Off the beaten track: Heaven’s Gate

The Door to Heaven is a cave in the middle of Heaven’s Gate Mountain, which towers over the Zhangjiajie area in China. It is the biggest natural cave in China and was used as a place of worship by the ancient Chinese. The mystical gap in the rocks is a whopping 122m high and was formed when a rock between the two mountains collapsed.

Heavens Gate 3

Image via @ Wikicommons

Image via @ Wikicommons

Image via @ Wikicommons

To actually see the gaping hole in the cliffs up close, visitors will have to make a gruelling trek up 999 steps. The number of the steps was chosen wisely, since for the Chinese number nine means ‘eternal’ or ‘perpetual’. The highlight of a visit is when the clouds shroud the mountain, offering a really mystical experience.

Alternatively, for visitors that won’t think of climbing all those stairs, there is a cable car (the longest in the world) running and a bus that follows a risky mountain journey with continuous bends.

Heavens Gate 2

 Image via @ SeemingLee

For the full experience of Heaven’s Gate, check out this amazing video of a skydiver flying through the mountain cave:

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