China: Around The Nation

Another glass-bottom bridge opening in China, another day of tourist chaos

Authorities wondered how they could draw visitors to the opening of the 188-metre-long bridge on Qifeng Mountain, so they opened the gates for free... They weren’t expecting the result

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 September, 2016, 2:58pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 September, 2016, 3:34pm

Thousands of visitors were stranded after they flocked to a scenic mountain in central China to witness the opening of a 188-metre-long suspended glass-bottom bridge after authorities decided not to charge the 45 yuan (HK$52) admission to the park.

Transport officials in Fangcheng county, Henan province, said the road to Qifeng Mountain was jammed by 9am on Saturday and that all traffic police officers had been sent to the area to ease the jam.

World’s longest glass bridge in China attracts too many visitors – and shuts for maintenance after 13 days

Road restrictions were posed in surrounding areas several hours later, the Henan Traffic Radio Station reported.

Police said some tourists ignored their directions on Saturday, which only added to the road congestion.

The mountain gained fame in recent months because of its glass-bottom bridge, which is 2.1 metres wide, 166 metres above the ground, and has a maximum carrying capacity of 60 tonnes.

People’s interest in suspended glass bridges was kindled after the world’s longest and highest opened recently to much fanfare in Hunan province.

But the 430-metre-long, 300-metre-high glass bridge in the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon scenic area was inundated with so many visitors that it was ordered to close for maintenance on Sunday, less than two weeks after its soft opening.

WATCH: China opens the longest glass-bottom bridge in the world

Meanwhile, residents back in Nanyang city, where Fangcheng county is located, said they would have plenty of chances to experience the Qifeng Mountain bridge at it was only an hour’s drive away – on a normal day.

The bridge was open again on Sunday, with free admission.