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The second park of the day was People's Park which is central Zhengzhou. The park was about 5mins down the road from my hotel on the bus. The park has entrances at either end and is essentially a city park with a few rides.

 

I accidentally walked the entire length of the park round the edge before i found the entrance. But once in I headed for the parks 2 coasters.

 

The park has a pretty standard loop screw and a spinning wild mouse, Neither ride is spectacular but it was weird to see them right in the middle of a city next to a busy main road.

 

I also rode the large Ferris wheel at the park which revealed a Bungee Jump. I went to have a look since I've done a fair few but decided to give this one a miss.

 

Overall if you ever find yourself in Zhengzhou then People's Park is worth a visit. It's easy to reach on several main bus lines and it's free to get in and walk around. The rides are perhaps a bit overpriced (The looper is nearly $5) but it's a pleasant Oasis out of the mad rush of the main city.

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Arriving at the park I accidentally wandered around the outside of the fence.

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It did however give some nice views of the parks main ride.

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The ride is about as rough as you would expect for an old loop screw knock off.

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But I'd ride worse the next day.

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This is the East entrance to the park.

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The first coaster I came across was the aptly named Spinning Coaster.

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This one is not however built by Golden Horse. But by the lesser known Yaqiao Machine Company.

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But for all intents and purposes it is exactly the same.

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According to the RCDB they only have 2 operating coasters so far. And they are both clones.

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It was an OK ride if you like that sort of thing.

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The park has a fairground kind of feel but with some nice foliage.

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There's a few old style flat rides around.

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The main attraction. Their imagination clearly went into overdrive and they named it Roller Coaster.

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It's a pretty bad ride all things told.

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This bit was acceptable

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The classic view of the Loop Screw.

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It's latest victims.

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Get ready for some pain.

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The pain starts somewhere around here.

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And carries on here. The brake run was a nice relief.

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Told you every park has one of these. Having ridden one earlier in the day I skipped this one.

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The parks ferris wheel was next up.

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Built by the same people who built the Meisho knock off across the city, Sameco.

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Showing that the Chinese were knocking off rides way before the SLC's.

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As mentioned this part of the ride is pretty good.

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Reaching the top of the ferris wheel. The Frisbee type ride was open for part of the evening too.

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The latest foolhardy Chinese locals brave the ride.

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Climbing the lift.

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They're doomed... ALL DOOMED.

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A view over the city. Surprising not as smoggy as yesterday.

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But still not healthy. I wonder by how much this ferris wheel trip shortened my lifespan.

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The spinning mouse is hidden away in the trees.

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The Bungee Jump. I decided to skip this one.

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Some more of the Zhengzhou skyline.

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All in all People's Park is pleasant enough. It's free to get in and you pay by the ride so It's worth a trip.

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The classic Sameco built ride station. The same style multi-coloured roof can be found all over China.

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One last look at the Corkscrews of pain. Next up is Wuhan Zhongshan Park.

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The next day I was up early for a short bullet train to Wuhan. The journey was under two hours and I arrived at the station about 8am to find smog actually inside the station itself.

 

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The stations big enough for it to be smoggy inside.

 

The Highspeed rail network in China is all very shiny and new and the trains were always on time. It's depressing to get back to the UK and to have to pay the same amount for a slow stopping train which goes 1/10th of the distance.

 

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Sleek bullet trains pulled in and out of Zhengzhou all morning. Zhengzhou is a big junction on the Chinese high speed main lines.

 

When planning my trip I used this excellent zoomable map of the Chinese High Speed Network

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Rail_map_of_China.svg

 

I've already planned a trip down the eastern line between Beijing and Shanghai to hit up some of the new Gravity Group woodies in a couple of years time.

 

When I arrived in Wuhan I caught the excellent metro system a few stops from Wuhan East station to Yualin Road station and took the 15minute walk to my hotel. I had booked into the Maya Playa hotel which is the Hotel owned by OCT and found directly outside the entrance to Happy Valley Wuhan. However Happy Valley was in my plans for the day after so I took the walk back to the Metro and caught the train to Zhongshan Park station.

