Not for the faint-hearted! The tallest outdoor elevator in the world (or you could take the 2 ½ hr walk to the top)
- China's Bailong Elevator takes visitors up 1,070ft in around a minute
PUBLISHED: 12:14 GMT, 11 January 2013 | UPDATED: 17:55 GMT, 11 January 2013
Long way down: The Hundred Dragons Elevator in China is 1,070ft tall
If you suffer from a fear of heights, perhaps this one's not for you.
The Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, carries tourists 1,070ft (330m) up the side of a massive sandstone column in a mountain range in China's Hunan Province.
Riding the glass lift, which carries up to 50 people at a time or 1,380 an hour, offers jaw-dropping, not to say vertiginous, views down to the bottom of the rocky mountain range in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangijiajie.
Work began on the lift, which cost 120m yuan, or around £12m, in 1999 and finished in 2002.
The project met with fierce criticism from environmentalists who were angry that it was sited in the middle of a World Heritage Site.
Lift shafts and tunnels had to be dug into the quartz sandstone column chosen from thousands in the area, and earthquake detectors installed so that the lifts (there are three of them) could be evacuated quickly in case of disaster.
Those in favour of the project said that the elevators, which are said to boast the biggest passenger capacity in the world, saved the mountain trails from excess traffic.
But protestors said the area, which attracts 5m visitors each year, was already saturated with tourists and did not need another attraction to boost that number further.
After it was built, the lift was said to be the world's tallest full-exposure outdoor lift, tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator, and the fastest passenger elevator with the biggest capacity, according to
After the project was opened to the public in 2002 it was quickly shut down temporarily because of safety, rather than environmental concerns.
It reopened in 2003 and now has a cult following from tourists keen to ride a lift known as one of the most terrifying in the world for its sheer drop views down to the bottom of the valley.
Those whose fear of heights prohibits them from taking the lift can instead take a two-and-a-half hour walk up the valley.
The lift ride takes around a minute to reach the top, from where tourists can see breath-taking views of the area's quartzite sandstone pillars.
Pity the maintenance staff: The Bailong Elevator in China's Hunan Province is the tallest outdoor-exposure lift in the world
World Heritage Site: The lift attracted controversy as it was built in a beautiful mountain range that already attracted millions of tourists a year