The World’s Tallest + Longest Glass Bridge (Zhangjiajie)

About a year ago, I started seeing videos and articles on Facebook about how there was going to be a new tourist attraction built at Zhangjiajie, amidst the mountains that inspired the scenes of Pandora in Avatar. In August, the longest and tallest glass-bottomed bridge in the world opened to visitors. I definitely did not think this was something I’d ever do. I visited Zhangjiajie several years ago, and it was really beautiful but quite a strenuous hike. China has been building a lot of attractions for the sole purpose of attracting tourists, and I didn’t want to positively reinforce that cycle.
Yet there I was, putting little shoe covers on over my feet and looking at the to scale diorama of the bridge and the canyon below it.
Here’s my experience with the record-setting glass bridge in Zhangjiajie.
Planning ahead would be best when it comes to visiting this Facebook-famous attraction.
  • You can reserve tickets online a day in advance, and this is, I believe, the best deal you can get on the tickets. We got ours from a tour agency on the way up, and they sell tickets at the door at the highest mark-up.
  • While the mountains are always a little misty, and the pollution is difficult to escape, the view on the bridge is more impressive on a clear and sunny day. We got clouds, so maybe that’s why I didn’t feel as much vertigo.
  • If you have a large bag (larger than a purse), you will be asked to check it – for a fee – at the concierge at the front.
  • You cannot bring your large camera in and will have to check that as well.  You can, of course, bring in your phone. I had my little camera in my pocket and had no issues with bringing it onto the bridge, but there were zero folks with larger cameras like DSLRs out on the bridge; I was the only person using not my phone camera to take photos.
  • Food is also prohibited on the bridge.There are a lot of little stands that sell food, so leave yours behind as they don’t want to attract too many critters onto the glass!
  • Don’t wear stilettos. You will not be allowed to wear them onto the bridge, as Force = Pressure / Area and the tiny area of your heel is very dangerous.
The English portion of the rules on the bridge
Once you arrive in the visitor center, you will receive a pair of shoe covers to keep the glass flooring dirt-free. They are mandatory, so don’t worry about getting that #shoefie or #selfeet (??) photo on the glass – you will be wearing those stylish covers on your feet. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes if you choose to hike (more on the canyon hike below).
Mine were a wine red but I’ve seen a lot of different colors online! And yeah, that’s a pretty steep drop…
The glass bridge in Zhangjiajie spans the Grand Canyon, not to be confused with the famous canyon of the same name in Arizona. It measures ‎430 meters (1410 feet) long, ‎6 meters (20 feet) wide, and ‎300 meters (984 feet) high, making it the world’s longest and tallest glass-bottomed bridge in the world as of now.
DSC02743 (1).jpg
In the front is the pane of shattered glass, upon which several tons are resting to demonstrate the structural integrity of the bridge and each pane that makes it

Stepping out on the bridge, you get the briefest sense of vertigo. I think that because we came on a rather overcast day, it wasn’t as bad because you didn’t have as clear of a view of the bottom of the canyon. The glass starts on the cliff, so you aren’t immediately stepping over a 1000-foot drop. Rather, you start on the rocks of the cliff, right beneath your feet, walk on some treetops, and then before you know it, the glass is only separating you from the earth and water hundreds of meters away.


There is a limit as to how many people are allowed on the bridge at any given time, and most of them congregate near the beginning of the bridge. Construction is not yet complete on the other side, so as of now, the front is the entrance and the exit; there is no through traffic on the bridge just yet.


At some point, they are planning on setting up the bridge for ziplining and bungee jumping, which I think is insane but whatever gets people’s blood pumping! If you’re looking for a quieter kind of thrill, I think the views here are pretty dang good.

With or without pollution, there is always a mystical mist drifting through the mountains in Zhangjiajie…

You’ll notice a lot of folks laying on the ground for their photos (like the selfie that was requested of me above) and trying to capture the drop below the glass. If you really want that to be clear, go on a clear day. The overcast day makes for moodier photos where you can only clearly see the drop below you in your shadow, as the reflection of the cloudy sky is very bright in the glass.

Here’s a shot of our teen tour guide, and you can see that her shadow shows the cliffs behind her most clearly

This was a lot of fun to visit in person, and so soon after I saw viral videos about this attraction online! I do wish we had sunnier weather, but with how bad the pollution has been in China, sunny clear skies are becoming increasingly rare.

Is it worth a visit? Maybe, once. It is super hyped in those videos, but honestly, the scariest thing was the dude stomping and galloping on the panes, causing the entire bridge the wobble. (Can you keep a secret? I would have only been a little distressed if someone pushed him off the bridge…) Also the hike through the Grand Canyon was terrifying but I’ll talk about that in the next one!

Would you visit this bridge? I would definitely recommend visiting Zhangjiajie in general, as it’s a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site with breath-taking views and mountains.
Have you ever walked on glass-bottomed bridges before?
I don’t know of any other ones, and this one just became very famous!