 

Zhongshan Park station is as the name suggests home to Wuhan's Zhongshan Park. The park is another city park with a few rides thrown in. There are 4 roller coasters here but I was saddened to find the new knock off Motor Coaster was closed when I got there.

 

The other coasters were all pretty standard but I found the Jungle Mouse to be the pick of the bunch as it wound through the trees. The Loop Screw was a pretty average version of the ride with some head banging in the corkscrews but not much else.

 

Zhongshan is a nice enough park and is open till around 8 or 9 depending it seems on the whim of the operators. But it's so easy to get to on the Metro it's worth a visit.

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This may be part of the reason this area was so so smoggy.

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Arriving at Wuhan Zhongshan Park I found the main ride closed.

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The ride is pretty much identical to the Zamperla motor coasters out there.

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The park uses an interesting card top up system. You get a credit sized card when you goto a booth and you can top it up with as much money as you like. Then at each ride you swipe the card over a pad to pay for your ride. A pretty sophisticated system for such a small park.

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I can't believe they even copied the mis matched support colours.

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The 2nd coaster was this Jungle Mouse.

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A good fun ride that managed to feel quite out of control.

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The cars are terrifying though.

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There are some good near misses with trees.

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The ride rattles a bit but it adds to the charm.

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The lack of any obvious block brake system slowed things down though.

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The other main coaster here is a loop screw knock off.

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And not a very good one.

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The entry into the corkscrews was pretty bad but not as bad as the one in Zhengzhou.

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The setting is at least nice.

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But it does make it tough to get a clear view.

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The ride was fairly popular and as soon as they saw a westerner get on loads of teenagers followed.

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The point the pain ends.

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As always the Chinese could do with a bit more creativity in their ride layouts.

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I'd rate this somewhere in the middle of the Loop Screws I've ridden this trip

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The final coaster was this beast.

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And they actually let me ride it. Despite not letting a friend of mine ride it earlier in the year.

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Top Scan knock off once again.

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These are also everywhere now.

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The obligatory big wheel. I skipped this one.

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Back to the Jungle Mouse to spend the money I was going to use on the closed Motor Coaster.

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You can wander around the entire ride.

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The cars still creep me out.

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The ride will never be considered quality.

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But it's fun enough and I enjoyed it more than the looper.

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The near misses certainly add to it and i wonder if it or the trees came first.

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It certainly had a different layout to any other Jungle Mouse I rode.

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Last pic of the mouse before I headed back towards the entrance.

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Damn you!

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From a distance you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the real ones and a fake one.

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The park had a nice log flume and a rapids ride too.

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All in all a pleasant enough park.

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Although this had seen better days. Next up is Happy Valley Wuhan

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Didn't you visit the Wuhan Peace Park, wich is a short taxi ride away from Happy Valley ?

 

Seems like it's very easy to reach Happy Valley from the main train station in Wuhan, more than when you arrive by plane (just like me last year), and even more with the line 4 of the metro wich was not open yet last year. And I bet that the OCT Thrust will be open for you, unlike in late 2013

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Didn't you visit the Wuhan Peace Park, wich is a short taxi ride away from Happy Valley ?

 

I didn't I'm afraid. I could have done but at this point in the trip I needed a lie down and prioritised some rest over a Jungle Mouse.

 

And I'm kind of sad the UFO ride was gone. I did however avoid the toilets there. Which I am now glad about.

 

That evening I made it back to my hotel and after a nap had a little look around. The hotel really was right outside Happy Valley so it had some nice views of the park.

 

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The view from my window was over the massive Happy Valley sign

 

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The hotel has a Maya theme to go with the water park behind it. The corridors play weird bird and jungle sounds.

 

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The view from one of the balconies.

 

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Looking forwards to this tomorrow.

 

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The water park out the back

 

I got a good nights rest and walked over to the main park at about 10am. As anyone who's been to a Happy Valley park knows many of the rides open pretty late so I had a lie in instead of going for the 8am opening. And when I got there as expected many of the rides were still testing.

