AS much as mountain climbing can be an enjoyable recreational activity, not everyone can or is willing to participate due to various factors.
A post on Chinese social media platform Xiaohongshu by @浙江最生活 showed several tourist destinations in China now equipped with escalators, combining nature’s sights and modern innovation to enhance the visitors’ experience.
In Tianyu Mountain, the escalator was built on the rocky terrain, making it convenient for visitors to take in the sights without the strain of hiking.
“A 50-minute hiking trail now shortened to 10 minutes,” said the post.
South China Morning Post reported that visitors have to complete the last three kilometres on foot as the 350-metre-long escalator does not go all the way to the top
The escalator was constructed in 2022, costing 10 million yuan (RM6.5 million) and each trip costs 30 yuan.
The escalator also has a built-in mist feature to give off an enchanting feel while ascending the mountain, which is 300-metres above sea level.
Besides Tianyu Mountain, another mountainside escalator such as the 104-metre-long South Sky Ladder was built in the Shenxianju Tour Zone, also located in the Zhejiang province three years ago.
“Our tour zone covers an area of 60 square kilometres and the highest place is 900 metres above sea level. It’s physically challenging for most tourists to walk around the whole tour zone.
“Even young people feel exhausted from climbing this mountain. Hoping to make tourists’ trips easier and convenient, we have installed both the cableway and escalator, so that people can enjoy the natural scenery easily,” said Gu Qiaolu, a manager at Shenxianju Tour Group.
The move garnered support and criticism alike from netizens. Some backed the initiative stating that elderly people and children can now have easy access to nature safely without tiring themselves.
However, nature purists wondered what was the point of the escalators as they felt the amenities have taken away the meaning of mountain climbing and argued that the escalators “take away the natural beauty of the mountains”, ruining the overall experience.