ZHANGJIAJIE (China): An aerial view of elevators that dare tourists to take a literally cliff-hanger of a ride to the top of a towering peak in China’s Hunan province. The world’s highest outdoor lift rewards brave tourists with breathtaking views of a majestic cliff that inspired the landscape for the blockbuster movie, Avatar.—AFP
ZHANGJIAJIE (China): An aerial view of elevators that dare tourists to take a literally cliff-hanger of a ride to the top of a towering peak in China’s Hunan province. The world’s highest outdoor lift rewards brave tourists with breathtaking views of a majestic cliff that inspired the landscape for the blockbuster movie, Avatar.—AFP

ZHANGJIAJIE: Towering more than 300 metres 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.

It delivers tourists to the top of the sandstone rock face that inspired the fictional jungle moon of Pandora 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.”

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

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2020