Crossing the Three Natural Karst Bridges of Wulong

Crossing the Three Natural Karst Bridges of Wulong

Witness breathtaking sights as you explore the larger-than-life Three Karst Bridges in China's Wulong province!

Southeast of Chongqing, China, the Three Natural Bridges stand imposingly in Wulong County. Located within the Wulong Karst National Geology Park, the large natural bridges offer a breathtaking sight for any visitors wishing to take in the wonders of nature. It was especially an eye-opener for me, someone who seldom explores the outdoors!

The Three Natural Bridges consist of a series of natural limestone bridges that were naturally formed through erosion over thousands of years. Considered to be Asia’s largest natural bridge cluster, they are labelled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as they provide valuable historical insights on the evolution of the earth.

Also read: Braving China’s Mount Jinfo

The location has also been showcased in Transformers: Age of Extinction, notably in the scene where Optimus Prime duels the Dinobot Grimlock.

The park’s excursion begins with a leisurely walk through a forested area of the park, where visitors can take in the sights of the greenery while slowly descending further below into the gorge. Cool mountain air caressed my face while I took my stroll; it was definitely a nice change from the hot weather in Singapore!

There are spots where visitors can take quick snapshots of the rocky surroundings. As I was taking pictures, it was hard not to look down and think about the long drop! Thankfully, they had barriers to prevent accidents from happening.

At the end of the forest path, we reached an elevator which brought us straight down into the massive valley. The interior of the lift was filled with glass, allowing visitors a grand view of the scenery around them. It was quite a surreal experience to look outside of the lift and feel dwarfed by the gigantic ridges, valleys and archways.

Also read: Marvel at the Strange Beauty of Tianzi Mountains in China

Once below, we were greeted with the astounding sight of Tianlong Bridge, one of the three Natural Bridges. There was also a long stairway that descended below the archway, and towards the other two bridges. It just shows how deep the valley is when a lift ride does not bring you all the way to the bottom!

Tianlong Bridge

The bridges were named after dragons, and Tianlong means Sky Dragon. The Tianlong Bridge, measured about 200 metres (656 feet) in height and 100 metres (328 feet) in width, is a double arch. The first and largest opening was the one where we descended under; while the second opening was located to the left once we were on the ground level. Unfortunately, it was closed off to the public at that time.

Instead, we headed right, towards the outpost building. This was constructed and featured in the 2006 Chinese film, Curse of the Golden Flower, directed by Zhang Yimou. It blended well with the surroundings, making visitors feel like they have been warped back in time to imperial China. It was definitely what the director saw as well when he was producing the movie.

Along the path, we encountered more Transformers artwork. The location of this statue was where the battle scene was filmed and edited into. It was quite exciting to think that I could have been standing exactly on Michael Bay’s footprints when he was pondering on the camera angles.

Qinglong Bridge

The second bridge on the path was Qinglong Bridge. Translated as Azure Dragon, it measures about 350 metres (1,148 feet) high and 150 metres (492 feet) wide. Walking through the opening, we felt like explorers entering a hidden passageway that led to an unknown area.

The natural scenery along the path was largely untouched by men, making it a perfect place for anyone seeking a short respite from civilisation. I felt oddly at ease by the sounds of rushing water, the wildlife and the lush greenery. The place brings about a feeling of calm and serenity that is hard to find in urban cities.

Also read: 12 Totally Underrated Places of China That Will Blow You Away

Heilong Bridge

The last bridge on the path, Heilong Bridge, measures about 223 metres (732 feet) in height, and 193 metres (633 feet) in width. Translated as Black Dragon Bridge due to its deep and winding dark passage, it was the longest hike out of all three natural bridges. It was also my personal favourite, as the cool cavern air coupled with the silence inside were perfect conditions for a relaxing walk.

The interior of Heilong Bridge offered spectacular rocky formations and tiny waterfalls from crevices that spout during rainfall. The fact that it was all formed by natural events makes you appreciate the beauty of our planet even more.

Our tour guide pointed out that some of the rocky formations resemble animals! It took a lot of staring from me to figure out the supposed animal identities found in the two pictures above. Can you figure it out?

After a good hour of walking, we finally reached the bus station where we took a bus that brought our tired feet back to the top of the valley. I was definitely up for more walking, but some members from the tour group were mortified at the suggestion!

Also read: Top 20 Tourist Attractions in China You Must Visit

wulong natural karst bridges

Overall, the Three Natural Bridges are definitely an incredible place to visit, especially for those with a penchant for nature. I expected my trip to be another typical nature walk, but I was blown away by the sheer beauty of the landscape. The long walks may seem daunting at first, but they are definitely worth the effort for the amazing views that you gain in return. It was definitely a great experience!

And if you’re feeling that wanderlust itch right about now, then TravelStar’s 8D7N Golden Cruise / Double World’s Natural Heritage Luxury Tour is for you! Other than the Three Natural Bridges, be awed by the splendor that is the impressive Mount Jinfo. Also enjoy a relaxing hot spring at your hotel, visit the absolutely gorgeous Fairy Mountain National Forest Park, and embark on a cruise journey to the Three Gorges Dam, Shennong Stream, and many more!

Many thanks to West Air of Chongqing and TravelStar Pte Ltd for this opportunity!

Brought to you by 

About Author

Youliang Teo
Youliang Teo

When he’s not caught up with the real world, Teo Youliang dreams of simply grabbing a rucksack and setting off on an adventure of a lifetime. Whether it means venturing through unknown places, meeting new faces, or frustratingly figuring out a travel map for hours, you can be sure that there isn’t any other place he’d rather be. He’s also content with a hot cup of tea, and writing stories at the comfort of his home.


Related Posts