Rain, Art, & Lights | Spring Break 2016

Last time on Spring Break 2016, we began exploring Los Angeles with pie and a some culture at the Getty Center. It was rainy the whole day, so we relished our time indoors and still marveled at how beautiful the museum was. But the day wasn’t over yet, and we had more art to take in at the Getty Villa.

Getty Villa

Tip: If you are planning on visiting the Getty Villa, you will need to register ahead of time online to get your FREE tickets. Yes, you need tickets, but yes, they are free. I actually had gotten tickets for 2 different times, with one being the last slot available so that we weren’t as rushed to leave the Getty Center. (Very sorry to anyone who wanted tickets for the slot I didn’t use and was unable to register.) Make sure to reserve your ticket and then either have your ticket saved on a mobile device or printed to show at the gate.


If you’d like to visit the Getty Center and the Getty Villa in one day, you can use your parking voucher from one at the other! (Aka free parking at your second Getty destination!) Since we went from the Getty Center to the Getty Villa, we had to first let the Getty Center parking folks know that we were headed to the Getty Villa so that they could give us a voucher to bring over to the Getty Villa. This worked out pretty well for us because the Getty Center has a ticketed garage and we were able to present our voucher to the guard at the Getty Villa, but I’m not sure how it works if you go from Villa to Center.


Some ceiling love

The Getty Villa is a gorgeous, stunning estate that is near Malibu but not quite there, despite what the museum itself advertises. (And I’m pretty sure their social media team is mad that I called them out on that. The truth will set you free, Getty Villa.) The estate was originally the residence for J. Paul Getty and slowly transformed into what it is today as he kept running out of room for displaying his antiquities. Not only did he want to display his really impressive collection, he wanted to display them in a way that reflected their time and how they would have been displayed in their time. The estate’s architectural design (oh, did you think you had escaped me talking about Getty architecture, guess again) is based on the Villa of the Papyri, which was destroyed by the volcanic eruption that rendered Herculaneum to ruins. Not only is Getty Villa a pretty spectacular re-creation of a Greco/Roman antiquity villa, the entire estate is also modeled to be reminiscent of an archaeological dig, with some of the structures intentionally built to resemble half-uncovered ruins. And while the Getty Villa was the original and sole site of the Getty Museum, it now houses only the antiquities in the way they were meant to be displayed, so the pieces have a lot of room for admiration.


Also, the estate itself is art. The gardens were just beautiful and featured beautiful fountains. Also, just look at how obsessed I became with the beautiful tile work on the floors…Read More »

Pie & Architecture| Spring Break 2016

Last time on Spring Break 2016, we drove away from Las Vegas after indulging in gluttony and finally headed to Los Angeles for my first-ever visit to the City of Angels. We settled into our AirBnB studio in the scary-by-night Arts District and tried to catch up on rest knowing that we wouldn’t get many opportunities for rest over the rest of our trip.

This was also one of the few days that Megan and Don were rid of us. Maybe next time they’ll think twice before inviting us to the bachelor/ette parties right before the wedding AND to dine with them during their honeymoon at Disneyland right after the wedding. It was a lot of face time with us, possibly more than the cumulative time we’ve spent together during the rest of our friendship…

It rained all day on our first day in LA. This was pretty disappointing as I shook a fist at Adam Levine for teasing me with hot southern California days. From what I understand from my friends who live in the area, LA doesn’t handle rain very well. The wifi at our AirBnB studio wasn’t working, and when I contacted our really lovely host, she found out that all of downtown LA’s wifi had been knocked out by the rain. Welp, sorry data plan, I needed a lot of directions.

That also explained why I couldn’t check in on Belly at Pie Hole (review) the nearby pie shop that I was dying to visit as soon as I saw that it was near our studio. We gobbled down a little Shepherd’s Pie and a slice of Earl Grey pie, washed it down with a horchata latte, and braced ourselves for a taste of LA’s infamous freeway traffic as we prepared to head to…

The Getty Center

Ben and I weren’t really sure about what the must-see attractions in LA were, but The Getty Center came up time and time again, so we decided to visit on our first day. It took us 40 minutes to get off an exit ramp that was 1.5 miles away from our destination, but that’s fine, it wasn’t as bad as I thought the traffic would be getting there.


(I also may have had my only celebrity sighting trying to get off this exit ramp, as I maaaaaaay have seen Benny Fine driving past us? But, honestly, it could’ve just been a guy with dark curly hair and glasses…)

The Getty Center is one of the two buildings that comprise the J. Paul Getty Museum and it houses 19th- and 20th-century works of art across several multi-level buildings.

You take a tram up to the museum so that you don’t have to drive up to the ridge, so that there isn’t an ugly parking structure, and for fun!
Despite the rain, the drought wasn’t really helped

DSC00320One of the most famous pieces at the Getty Center is Van Gogh’s Irises, which became the 10th most expensive painting in the world (account for inflation) when it was acquired by the Getty Center.

My big head blocking your view of Irises
My big head blocking your view of Irises

I had a lot of fun getting in the museum mood with Ben and hiding from the rain that just would not let up…Read More »