China's most inconvenient convenience store

By Phuc Trinh   October 9, 2023 | 08:22 pm PT
Nestled within the picturesque Shiniuzhai scenic area in Hunan province is a convenience store unlike any other, perched 120 meters high on a sheer cliff face, earning its reputation as the "world's most inconvenient" convenience store.

In the heart of Shiniuzhai National Geological Park, Hunan Province, China, this unconventional convenience store is a humble wooden hut with seating capacity for just a single person, as reported by Chinese state media outlet CCTV.

To reach the store, climbers must ascend a network of iron steps affixed to the steep cliff, using fixed cables for support.

Originally, this hut was a resting spot for climbers.

Several years ago, the hut was transformed into a convenience store offering free water to hikers who bring containers. Additionally, it sells snacks, soft drinks, and juices at reasonable prices. A bottle of water costs a mere 2 yuan (30 cents), Insider reported.

During peak times, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, large numbers of tourists flock to this mountainous region, relying on this store to replenish their water supplies. Store employees often hike up early in the morning to restock the store.

In a CCTV interview, a store worker shared, "While the store doesn't generate substantial profits, climbers express their gratitude for the service we provide. This validates the meaningfulness of our work."

Inside the convenience store. Video courtesy of YouTube/CNS

Initially, employees of the store experienced trepidation when they had to climb to a daunting 120-meter height for work. Over time, they grew accustomed to and even came to cherish their unconventional role.

The sole challenge remains the absence of restroom facilities. To address this issue, employees must descend on a rope to access a bathroom. This process is laborious and time-consuming, so they opt to limit their water intake.

Although the convenience store was established in 2018, it wasn't until 2022 that it gained widespread attention among tourists. A video showcasing the store went viral on social media, accumulating over 50 million views within days.

Shiniuzhai National Geological Park is renowned for its dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and scenic trails, making it a must-visit tourist destination.

Furthermore, Hunan boasts numerous other captivating landscapes, including the historic Fenghuang Ancient Town, as well as Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie scenic areas and Tianmen Mountain.

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