I'll keep my reviews of the rides for the pictures but this park gave me my biggest miss off the trip I was expecting one side of Dauling Dragons to be closed as usual but it turned out that both sides were down for maintenance all day. While I am glad they are looking after their woodies I am sad it had to be the day I was there.

 

As a park the Wuhan Happy Valley sits fairly low on the Happy Valley list for me. The rides are great but it lacks the atmosphere of Tianjin and the scale of Shanghai. I'd probably place it around the same level as Shenzhens though. it's still a good park and well worth the visit for the S&S alone and if Dauling Dragons was open I'm sure I'd have had a better opinion of it.

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The first ride i encountered was the bumper cars under the Frisbee.

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But while riding the Gyro Swing I noticed this was testing. However it still wasn't open.

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And nor was this.

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I've only ridden a few X-Cars and was looking forwards to this.

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It is thankfully a lot better than the god awful G-Force at Drayton Manor.

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But not open until 1.

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The park had its Halloween decorations out in force.

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In my opinion that hill under the first drop is one of the best looking hills in the coaster world.

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This was open but only the one in Shot mode.

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Is that some hair time i see? it must be open.

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The first drop dives into this glass tunnel entrance.

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It really is an excellent first drop.

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As i mentioned in my Beijing Happy Valley TR I do this and the Shenzhen ride are two of the best rides in China at the moment,

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This one was a little rough in the helix which I don't remember in Shenzhen but its still a top class ride.

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Before the S&S though i took a ride on the parks mine train.... if you can call it a mine train.

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Themed to racing trucks it's not really a mine train anymore.

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In my opinion the theme doesn't make much sense and the ride is a lot poorer for it. This was probably the worst of the mine trains I rode this trip.

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Time to try this out.

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This turn/hill is good fun too.

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The helix had a jolt in it I don't recall the Shenzhen one having but it's still easily re rideable thanks to the lap bars.

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The Truck Train ride.

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I don't recall a Truck race being held in Monte Carlo. But whatever at least it's original I guess.

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For all the equipment geeks out there.

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I rode this front row thanks again to a group of three taking the front seat. The girl next to me was terrified and grabbed my arm for the whole thing. However when she got off she was covered in blood. It appears she got a nose bleed half way round (Cause unknown to me). That freaked me out a bit.

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You can get some excellent views of that first drop.

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No idea what these are.

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Despite it only being 12 this ride was now open.

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This is essentially the parks family ride.

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And good fun it is too. Some weird changes of direction and a nice little launch.

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It's partly under cover too.

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The elements are similar to G-Force but oh so much better.

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It's just so oddly shaped.

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The single car trains decrease capacity I guess but it wasn't too busy.

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The ride finale.

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Still only the shot tower running.

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Possibly not the greatest name choice in the world.

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Closed...

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I skipped this today. But it looked very similar to other Happy Valley versions.

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I headed to the back of the park to check out the other 2 coasters.

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I had noticed there were no trains running but I held out hope it was just a late opening.

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But no such luck. The ride was shut all day.

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And it looks so good too :(

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The other ride at the back of the park was open however.

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And It's a real one again.

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I do like these rides but I hope they don't become to common.

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This one didn't seem to climb as high back up the rear drop as the one at Fantawild. Not sure why.

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Terrified faces.

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Damn You!

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No high fiving will be done today.

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There were plenty of men hitting it with hammers. I just wish they could have done one side at a time.

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The name Hidden Anaconda couldn't be more wrong.

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Grrrrrr. This was one of my big hopes for the trip too.

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Oh well I guess it means I can come back.

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More men, more hammers.

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One last look at the Sky loop before i walked back to the front of the park.

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So So Close!

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The Giant Frisbee was OK but I much prefer the Intamin Gyro Swing at Shanghai.

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The Halloween stage is all set up.

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The park has a massive plot of land in the middle with nothing but a rapids on part of it. I could see this being used for a new land at a later date.

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The entrance area was nice.

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Not a giant soul consuming casino.

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I took another couple of rides on this.

