China’s recent announcement that it will open the world’s highest glass footbridge made me think – what are the country’s most breathtaking bridges?
Here is my top four.
1. Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (or Qingdao Haiwan Bridge), Shandong province
Linking the beautiful European-style city of Qingdao to the emerging Huangdao area, this sea bridge is so long you would have to run the length of a marathon to get across it.
One of the things that make this vehicle-only bridge special is its direct link to the airport, making it easy to catch a flight to your next destination in China or even abroad.
It’s been designed to withstand powerful earthquakes, typhoons and the impact of a 300,000 tonne vessel.
Running underneath Jiaozhou Bay is the Jiaozhou Bay Tunnel. The bridge and tunnel were built concurrently and together they improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the area.
Here is a two-minute video about the Jiaozhou Bridge.
2. Zhangjiajie Skywalk Footbridge, Hunan province
Although you may be unfamiliar with this footbridge’s name, chances are you’ve seen images of it shared over the internet.
The national park in which it’s located is said to be the inspiration for the backdrop of the planet ‘Pandora’ in the movie Avatar. So think one word – spectacular.
To get to the footbridge, you first have to brave the dizzying heights of the cable car. As you ascend, you’ll get a nice view over the area if the weather’s clear.
A trip to the Zhangjiajie Skywalk Footbridge is a must for any English teacher in Hunan or a neighboring province.
Once you’re at the peak, pay attention to the signs (they’re in English) as a few wrong turns could mean you end up hiking for a lot longer than expected.
The best time to go is when there’s good weather. If there’s heavy fog, you won’t be able to see more than a few feet in front of you.
Another tip is to avoid visiting the footbridge during Chinese national holidays, unless you’re happy queuing for hours!
3. Beipanjiang Railway Bridge, Guizhou province
Want to cross a deep canyon on the world’s highest railway bridge? Then take a train over the Beipanjiang Railway Bridge in China’s southern Guizhou province.
It’s been designed to cater for high-speed trains that can reach speeds of up to 250 km per hour.
The bridge connects Guizhou with neighboring Yunnan province, boosting the local economy in this developing area of China.
Watch trains rattling over the Beipanjiang Bridge.
4. Anji Bridge (or Zhaozhou Bridge), Hebei province
The Anji Bridge – literally the ‘safe crossing bridge’ – is the oldest standing bridge in China. It’s also the oldest arched stone bridge of its kind in the world.
Despite the bridge being over 1400 years old, you can still walk across it.
To get to it, take a short bus ride from Hebei’s capital city, Shijiazhuang.
Do you have any favourite Chinese bridges of your own? Please comment below.