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Tianmen Mountains are in the northern Hunan Province of China, near the
city of Dayong. (Many people are confused by the name Tianmen that is similar to
the infamous Tiananmen Square, in Bejing, thousands of miles away)
To reach the summit you can take the Tongtian (avenue toward heaven) highway
which has 99 sharp turns. At its end you have to climb the Tianti (ladder to heaven)
stairs which has 999 steps. It is perhaps the Chinese way to reach heaven, scared to
death by the road and out of breath from climbing!
But all the effort is worthwhile by the magnificent things at the top. You will find there
                                                        a collapsed cave that is now a
                                                        natural stone arch, a beautiful
                                                        temple and breathtaking views.




                                                            Dayong city
                                                            (today Zhangjiajie)
                                                            with Tiamen mountains
                                                            nearby
The mountain is located only 7 miles (11Km) from the city.
You go around a big hill
…and start
climbing and
turning.
The road rises
3600 feet (1100m)
from an elevation
of 200 m to 1300 m
above sea level.
The road
construction
started in 1998
and ended in
2005, with a total
cost of only
US$13.2 million.
The road rises
steeply according
to the form of the
mountain. The 99
bends link closely
with each other
and pile up in
layers, making a
pattern of a
circling flying
dragon reaching
the skyline.
Are you already dizzy only by looking at the curves?
Do not distract the driver, he may lose control!
Fortunately there is also another way to reach the summit. There is a
cable car that starts from the city and travels 4.7 miles (7.5 Km) raising
in elevation 4200 feet (1280 m) and reaching near the summit.
It costs $38 for a
round trip, but it is
worth the money for
the great views en
route.
There are 98 cars, each
     for 8 persons.




The cars are
weatherproof, but still
you will not want to be
inside during a storm.
The cable car was designed to be safe even during an earthquake.
Tianmen Cave is the natural water-eroded cave with the highest elevation in
the world. Tianmen Cave runs south-north having a height of 434 feet (131.5
meters), a width of 188 feet (57 meters) and a depth of 200 feet (60 meters). It
is much like a gate pointing towards heaven.
Tianmen Shan may be unique among the world's great arches in that its formation
is recorded in history. Documents from China's "Three Kingdoms" period report
that the entire opening formed in one cataclysmic event when the back of a huge
cave collapsed in 263 AD. Thus, Tianmen Shan is also one of the very few natural
arches with a precisely known age.
Cable car or bus, you still
 have to climb the upper
stairs if you want to reach
  the bottom of the arch.
The back side of the natural arch.
In modern times, Tianmen
Shan has become a target for
stunt fliers. This is due to its
location close to the
Zhangjiajie airport, as well as
its large opening.
In 1999, international stunt
flying aces piloted planes to fly
through Tianmen Cave for the
very first time. 800 million
people watched the live
coverage. In 2006, the Russian
Air Force Aerobatic Flight
Show was held in Zhangjiajie
and many planes flew through
the arch.
Going down should be much easier.
At the western side of the
mountain summit you can
find the newly built
Tianmen Temple with an
area of 109,000 square
feet (10,000 square
meters).
Before the new temple
was built, there was a
smaller temple in the
same location in which
Buddhist Pilgrims had
worshiped since the Ming
Dynasty 400 years ago.
Hiking near the
 mountain rewards
the visitor with great
        views.
Tianmen mountains

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Tianmen mountains

  • 1. Tianmen Mountains are in the northern Hunan Province of China, near the city of Dayong. (Many people are confused by the name Tianmen that is similar to the infamous Tiananmen Square, in Bejing, thousands of miles away) To reach the summit you can take the Tongtian (avenue toward heaven) highway which has 99 sharp turns. At its end you have to climb the Tianti (ladder to heaven) stairs which has 999 steps. It is perhaps the Chinese way to reach heaven, scared to death by the road and out of breath from climbing! But all the effort is worthwhile by the magnificent things at the top. You will find there a collapsed cave that is now a natural stone arch, a beautiful temple and breathtaking views. Dayong city (today Zhangjiajie) with Tiamen mountains nearby
  • 2. The mountain is located only 7 miles (11Km) from the city.
  • 3. You go around a big hill
  • 4. …and start climbing and turning. The road rises 3600 feet (1100m) from an elevation of 200 m to 1300 m above sea level.
  • 5. The road construction started in 1998 and ended in 2005, with a total cost of only US$13.2 million.
  • 6. The road rises steeply according to the form of the mountain. The 99 bends link closely with each other and pile up in layers, making a pattern of a circling flying dragon reaching the skyline.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9. Are you already dizzy only by looking at the curves? Do not distract the driver, he may lose control!
  • 10. Fortunately there is also another way to reach the summit. There is a cable car that starts from the city and travels 4.7 miles (7.5 Km) raising in elevation 4200 feet (1280 m) and reaching near the summit.
  • 11. It costs $38 for a round trip, but it is worth the money for the great views en route.
  • 12. There are 98 cars, each for 8 persons. The cars are weatherproof, but still you will not want to be inside during a storm.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15. The cable car was designed to be safe even during an earthquake.
  • 16.
  • 17. Tianmen Cave is the natural water-eroded cave with the highest elevation in the world. Tianmen Cave runs south-north having a height of 434 feet (131.5 meters), a width of 188 feet (57 meters) and a depth of 200 feet (60 meters). It is much like a gate pointing towards heaven.
  • 18. Tianmen Shan may be unique among the world's great arches in that its formation is recorded in history. Documents from China's "Three Kingdoms" period report that the entire opening formed in one cataclysmic event when the back of a huge cave collapsed in 263 AD. Thus, Tianmen Shan is also one of the very few natural arches with a precisely known age.
  • 19. Cable car or bus, you still have to climb the upper stairs if you want to reach the bottom of the arch.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22. The back side of the natural arch.
  • 23. In modern times, Tianmen Shan has become a target for stunt fliers. This is due to its location close to the Zhangjiajie airport, as well as its large opening. In 1999, international stunt flying aces piloted planes to fly through Tianmen Cave for the very first time. 800 million people watched the live coverage. In 2006, the Russian Air Force Aerobatic Flight Show was held in Zhangjiajie and many planes flew through the arch.
  • 24. Going down should be much easier.
  • 25. At the western side of the mountain summit you can find the newly built Tianmen Temple with an area of 109,000 square feet (10,000 square meters). Before the new temple was built, there was a smaller temple in the same location in which Buddhist Pilgrims had worshiped since the Ming Dynasty 400 years ago.
  • 26. Hiking near the mountain rewards the visitor with great views.