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I really hope one of these gets built in Europe some time soon.

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Good pop of airtime over here.

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I'd place it below Shenzhen's but above Beijing's.

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This is my hotel just outside the gate.

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This evening I tried the Buffet. And after some frantic arm waving and general misunderstanding I discovered I got a free Crab in a box to take to my room. Next up Window On The World in Changsha.

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You can't let closed rides get you down too much, it happens. I think we liked the park a bit more than you (even with no S&S or Maurer Sohne open) but it could also be due to very light crowds compared to most of the other Happy Valley's.

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Did you happy to ride the Toy Story Mania knock-off in the kid's area? It was called MagicBaby and was just awful.

I didn't I'm afraid. I didn't even see it. I did go through the haunted walk through they had there. Which was pretty terrible but was kind of funny to see the reactions of the Chinese girls. I found in the other Happy Valley parks they had stopped adults riding the kids ride unless accompanied by a child. Which was pretty annoying when it came to the shooting rides at Tianjin and Shanghai.

 

How long did you wait for the S&S as you said there was 2 hours in Beijing ?

This one was a more acceptable 30mins or so. It remained pretty much the same all day. As usual they only ran with on train though. Grrrrr

 

So the next day for me started really early with an early train to Changsha. The metro wasn't running yet so I got the hotel to call me a taxi which was about 5mins to Wuhan East station. The journey was quick and easy as always on the Chinese Bullets.

 

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My chariot arrives for the trip down to Changsha.

 

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I was really impressed by the efficiency of the whole Bullet Train system and would highly recommend it.

 

The trip took about an hour and a half and I arrived at Changsha East station. My original plan had to be goto the new Fantawild opening just south near Zhuzhou. But the 2nd park was delayed and with it the new Gravity Group woodie. So i decided to leave this for another trip and instead went to the Window Of The World park in central Changsha.

 

WOW was further north than Changsha East station and like Wuhan and Zhengzhou Changsha now has a shiny new metro line. So I caught the line up to Changsha central station and got a cab from there. As I wasn't staying in Changsha i dropped my bag off at the baggage drop in the station for about $2 for the day. Most stations in China have these handy baggage drops but Changsha East does not (another reason no to go all the way to Fantawild that day)

 

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Changsha central station.

 

The cab from central station took about 15mins. Changsha uses a cool electronic system in it's cabs which meant they were the only cabs on the whole trip where taxi drivers didnt try and not use the meter. In being decent honest cabbies I even felt more inclined to leave a better tip. I wish all cabs in China used this system.

 

Anyway I arrived at WOW in good time and headed in.

 

First impressions weren't great but the park won me over with it's charm. A lot of themeing needs some tender love and care but the landscape is excellent and all the rides are pretty good. The main draw is a new Zamperla moto coaster which shares the layout with the indoor one at China Dinosaur Park nearer Shanghai. Its a nice ride, a bit like a giant roller skater. Nothing amazing but a solid addition for a small park.

 

The other 2 coasters were cookie cutter clones but both rode ok enough.

 

WOW is a small but likeable park with some quirky charm. Some of the merchandise was mad (Branded power adapter anyone?) and I ended up really liking the park despite it's mediocre ride collection. The park needs some TLC to bring it up to scratch but it's got a good start.

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The entrance to WOW is similar to the one in Shenzhen.

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Upon entering the themeing is starting to look dated.

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The landscaping in the park is lovely though. Even if the lake could do with a clean.

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There's a large castle on the hill visible from the entrance.

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This was the main reason for coming so i headed that way.

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The ride is a proper Zamperla and everything.

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It's one of only 2 which uses a lift hill and not a launch.

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The motor bike style cars are comfortable enough.

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The colours of the ride really make it stand out.

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The long swooping drops are more Roller Skater than anything else.

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The positioning of the shot tower on the hill was excellent and gave awesome views.

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This ride opened last year and is easily the best thing in the park.

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This fella sits nearby keeping a wonky eye on you.

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The queue was about 20mins. Easily the longest in the park today.

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As usual one train operation made me sad.

