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Porsche Club Hong Kong
Zhangjiajie, Mainland China
7th of October to 12th of October 2023

The sky is overcast, with eerie wisps of fog drifting through the sandstone pillars and deep canyons. It drizzles, later the rain will pour down heavily. But this has no effect on the enthusiasm of the Club members. They have been warned: out of 365 days, there are more than 200 days of bad weather here in Wulingyuan National Park. This is the region's climate. However, the Club members were more than excited about their first trip to mainland China after the pandemic. They were looking forward to seeing the Tianmen Cave Natural Arch, better known as Heaven's Door, the national park with its sandstone pillars and ravines, and the World Heritage Site of Zhangjiajie.

But most of all – Porsche enthusiasts can’t help it – they were eagerly awaiting the 99 spectacular hairpin bends of the so-called Tongtian Avenue. An 11-kilometre-long pass road full of tight twists and turns and breathtaking views – looking up to Tianmen with the nearby Heaven's Door and down into the depths of the gorges. The members felt both excited and honoured, especially as Tongtian Avenue has been closed to traffic for years. Visitors normally travel up by cable car. Vehicles have no place here. But the Porsche Club Hong Kong was granted a special permit, and so 15 Porsche 911 of various generations, Boxsters and a rare green Club Coupé made the steep journey to the sky.

The World Heritage Site of the Zhangjiajie City is located in the northwest of Hunan Province in the hinterland of the Wuling Mountains. The Wulingyuan Nature Park is famous for its unique landscape of sandstone pillars and canyons. Film fans will know that the Hollywood blockbuster Avatar was filmed here in 2012. The group started on 7 October with a dinner at the Hong Kong Aviation Club, then travelled via Qianhai to Chenzhou with overnight stays, arriving in Zhangjiajie on 9 October.

But back to Heaven's Door and the spectacular Tongtian Avenue: After parking their cars near the top, participants gathered and took a souvenir photo right at the threshold of the stairs. Some brave and fit participants took on the challenge of climbing the 999 steps of the Stairway to Heaven – the final steps are extremely steep and narrow. Most members chose to take the long escalators up to the arch. From there, it is possible to take another lift to the highest point of the mountain. Here, paths run along the cliff face, including the famous glass-floored sections which, when the weather’s good, allow a clear view of the cliff. However, the best perspective was offered by the opportunity to ride down the 99 bends of the incredible Tongtian Avenue once again.

On 12 October, it was time for the members to start their journey back to Hong Kong. Instead of travelling back the same way, a different route was chosen with an overnight stop in Zhuzhou, the second largest city in Hunan Province. Early on Friday afternoon, the members reached Qingyuan and the Shenzhen Bay border crossing to return to Hong Kong.

Over the years, the Porsche Club Hong Kong has offered its members many highlights. In 2023, another one will be added: an unforgettable drive at the highest level – in the truest sense of the word.