Built in 2016, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge holds the record for being the longest and tallest glass bridge in the world. It’s found in Hunan, China and suspended over a massive and deep canyon in the Zhangjiajie National Park. The suspension bridge is a sight in itself, with its architecture and glass floor developed to be eye-catching. It’s construction cost over 74 million dollars and is considered an architectural marvel.
Since it’s construction, there have been many viral videos circulating of people crossing the bridge, experiencing the view, and checking out the glass floor. However, it seems that the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is a classic example of something not living up to the hype. Several travel bloggers have reported that the actual attraction is not as exciting as they expected it to be.
The main issue seems to be a lack of organization and accommodation for foreign travelers. The tourist center only accommodates Chinese speakers and accepts only cash, making for a complicated adventure for any English speaking travelers. Tickets to get onto the bridge are surprisingly expensive, clocking in at about 22 dollars. Plus, most travelers are forced to wait at least an hour after buying their ticket to actually get onto the bridge.
This is because the amount of people allowed onto the bridge and the timing of it all is strictly controlled. This is a good thing safety-wise, but it doesn’t stop the bridge and the tourist center from still being absolutely trampled by visitors. Getting onto the bridge is often a let-down, as it is covered with so many tourists- 800 at a time- that it’s hard even to get a nice view of the glass floor. Most travelers end up enjoying the surrounding National Park more than the experience of the bridge itself.