Day 19: Shanghai Disneyland and The World’s Longest Glass Bridge

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Disneyland.

On the bus from Hong Kong to mainland China:

“Can you see Disneyland Hong Kong from the window?”

“I can’t. But should we go there?”

“We don’t have the money”

“Well, what if we did?”

“We don’t.”

” 😦 ”

“But what if..”

“We don’t”

” 😦  … Isn’t there one in Shanghai?”

“Yeah?”

“Isn’t Shanghai cheaper? Aren’t we going there anyway?”

“…”

“Yay, we’re going to Disneyland ♥♥♥”

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Mulan.

That being said, now you can read what we learned after visiting Shanghai Disney resort 🙂

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Pirates of The Caribbean.
  • Plan ahead! The place is huge, you’ll need to pick your battles. Decide, what you wish to see and do. I mean, especially with kids, unless you’re planning on visiting there on several days.
  • Download the Disney Shanghai app. It’ll help you navigate the park, check out queueing times, and book Fast Passes. Fast Passes are free of charge, and you can book a new one every two hours. It’ll give you a fast track entry to designated rides and attractions. Just make sure to book a new Fast Pass as soon as the app allows you to do so.
  • Timing is everything. We visited the park on a Monday, got in in the morning, and had the whole day dedicated to it. There wasn’t much queuing, and the place wasn’t packed. The longest line was before the security check.
  • Prepare for disappointments. A lot of the shows and rides were closed, and we didn’t see almost any of the characters there. I mean, of course it didn’t matter to a grown-up, like, no one was upset because of the lack of princesses (other than herself), but if you’re going there with little kids, I’d recommend checking in advance who you’ll get to meet, and if you could get a Fast Pass for the meet and greets. BUT we did get to see Mulan, and she’s one of the best Disney princesses, so it wasn’t all bad ♥
  • Transportation. You can get there super easily with Metro Line 11. Or be posh, and take a taxi. Or stay in the resort and walk or use a shuttle bus which I’m sure they have.
  • Money. The entrance ticket gets you into all the attractions, but food costs a ton.  The tickets’ prices vary based on the season. We got off season tickets for 399 RMB each, but peak season tickets can cost over 500 RMB. There’s free drinking water, and the toilets are free and clean. If you’re posh (and rich), there’s an option of staying in the resort and purchasing all sorts of packages with VIP entries, guides and multiple entry tickets. So basically, you can do almost everything with very little money, but the more you spend, the faster and smoother everything goes.
  • The TRON Lightcycle Power Run is hella scary! Like, I screamed through the whole thing and vomit wasn’t entirely out of question good 10 minutes after the ride. In case you’re wondering if you should try it, sure, go for it. I’m done, though!
  • One last tip: If you see a white dude, who holds no resemblance to Chris Pratt whatsoever other than being bulky and blonde and having sideburns, going around dressed as Starlord and hugging giggling Chinese teenage girls in the Marvel Universe, do not laugh. He might have been the closest thing they could cast, and probably speaks excellent Chinese and seemed to be doing his job very, very well. Probably doesn’t get paid as well as Chris, though.
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Little princesses were everywhere 🙂

 

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Alice’s maze.
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Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Avengers… All here!

As a very polarizing activity, a day later, we headed towards Shijiazhuang, a tiny city of only 10,8 million people living there. So tiny, they only established a metro system last year, now having 3 lines with a growing number of stations. Now, why would we go to a city one of our friends nicely describes as the worst city in China?

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Close to the city is a place called Hongyagu scenic area (紅崖谷風景區) (the link opens in Baidu Maps), located in Pingshan County (平山縣). And there you can find the longest glass suspension bridge in the world! What’s that, you might ask? It is what it is, a suspension bridge made of glass, meaning it’s transparent!!! Sounds cool? Well, it WAS cool but just a tad bit difficult to reach.

