Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World’s highest lift zips tourists up China’s Avatar cliff



World’s highest lift zips tourists up China’s Avatar cliff

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An aerial view of the Bailong elevators in Zhangjiajie in China’s Hunan province. AFP

World’s highest lift zips tourists up China’s Avatar cliff

Towering more than 300m up the cliff face that inspired the landscape for the blockbuster movie Avatar, the world’s highest outdoor lift whisks brave tourists to breathtaking views.

The three double-decker elevators in central China’s Zhangjiajie Forest Park zip up the cliff in just 88 seconds, a speedy attraction as domestic tourism slowly recovers in China after the coronavirus forced strict travel measures and lockdowns earlier this year.

It delivers tourists to the top of the sandstone rock face that inspired the fictional jungle moon of Pandora – home to the blue-hued Na’vi people – of the 2009 James Cameron smash hit.

“One of the main reasons we came is that the site inspired Avatar,” said Qiao Ke, 45, who travelled to the lift with his family.

“The film really made an impression on us. And it really is beautiful here.”

“Its geological structure is very suited to using elevators as a means of transport, so we made this Bailong Elevator”, explained Liu Jie, the director of the company managing the lift, whose name means “Hundred Dragons”.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The elevators whisk tourists up the side of the cliff face which insipred Avatar in 88 seconds. AFP

“Before, there was only a cable car with limited capacity, so tourists had to wait a long time,” Liu added.

The alternative was to brave a three-hour climb up on foot.

“It’s super-fast,” retiree Jin Shihao told AFP after completing the ride, which costs $19 for a return ticket.

Around 8,000 tourists take the lift every day. However, numbers are still significantly down from an average of 14,000 before the pandemic.

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration