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Mountain escalators: A new way to enjoy China's mountain tourism

By Quan Zhanfu | | Updated: 2023-10-18 21:25
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Escalators are being installed on mountain scenic spots in Zhejiang province, offering convenience to tourists who have difficulties in climbing mountains.

A video circulating online shows a long escalator stretching inside woods and rocks all the way to the upper region of Tianyu Mountain in Chun'an county. With water spray coming from both sides of the handrails of the escalator, it was like the tourists were walking on a trail of mists and clouds in the mountain.

The escalator has garnered lots of attention on Sina Weibo, a microblogging site. Many netizens expressed their likes towards the escalator, saying that it offers convenience to tourists and is a good choice for those who are unable to climb the mountain on foot. While some think climbing a mountain on an escalator deprives of the fun and sense of achievement the regular climbers have after overcoming difficulties and obstacles during climbing on their own.

Located at the south bank of the Thousand Island Lake in Chun'an county, Zhejiang province, the Tianyu Mountain only has an altitude of over 350 meters. However, due to the rugged mountain trail leading to the mountaintop, the tourists will have to walk at an extended distance of three kilometers in order to get on the top, which poses great difficulty for kids and elderly.

"The original purpose for us to build this elevator is to solve the traffic problem in climbing the mountain," said a worker surnamed Xu with the city tourism development company in Chun'an county.

"In the beginning, we considered building a cableway. However, given cableway's limited transportation capability and high security risk, escalator is relatively safer and has a high transportation capability, which can satiety the needs of the scenic area," Xu said, adding that the escalator was built in September last year with an investment of over 10 million yuan ($1.4 million).

And escalator managed to shorten the climbing time to 10 minutes all the way from the original 50 minutes.

As for the some people complaining that the escalator depriving of the fun in mountain climbing, Xu explained that the escalator in the scenic area is only able to lift the tourists up for 120 meters, which means the rest of the height to the mountaintop still requires climbing on foot.

Even though the escalator cannot take the tourists all the way to the top, it can carry the tourists to the observation deck on the Tianyu Mountain to get a good view of the mountain.

Besides the one in Tianyu Mountain, another mountain escalator had already been put into use in Shen Xian Ju Scenery Area in Taizhou city, Zhejiang province, in 2020.

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