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The second and main drop.

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The ride has some good speed but theres a slower section in the middle which seemed a bit unnecessary.

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The ride is a great little family ride though.

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No chain lifts here. I guess tires do fit in better with the motorbike theme.

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Train number 2 looking lonely.

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The bottom of the second drop into the helix.

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The first drop reminds me a bit of the first drop on Spinball at Alton Towers.

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A forest of supports.

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I like these rides and they would make a good addition to many smaller parks out here.

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That is if they get real ones and not the knock offs.

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The climb to the castle gives good views from the back of the ride.

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Another train finishes its cycle... (pun intended)

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One last look before I go hunting for the other rides.

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The castle on the hill.

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The new Swan Castle of Germany apparently. I didnt see any swans.

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The amusingly named High Altitude Rolling Sliding Coaster can appropriately be found at the top of the hill.

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It looks closed. It wasn't. But I was the only person I saw ride it all day.

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They've changed the colour's round recently. It used to be blue with yellow supports and red corkscrew braces. They appear to have used the same paint in a new order.

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Not sure what these were but there were lots of them

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It was pretty rough to be honest. And I didnt fancy riding again. But it was just about passable.

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The park is gorgeous in places with some good woodland areas towards the back.

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One of the parks many flatrides.

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Including one of these... again.

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Coaster number three was of course a spinning mouse.

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But for once NOT a Golden Horse.

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The weird climb from up to the second set of hairpins.

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The ride is a Beijing Jiuhua coaster and while pretty lame was at least different to all the other spinning coasters so far.

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Seems to be very similar to the Zamperla versions found around the world.

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It spun quite a bit and was hugely popular with the many groups of school kids around.

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One ride was enough for me though.

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I always wonder how a company like Zamperla feel when they build a new ride at a park which has a knock off of one of their rides.

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One last look before heading back down the hill.

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This park had another Bungee Jump. However it was closed. Considering the average age of people in the park seemed to be about 10 this was not that surprising.

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Yet another Nangang Sky Flyer. I hope these guys don't build any 420ft versions soon.

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Across the lake there was a bigger frisbee type ride and a log flume.

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WOW does have some of the signature scale models, But less so than Shenzhen's version.

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Not sure what was in here. I think it's just a monument.

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It's massive though.

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Fountains in the lake.

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A closer look at the log flume. I did go and take a look but decided against riding as the queue was fairly long.

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A chair swing ride that doesn't take you 100ft in the air.

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It's just like being in Venice.

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The parks merry go round. Again a double decker model.

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There was an Ice World outside. Obviously licensed characters abound.... cough!.... next up is Jiagjiajie National Park which is stunning and well worth a look.

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I love seeing pictures from all these parks I know absolutely nothing about. I also never knew that Zamperla made motocoasters with lifthills. Looks pretty fun though!

 

And of course being somewhat of a train guy, I really enjoy seeing the pictures of the Chinese bullet trains and the stations.

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So the next 2 updates won't be about coasters but they were so good I felt that they were well worth sharing.

 

After my visit to Window Of The World i caught a taxi to Changsha airport and took the short 50min hop to the mountain city of Jiangjiajie. The city is famous for it's national parks, 2 of which I had the pleasure of visiting. The area is also famous for being the inspiration behind the floating mountains in Avatar. That park comes tomorrow.

 

On the first day I visited the awesome Tianmen mountain. Which for us thrill seekers has a few things to offer. I was lucky to find a group in my hostel heading up that way so I joined the group and we caught the cable car to the mountain. The cable car leaves right from the city center near the station and it's pretty tough to miss.

 

However for this one I'll let the pictures do the talking.

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The day started with a walk to the cable car station. Today was a public holiday for the locals (Again) so the queue for this was over 2 hours.

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The cable car heads out over the outskirts of the city.

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But quickly starts to head into the mountains.

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The views start to get more and more impressive. Pity it was so smoggy/foggy today.

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Carrying people 7.5km it takes a bit over 30mins to get there.

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Some of the guys from the hostel i spent the day with today.

