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The world’s most dangerous tunnel… (and breathtaking road)

april 10th, 2007

I received today another “friendly” mail with photos of the most dangerous road on the world (i actually received same “powerpoint” presentation last year) – called Stremnaya, located in Bolivia… There is just one “mistake”… its not located in Bolivia, but in China…

The road really looks stunning… carved into the rock, with plenty of tunnels… and of course, i started to look where actually this road is… and it is located in China in Taihang mountains and it is called Guoliang Tunnel road

Guoliang Village was almost cut off from its surrounding towns and villages before the construction of the tunnel. A ladder on a precipitous cliff, also known as the Heavenly Ladder, was the only route in and out of the village.

History behind the road is incredible, as the villagers cut alone the tunnels… “Before 1972, the path chiseled into the rock used to be the only access linking the village with the outside world. Then the villagers decided to dig a tunnel through the rocky cliff. Led by Shen Mingxin, head of the village, they sold goats and herbs to buy hammers and steel tools. Thirteen strong villagers began the project. It took them five years to finish the 1200-metre-long tunnel which is about 5 meters high and 4 meters wide. Some of the villagers even gave their lives to it. On May 1, 1977, the tunnel was opened to traffic.” source

Guoliang Village was almost cut off from its surrounding towns and villages before the construction of the tunnel. A ladder on a precipitous cliff, also known as the Heavenly Ladder, was the only route in and out of the village.

If you are interested where it is located, just click here.

So, what about the most dangerous road in Bolivia? Is there one? Yes, sure there is… its called “El camino de la muerte” or by more pleasant name “Yungas road”. It runs from La Paz to Coroico to Bolivia. In some 70km it plunges down 3600 meters… Its twisty and dangerous, as there is a cliff on one side, and a huge drop of 800m on the other side… In 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank named the La Paz-to-Coroico route “the world’s most dangerous road.” as there are more than 100 deaths per year… Marko has taken excellent photos on this road…

So, until next time… both roads are high on my itinerary… so, maybe my next trip will be to Bolivia or China…

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