Summer Holiday Special


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It seems the Chinese countryside isn’t exactly a friendly place for people who are afraid of heights. We already talked about the horrifying Huashan path that winds up a cliff side and sometimes narrows to barely perceptible wooden planks hovering out of the fog, but it turns out life-endangering attractions involving great heights are all the rage in China.

This is the cliff-side Fangweng Restaurant, located just north of Yichang City.
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For adventurous diners, the journey starts at an unassuming brick building that leads to a winding cliff-side corridor to the restaurant proper. The dining area is built into a cave, so depending on your seating arrangement, the dining experience probably isn’t that terrifying (despite our hyperbole in the first paragraph), but there are a number of tables arranged on a wooden platform that just juts straight out of the side of the cliff; so if you get vertigo easily you might want to call ahead and reserve something in the way, way back – like deep-cave Balrog sightings back.

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Part of the corridor leading up to the dining area appears to be built into a groove in the rock, but at least one stretch looks like it’s also just sort of sitting on a bunch of 2 x 4s of dubious quality, so maybe the fear factor here doesn’t come so much from the idea you might fall over the rails but whether you might be showing up for your reservations just when the whole facade decides to give way. We’re just basing this on observations of photos, though, since when we asked our irrationally acrophobic editor to fund a trip, he screamed like a little girl and bolted out the door.
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The Japanese Interwebs indicates the food is top notch, the service pleasant and the views absolutely breathtaking, though, and in all honesty, it seems pretty safe overall. If you’re in China and have been to this place, let us know your impressions in the comments. We’ll be waiting in a nice, secure corner of the basement.

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