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Link - by Avi Abrams

1. Magnificient Guoliang Tunnel Road in China
- Road that does not tolerate any mistakes

In our popular post about "Top 5 Most Dangerous Roads in the World" we mentioned a few roads that imperil the lives of motorists, or just make it really miserable for them. The following roads did not quite make the list, but they continued to pop up in conversations around the world. These roads may not be "deadly" as such, but certainly require a keen concentration on driving, as the overbearing rock walls in many of them are not known to be a forgiving substance.

(images via 1, 2)

The road shown here is the Guoliang Tunnel in Taihang mountains (China). It has been built by villagers themselves, which is an inspiring story in itself:

"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 1,200-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."

(images via 1, 2)

The wall of the tunnel is uneven and there are more than 30 "windows" of different sizes and shapes. Some windows are round and some are square, and they range from dozens of metres long to standard-window-size. It is frightening to look down from the windows, where strange rocks hanging form the sheer cliff above and a seemingly bottomless pit lying below. A village, opposite the tunnel, appears to hang on the precipice.

(images via)

Source: Link (this blog possibly first solved the mystery on the location of some popular photos). Also more photos are here

Taroko Gorge Road in Taiwan (Chungheng)

Another one of quite unforgiving roads, consisting of tunnels carved in the mountain rock:

(images via)

Pasubio (Vicenza), Northern Italy

This is an ancient road, converted to a hiking trail. Mountain bikers love it for the spectacular views, cool tunnels and hair-raising precipices... Some cars (presumably small italian kind) climb the hairpins to service the guesthouse built there.

(images via)


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Anonymous waffleman said...

Good place for a motorbike ride.

Anonymous byhsu said...

I have been to the one in Taiwan. That is a really beautiful place. I remember there was some water falling from the mountain and into one of the tunnels. The views from the mountains were amazing, and there was this temple on top of a cliff. Like Mastercard would say "Priceless"

Anonymous chewy said...

Pretty awesome.

Blogger alessandro said...

The one in Vicenza, Italy is indeed only an hiking trail. No "small italian car"
never ever drove on that. The road for trucks carring supplies for the guesthouse runs on the other side of the mountains, on the former austrian side of the Alps...
A guy from Vicenza

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 15 years old, I travelled on the Taroko Gorge road, on a flat-bed truck, on top of a load of cargo, at about 3:00 am on the night of a full moon. I was both enthralled and petrified. There also used to be some unbelievably scary hiking trails around there -- rickety suspension bridges over impossibly deep gorges, bamboo ladders, etc...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for making this available for people like me :) I would have never known...
I loved the road that the villagers carved out of the mountain - wow!

Makes me want to drop the drudgery I do for a living and get out there...

Anonymous Lucrezia said...

Definitely seen the Vincenza one. It would be impossible to drive on.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

after seeing this road i think the one going to the Amalfi coast is not all that bad , still hair raising don't know if i want to repeat the experience.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you came to south america lately in peru o bolivia

Blogger Alistair said...

The bolivian one is getting more and more famous every year, it has now featured in more than 5 tv programes, from Canada, to US, Uk, to NZ ... we guide mountain bike rides down it regularly, and actually its not that dangerous, but it certainly is spectacular. For more information check us out on www.gravitybolivia.com, I've personally guided more than 500 bike trips down the road!

Anonymous Wild Rye said...

A travel brochure for masochists.

Anonymous alfonso2501 said...

"10 most dangerous roads in the world":

All I have to say is, I've got 10 more things I have to do in life before I die!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try the roads around Huaraz and in particular between Huaraz and Trujillo in nothern Peru. Anything from 3,000-4,500m up and carved through rocks. Awesome but terrifying.

Anonymous Fidel Castrovich said...

Add Israel to that. More specifically Jerusalem. More specifically going through the Arab neighborhoods. Talk about suicidal. No traffic laws, no respect for other road users, and the occasional rock throwing. But that doesn't keep me from getting my fix every morning.

Blogger kablumy said...

just take some small french roads, and it'll do just the same...
no kidding, it's very impressive

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the United States i drove a scary mountain road in 1998. It lead up to a town called Little Detroit in Oregon.

The road was a single lane and you had to meet bigger vehicles at the turnoffs in order to pass by them. It wasn't as bad as most of these since it was mostly paved and was only 20-25 miles long. But the entire way was one side mountain, other side you plummet 400-500 feet with just enough room in the one lane for two compacts to squeeze by.

When we got to the top, my fellow travelers went their separate ways and I had to drive back down alone the next day. it was only at the end that i noticed i had been driving my econoline on a temp spare tire. Not very smart.

Anonymous Darin said...

thank's God I live in a country that having big - big - big highway roads..!!

Blogger ivo said...

i agree with alessandro. the Pasubio road was built ( built? sorry for my terrible english) during the first world war. and I had problem to avoid rocks with my head. ciao

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one in italy we use to call mount ozziano... I don't know if thats what its called. Theres no way cars could make it. Not even the little ones we called chinquechentos. I hiked all the way up to the "tourist shop" at the top, and was exausted as I was only 15 and just started smoking lol. Needless to say I was relieved to find the strait shot service road on the oposite side. Man it was fun throwing boulders down into the clouds and imagining people being crushed below LMAO!!

I still have a chunk of stalagtite I kicked off one of the floors up there.

~Army Brat~

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing astinishing informations, without actually visiting these places u can relish the hair raising experiences of these roads

Blogger catal said...

There are some tunnels like in Italy here in Slovenia. World War 1 front n'stuff.

And also World War 2 resistance tunnels...

Anonymous Graham Clayton said...

You have to be impressed with the determination of the Chinese in #1, to carve that tunnel out of rock with just simple hand tools!


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