Known for its wonderful scenery, which includes mountains, gorges and rivers, Chongqing Municipality, has been credited with one more AAAAA attraction (highest category of tourist attraction) in 2017 – the Longgang Scenic Area, Yunyang.
Located in the southeast of Yunyang County, Longgang Scenic Area neighbours Lichuan from Hubei, Wanzhou District and Fengjie from Chongqing. This grand national park is characterized by peculiar landforms such as karst (pit), deep karst caves, rocky grasslands, towering stalagmites, and the usual valleys, mountain peaks, and dense forests. The rich folk customs of the charming Tujia ethnic group can also be experienced here. With its 60 odd scenic spots, which are simultaneously magnificent, dangerous, beautiful, odd, colourful and changeable, the park is a sight to behold. Hence, Longgang Scenic Area is regarded as a museum of natural science and a showplace of geological landscape.
Major sights of the park include the Longgang “Heavenly Pit”, rivers like Stalagmite River and gorges such as South Three Gorges and Huangling Gorge. Praised as “the last Shangri-La of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River” Longgang Scenic Area has four distinctively diverse seasons. While flowers and grass reign in spring, running waterfalls can be found in summer, scattered red leaves in autumn and sheets of white snow in winter.
Cloudy Lounge Bridge, built at an altitude of 1,010.5 meters, is perhaps the biggest attraction of all. Built in the design of flower petals, it stands at the top of the steep cliffs. The glass cantilever bridge and its guarding bar are made of laminated ultra clear glass, and there is an absence of steel frames. Tourists may appreciate sights such as the huge urns, Stalagmite River and Gaixiaba Reservoir 720 degrees from the bridge. The transparent structure is beyond imagination because the cantilever is 26.68m long - 5.34m longer than the Grand Canyon Skywalk, Colorado, USA – while the bridge is 718m above ground. Standing on the longest overhanging glass bridge in the world, with an abyss under their feet, thrilled tourists feel as if they are walking in the sky. Cloudy Lounge Bridge holds the title of being the world’s first overhanging glass bridge.
The Stalagmite River may be considered the most beautiful part of the Long Beach River. At the sightseeing lounge, tourists can grab a full view of the Stalagmite River flowing through the gorge. The green mountains, the river, and the bamboo rafts, present an indescribable view, full of magnificence and beauty. At 12.5km long and 20 to 300m wide, the Stalagmite River is a typical karst landform. Its banks are steep and dotted with stone pillars which resemble stalagmites, hence the name. The water is clear and the river tender, yet alarmingly dangerous at times. It runs windingly through the deep and dark valley, splashes down as waterfalls, rests calmly in scattered ponds and drips from cave walls. Due to the corrosion caused by water, rocks and peaks of different shapes and patterns have been created. They are a testament to the mysterious and magical ways of nature.
Longgang “Heavenly Pit” has a natural oval shape resembling that of a huge stone urn. With a depth of 335m, it ranks third among pits in China and fifth in the world. The arched inner walls are as wide as 2m and its narrowest part is less than 40cm in width. Moreover, the steep walls have a nearly 90 degrees incline, which makes them quite unique. If one stands on the edge of the pit, one can see huge cliffs to one side and a bottomless chasm to the other. At the parietal suture, branches of pines and aged vines hang upside down. At the bottom of the urn, an evergreen forest stretches out. Hundreds of birds twitter and fly around, while waves of smoke and clouds rise from the depth. In terms of depth and diameter, the “Heavenly Pit”, is definitely worth seeing, exploring and studying.
Moon Reflecting Cave, also known as Moon Inlaying Cave, is the first layer of underground stream and dark hole which is 43m long. The south hole is 3.9m high and the north hole is 2.9m high. On the eve of Mid-Autumn Festival every year, as the hole is exposed to moonlight, silvery light is reflected through the cave from the south to the north. The amazing sight is called reflecting the moon through the hole.
Besides this, Longgang Scenic Area also boasts other appreciable scenic spots, such as Qishan Grassland, Stalactite Cave, Daan Cave and Ancient Village – a site of rich cultural heritage. Without a doubt, this is a park full of wonders.
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