Check Out This Cool New Way to Travel from China to Russia

By Jesse Pottinger, August 1, 2019

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As the late great Anthony Bourdain once said, when it comes to travel, “the journey is part of the experience.” Indeed, some of the wildest sights and adventures take place on the unpredictable road from point A to point B.

For those looking to travel between China and Russia, that journey has the potential to be a lot more interesting in the future, with the announcement of an upcoming cross-border cable car – the first of its kind in the world!

According to CNN, the new cable car will operate between Heihe in Heilongjiang province and Blagoveshchensk on the Russian side, crossing the Amur River and offering a unique vantage point for passengers to view the surrounding cities and landscape.

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Image via @孚思厅/Weibo

Designed by Dutch firm UNStudios, it will take three and a half minutes to make the crossing, with the journey’s total duration lasting about seven and a half minutes. Cars will depart from both sides every 15 minutes.

As many as 60 passengers will fit in each cabin, with extra storage space provided for luggage, of course. 

The terminal in Blagoveschensk will feature multiple levels, incorporating a sky garden, restaurants, green spaces and terraces, as well as a heightened platform offering stunning views of the Amur River.

“Cable car systems provide a new form of public transport that is sustainable, extremely fast, reliable and efficient. Although primarily a pragmatic solution, cable cars are also a very congenial way to travel as they enable us to see and experience our cities in a whole new way,” said Ben Van Berkel, the founder and head architect of UNStudios, to CNN.

The project is backed by Russian urban-planning consultancy Strelka KB. The company selected UNStudios to lead the project after the firm won a competition for designing the cable car.

While UNStudios is responsible for both the cable car and the Russian terminal design, the architect for China’s portion of the project is yet to be announced, according to The Architects Newspaper.

Work is already in motion for the ambitious transportation system, with construction set to begin in 2020.

So, take note for future Dongbei-Russia excursions: Forget cramming onto uncomfortable flights or driving through congested border checkpoints – you could be soaking up picturesque northern scenery during your next venture into Russia’s far east.

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[Cover image via @谷德设计网gooood/Weibo]

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