breath-taking. I started climbing but soon realised that this is one of the most physical climbs I have ever done.  The steps grew stepper and narrower.  I have to stop to catch my breathe after each section.  At one point, I saw a huge block of ice fall from the mountain side and crash sickeningly just about 10 m away from me.  I quicken my steps, hoping that nothing of that would happen to me.  With my thick sweater, I was perspiring like mad when I finally reached the hole.

There was only one vendor, who help people to take pictures of the hole.  I was quite amazed by the magnitude of the natural wonder.  It resembles a cave, with two openings which are very close to each other and a very high ceiling.  I walked around and saw rain falling from the ceiling.  Of course, that could not be rain as there are vegetations at the top of the mountain.  But still, it is quite a sight to see rain, not falling from the sky, but from a cave.

We lingered for a while, taking in the scenes of the mountains at the other side of the hole.  The hole is not very big, but our tour guide said that there were some aviation displays of a plane flying through the hole in the past.  After enjoying myself there, I made my way slowly down the 999 steps again.

After lunch, we went to an art gallery, that is run by a Zhang Jia Jie resident.  His painting are all done but using sand and stones from the mountains.  His use of natural materials in his painting made him famous around the area, so much so that he was given a very big house to start his own gallery.  Anyway, it is also a very environmentally friendly way of painting. 

As this is our last night in Zhang Jia Jie, we went for a foot massage in the hotel (much needed for me after climbing 999 steps.).  It has been a very natural journey so far, we've climbed mountains, trekked down in an underground cave, and cruise on a lake.


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The ribbony road
The "ribbony" road
The view on the other side of the …
The view on the other side of the…
First peek at the hole
First peek at the hole
999 steps
999 steps
Zhang Jia Jie
photo by: seahlk