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The vertical travel is over 4000ft

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It costs about $15 for a return but it's well worth it.

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As you pass the first ridge you'll come across one of the most impressive roads in the world.

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It looks innocuous enough to start with.

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The hole in the mountain. we will return here later.

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The road up the mountain to the hole is insane.

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It winds its way up the hill in a seemingly never ending series of hairpins.

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These little buses take you up the road to the hole. To get there you have to stop at the middway station on the cable car. (You can only stop on the way down not on the way up)

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The cable car reaches an impressive 37degrees on its steepest section.

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Top Gear could have fun here.

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My favorite part of the whole road.

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Still going.

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Once you reach the top you can start to head off round the plateau.

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Noted!

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The cliff walks here are actually insane.

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The first section is stone.

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But round the corner there is the first of two optional glass walkway.

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That thing is REALLY high too.

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It costs about 20 cents to walk the glass sections.

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One of the girls from the hostel bugged out here and took the other path round.

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I have NO idea how they built this.

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To be honest it wasn't even on my mind.

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A couple of friends from my group.

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There were still plenty of decorations left over from national day.

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Red is a lucky colour in China.

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The walk continues round the plateau

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The way its bolted onto the cliff all the way round is seriously impressive.

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Here you can see one of the other chairlifts on the mountain which will get you between various walkways.

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In and out of a fault in the rocks.

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You'll need a few hours to walk around the top but you'll spend most of it in awe.

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The fault from the other side.

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Shark Top Mountain.

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More glass for you to have a go at.

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This was closed today unfortunately.

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A seriously impressive feat of engineering.

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Part of the way is taken by this rope bridge over a valley.

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It was pretty busy at times today but nothing too much.

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Laura doesn't like heights. This is the only way across.

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It's a long way down.

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It's a long bridge too.

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Once across we stopped for some food at one of the many little food stops along the way.

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There are signs around with the possible routes in Chinese and English

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Although not always in great English.

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The views would be more impressive without the fog but it was still awesome.

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Carrying on round the cliff top.

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The drops seem to get bigger.

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I can see why this area is popular with base jumpers.

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The mountains loom out of the fog.

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The whole in the mountain as seen from above.

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Next up was the 2nd glass walkway.

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You have to wear these stylish booties over your shoes to protect the glass.

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This one is the newer of the 2 walkways.

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Me larking around.

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Not concerned at all.

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This gives some idea of how far down it is.

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Me and my group for the day.

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Laura overcame her fear for this bit. Possibly thanks to the safety walkway to the side.

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This walkway is also about 20 cents.

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The mad road up to the hole.

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Would love to throw a good car round these corner.

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Again wasn't really planning on it.

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By sheer chance the world wing suit championships were meant to be on today but the windy weather postponed the jumps :(

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Looking down the valley from over the top of the hole.

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Another impressive feat of engineering.

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The latest mental project here is a set of escalators inside the cliff from the base of the hole to the top of the plateau. They are however not open quite yet.

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Tunnel back to the cable car station.

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Heading back to the middway point.

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From there you get one of these buses to the hole in the mountain.

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Forgot how steep it was.

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Next stop here.

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There are 999 steps to the top.

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We were shattered however and didn't climb them.

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Standard tourist pose.

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There's a video online somewhere of people flying through here.

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There is a big plaza and it appears an eco hotel (underneath the plaza) being built.

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Do the Chinese fingers.

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That was us for the day. You can catch the bus all the way down to the city so we too this route back.

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It was a hell of a day. Tomorrow is the Avatar Mountains.

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That cable car and those glass walkways (and that view) look amazing!

I think the longest I have ever been on a cable car is what - ten minutes?

 

Wonderful photos taken, and thanks for sharing them .

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I did a four week coaster trip to China last year, starting from Shanghai crossing all the way over to Urumqi.....Without question the trip highlights were the two days I spent in Zhangjiajie along with Terracotta Warriors.

 

Zhangjiajie is a stunning place and highly recommended....Plus it's a perfect place to get away from all those Golden Horse spinning coasters

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