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China opens longest glass bottom bridge in world(News by Akintaro oluwafemi Akinz)

Tourists who suffer from vertigo need not apply. The

world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge

opened Saturday in China’s spectacular Zhangjiajie

mountains — the inspiration for American blockbuster

Avatar.

Some 430 metres (1,400 feet) long and suspended

300 metres above the earth, the bridge spans the

canyon between two mountain cliffs in Zhangjiajie park

in China’s central Hunan province.

Six metres wide and made of some 99 panels of clear

glass, the bridge can carry up to 800 people at the

same time, an official in Zhangjiajie — a popular tourist

destination — told the Xinhua news agency.

Tourists can walk across the bridge, designed by Israeli

architect Haim Dotan, and the more adventurous will be

able to bungee jump or ride a zip line.

“I wanted to feel awe-inspired by this bridge. But I’m

not afraid — it seems safe!” Wang Min, who was

visiting the new structure with her husband and

children, told AFP Saturday.

Following an alarming glass bridge cracking incident at

the Yuntai mountain in northern Henan in 2015,

authorities in Zhangjiajie were eager to demonstrate the

safety of the structure.

They organised a string of media events, including one

where people were encouraged to try and smash the

bridge’s glass panels with a sledge hammer, and another

where they drove a car across it.

“It’s crowded today and a bit of a mess. But to be

suspended 300 metres in the air, it’s a unique

experience,” said Lin Chenglu, who had come to see the

bridge with his colleagues.

Only 8,000 people each day will be allowed to cross

the bridge, Xinhua said, and tourists will have to book

their tickets a day in advance, at a cost of 138 yuan

($20).

Cameras and selfie sticks are banned, and people

wearing stilettos will not be allowed to walk on the

bridge, Xinhua said.

Local authorities have said that one of the summits in

Zhangjiajie Park inspired the floating mountain which

appears in the American blockbuster Avatar.

A Hollywood photographer visited the area in 2008,

taking images which were used for the film, according to

media reports.

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