What are the building codes there again?

In China’s Hunan province a glass bottom bridge exists and lets brave tourists walk across. Another one is scheduled for opening and will be the longest glass bottom bridge in the world. I don’t know if I’ll ever visit either but I am sure that if I do I’m not crossing. Here’s how I know.

In 2011 Lily and I took the kids to China. Part of that trip included stopping at Shanghai and we visited the Pearl Tower. The tower is concrete and very orderly, tourists lined up and took a fast elevator to the observation deck. Part of the deck goes around the perimeter and has thick glass panels for the floor.

It’s at least an 800 foot drop. It’s very safe but when you are walking around it and looking down you don’t think about the safety. It didn’t help that the kids worked up their courage and started jumping on the floor panels. That’s not what freaked me out though.


Making our way around the deck we came across a part that had those bank teller line posts. Except these posts were set at the corners of a new looking and very clean glass floor panel. Instead of a velvet rope, it had yellow plastic tape.


That freaked me out. I wish I took a photo but instead I grabbed the kids and we went to the inside of the deck where the floor was concrete. The tower is amazing but at that moment I had to find an Internet connection. I really wanted to visit Google in the worst way possible. I had to look something up.

2 thoughts on “What are the building codes there again?

  1. There’s a semi glass bottom deck at the pyramid in Memphis. Took my parents there a couple weeks ago. It is a fantastic view. My mom absolutely refused to go out on it. My dad went out for like 30 seconds, then chickened and stuck to the concrete. I had no problems.

    Live your life, man. I’d cross that glass bridge without even thinking once. It wouldn’t be there if it was a problem, and if it was, some poor other soul would have had issues before you. Sometimes, looking down at the world is awesome. 🙂

    1. If I found myself at one of those glass bottom bridges I’d probably work up the nerve to cross too. Probably. Going that far and not crossing would suck. How would I live that down if I didn’t?

      Lily and I visited Huangshan and you think about safety codes. That place isn’t that different from visiting the Grand Canyon. You know how the Grand Canyon paths don’t have fences in most of the park? They set the path back from the edge but if you want you can go right to the ledge.

      At Huangshan it’s like that but the path is narrow, the ledge is right there and the drop is ~100 to 400 feet down. The really scary walks do have a chain you can hold onto.

      In the U.S. the local laws try to stop tourists from hurting themselves. To a point, people still get hurt at the Grand Canyon all the time. But when you’re visiting another country you wonder about things like that. 😉

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