Walking on a Glass Sky

January 31, 2013

My wife forwarded me an e-mail with photographs attached of walking on glass on Tianmen Mountain, China.  After looking at the photos, I searched YouTube and found a few videos worth sharing.

In the first two videos, you will see tourists walking on glass attached to the side of a cliff 4,700 feet above sea level.

The Daily Mail says, “Don’t look down!”

Another perilous site may be found on the slopes of China’s Shifou Mountain. Thousands of feet up, these Chinese workers are building another cliff-walkway with little or no safety gear.

Shifou Mountain is located 82 miles from Tianmen Mountain. When finished the wooden ‘road’ – which is the width of a dinner table – will stretch for 1.8 miles making it China’s longest sightseeing path.

Then there is walking on air at Huang Shan in the Yellow Mountains.

Next to last but not least, the Hua Han plank walk.  At my age, I’d rather walk on glass. Huckberry.com says, “This is no pirate’s plank walk. Located 7,000 feet above sea level on China’s Hua Shan Mountain, the Huashan Plank Walk embodies peril of a different kind.

“The ascent begins with a short set of steps carved into the side of a mountain. Soon after, the steps turn into a “ladder” of iron rods. Both require very, very careful steps to compensate for precarious footing. Then comes the notorious plank.”

Hua Shan has also been named the “Most Dangerous Hiking Trail in the World” by tourists.

Last, we join trekkers on their way to the top of Huangshan. Is that girl—the one that sits down—in high heels? You may notice that they are not letting go of the rope. Would you?

China Mike says, “Since Huangshan is a top tourist attraction and popular travel destination for the Chinese, book ahead, especially on summer weekends.” The photographs on Mike’s site are worth seeing.

Discover the Huangpu River Tour – Shanghai


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Deng Xiaoping’s 20/20 Vision

February 5, 2010

True, under Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), China suffered but that isn’t the whole story. During Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, thirty-seven million died—many from starvation. Mao’s form of communist socialism did not work.

On June 30, 1984, Deng Xiaoping said, “Given that China is still backward, what road can we take to develop the productive forces and raise the people’s standard of living? … Capitalism can only enrich less than 10 per cent of the Chinese population; it can never enrich the remaining more than 90 per cent. But if we adhere to socialism and apply the principle of distribution to each according to his work, there will not be excessive disparities in wealth. Consequently, no polarization will occur as our productive forces become developed over the next 20 to 30 years.”

Deng Xiaoping on the cover of Time Magazine

Deng Xiaoping may have been right. Bruce Einhom writing for Business Week, Countries with the Biggest Gaps Between Rich and Poor, October 16, 2009, listed the top countries with the biggest gaps. America was number three on the list. China wasn’t on the list—yet.

What does this mean for America? (CBS/AP)  The Census Bureau reports that 12.5 percent of Americans, or 37.3 million people, were living in poverty in 2007, up from 36.5 million in 2006.

After 2000, the situation in America deteriorated quickly (with President George W. Bush in the White House)—all of the gains in middle-class economic security since WWII were erased within a few years.

PBS reported in “Middle Class Squeeze” (December 13, 2002), the shape of income distribution in America is changing and many are finding it increasingly difficult to afford housing while keeping up with necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and health care.”

What does capitalism, Chinese style, look like? Under Deng Xiaoping’s economic policies, China became the world’s factory floor.

Prior to 1979, the year China opened its economy to world trade, it was rare to find anything made in China. Since then, exports from China have increased 10,000%, and this year China’s economy become the second largest in the world as Japan slipped to third place.

In the last decade, something happened in China that Mao thought he had destroyed. China grew a middle class. During a trip to China in 2008, we saw the Chinese middle class everywhere we went. Instead of the majority of tourists being foreigners, they are now Chinese.

A middle-class family in China usually owns an apartment, a car, eats out and takes vacations. National Geographic in the May 2008 magazine, said, “they owe their well-being to the government’s (Deng Xiaoping’s) economic policies…”

Current estimates show China’s growth will continue and grow between five and eight percent a year. China’s real GDP growth accelerated on a year-over year basis by a full percentage point, rising from 7.9% in the second quarter to 8.9% in the third quarter (reported Oct. 22, 2009).

Learn about China’s Expanding Middle Class


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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