Couple of weeks ago it was announced that we are going for a full day team outing away from Beijing. As the announcement was in Chinese (and I’m not that advanced yet), I did not know what to expect except for a long hike. Appeared to be that we were going to Shilinxia – new glass platform that looks like an alien space ship – UFO. It was not on my China bucket list but still I was excited!
As it was a team outing we had buses that picked us up at the office and took us to Shilinxia directly. It took around 2 hours, however, it was this long due to traffic in the morning.
If you want to travel by yourself, there is always a bus from Dongzhimen that you can take that will take you to Pinggu District Bus Terminal (buses No. 852/918) can take you, and to come to the scenic area you need to take bus 25.
Upon arrival, you can decide for yourself whether you want to take a cable car to go up (highly recommended especially during summer heat) or walk up the stairs.
Small note, even if you decide to take cable car, after you arrive there is still a 20-minute climb up to reach the observatory platform.
UFO – Shilinxia Glass Platform.
When you finally reach the peak, you find 12 animals which represent Chinese year symbols. Next to them you can find a toads with open mouth, where you can put coins.
I really doubted myself if I could do it, as normally even on ferris wheel I start shaking. Here I took my chances to go step on it. The organiser asked if I could go and I decided to try. Normally, people with acrophobia are strictly restricted from going there.
The platform opens an amazing view on the beautiful nature of China. I was surprised that it can be this pure and and pretty. Unfortunately, people around did not really enjoy the beauty of it but mostly took their time to just take pictures – selfies and proofs that they were there…
From up there you could see mountains, small lake, waterfall and feel closer to skies. You can look down through the platform and see 1000m below you. Honestly speaking, it look scarier than it is. I really enjoyed my walk around and being there,
In the middle of the platform you find an UFO – spaceship with two aliens inside (who look pretty funny). In imagination of Chinese people, I suppose that’s how the alien attack would look like.
Going down and exploring Stone Forest.
Shilinxia literally means Stone Forest. Going down the stairs and exploring the scenic area is part of experience here. You see more beautiful places and enjoy the view.
Going down takes around 45 minutes to an hour. I would suggest to be really cautious on the stairs as accident can cause a lot of trouble there.
There are two resting areas where you can escape sun, get some water or just simply sit down.
Cost of journey.
The entrance tocket to Shilinxia will cost you RMB78. The cable car ride (one way is RMB200 – that’s what the ticket office information mentioned, on Internet it is RMB100 for one way, additionally, you will need to pay RMB20 to get on the platform.
Make sure you have water with you, sunscreen and a hat to protect your head. It is extremely hot there on top. When you get down you can find a couple of restaurants, supermarkets and kids amusement park.
For me, it was a great trip. My face is burnt (SPF50 did not help), my legs are sore but I enjoyed it so much. This place inspired me to travel more and discover regardless the circumstances. So there is more to come! The next post will be a local (extremely local) food experience in Shilinxia and what to expect to find in your plate.
Do you have acrophobia and would you step on the glass platform? This can be a try out for the glass bridge trip!