This is how we navigated our way to Hongyagu and back:

 

  • The location is really difficult to find unless you know exactly where it is. Also, you’ll want to use its Chinese name (紅崖谷風景區, Hongyagu scenic area, or 紅崖谷玻璃吊橋, Hongyagu glass suspension bridge) when looking for it. It’s not in Google Maps, as far as we know.
  • There are hotels nearby the scenic area in Wentang and even at the spot. If you’re staying in Shijiazhuang like us, you’ll have to take a bus. For us, we paid 38 RMB each for a bus to Wentang (溫塘), which left from Shijiazhuang North station (石家莊北站). Some buses go straight to Hongyagu, but at least around 10 in the morning, there were none left. There were no screens on the bus, just a lady yelling the names of stops, so using Baidu Maps could help with following where you’re at.
  • We were told by the lady on a bus to just take the “taxi” we were offered once we got off the bus in Wentang. So, that’s what we did and ended up paying 30 RMB for the 6km ride to the entrance of the scenic area.

Once there, we had to pay an entrance fee to the scenic area, around 298 RMB per person. More on that later. The bridge itself was… amazing! It’s suspended between two mountaintops, and the size of it is huge. It’s nearly 500 meters long, and the drop below it is about 200 meters. The tiles were wet from the rain, and that made it a bit easier to step on them, but as they were dried, the feeling of walking on nothing got much more real. Even though I knew it’s totally safe, my brain just couldn’t process the mixed messages coming from my eyes and feet. This resulted in a very strange feeling and funny, super careful walking on the transparent tiles. Like, your feet felt them, but your eyes could still see the drop right beneath you. Crazy!

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Amazing! Just incredible! We spent the day at Hongyagu scenic area, and walked the world's longest glass suspension bridge. It was a surreal feeling to walk 488 meters on transparent tiles while watching the 218 meters drop beneath you. The bridge was swaying, too😱 The rain on the tiles made it a bit less scary, but when it stopped raining, the workers cleaned the tiles and after that, they were way too clear and you could see the ground way too well 😭😭 Was fun, though 😳😳😳😳😃😃😃 Check out the second video (slide 3/8) for better view of what's going on! #紅崖谷 #hongyagu #China #Shijiazhuang #石家莊 #glassbridge #玻璃吊橋 #suspensionbridge #紅崖谷風景區 #中國 #amazing #scary #fun #adventure #roadtoself #hongyagubridge

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Here are some other things we learned:

  • Going up and coming down from the scenic area, you get to ride small busses or walk. You can buy the tickets for them from a ticketing booth after the initial ticket control, and they cost either 20 RMB (for a round trip) or 13 RMB (for the way up). Walking up may not be smart, because you’d still have to walk up the stairs for an hour to get to the bridge. So save your feet and get the bus.
  • Before climbing up, there will be a lot of stuff to see, smaller suspended bridges to play with, local food and overpriced souvenirs.
  • The scenery both walking up and back down from the bridge is 100% worth the hike. Both ways, the climb will take around an hour, depending on your pace.
  • Figure out in advance how you’ll get back to your hotel. We didn’t. Instead, we realised around 4 in the afternoon, there were no longer buses going back to Shijiazhuang. Instead, a guy at the scenic area information desk called his friend and got us a ride to our hotel, for which we paid freaking 300 RMB! But there really was no other way, and it was nice anyway to have someone to take us straight to the hotel.
  • It will be worth all the trouble to go there.
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Wait, what, we’ll be climbing upstairs for an hour in order to walk on a bridge made of glass???!!!

 

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So cool, not nervous at all…
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That’s over 100 meters’ drop literally under my feet.

Have you been to a Disneyland or done some heart rate elevating activity you’d like to share with us? Share your story in the comments 🙂

PS: Sorry for the horrible layout and editing of this post 😦 I’ve been using very unreliable connections while in China, and it has made the whole editing, adding photos and links and such a pain in the butt… Also, I’m hoping the videos open and work well.

PPS: We’re heading towards another super insane adventure (if everything goes as planned). Stay tuned ♥