Been-Seen logo

articles

Another Death Road

Guoliang Tunnel.........................(4486.jpg)

If you read the Been-Seen article on El Camino de la Muerte in Bolivia, you might be excited to hear about one of the world's other most dangerous thoroughfares. This one is Guoliang Road, and it burrows its way through a chunk of the Taihang Mountains in Hunan Province, China.

Guoliang Tunnel.........................(4499.jpg)

In 1972, villagers from the very remote Guoliang village decided to cut a road to the rest of the world. Up until then visitors to their village could only access it using a dangerous ladder dangling off a sheer cliff. It took 13 of them about five years to cut the 1,200 meter (approximately one mile) tunnel out of the bare rock face, though some of them lost their lives in the process.

Guoliang Tunnel.........................(4485.jpg)

They billed it as 'the road that doesn't tolerate any mistakes', and opened for traffic in 1977. And visitors started to come, some to see the beautiful stone village, others to test out the viability of the 12m-wide road and its hairpin bends.

Guoliang Tunnel.........................(4483.jpg)

Here's one visitor's description of the tunnel: 'We found ourselves in extremely gorgeous surroundings – against the blue sky, with a path frighteningly narrow, and the cliffs piercing the sky… The golden sun shone upon the ground and through the air vents in the rocky wall of the tunnel. We were sometimes in the dark and sometimes in the light. I was deeply moved and even wanted to cry, for the sacred Guoliang Tunnel and for what the villagers have done – to triumph over nature.' RM

Back to articles

  • Julia Dimon

    July 20, 2010

    Wow, this place looks amazing. Scary, but amazing. Next time I’m in China I’ll definitely have to check it out.

    If you have a moment, please look at my own travel blog, at http://www.traveljunkiejulia.com. I have done extensive traveling, (I’ve traveled around the world four times, across over 80 countries, and through six continents!) and think I can offer some advice on adventures in all corners of the world!

  • xing

    January 10, 2009

    amazing, I was there before, those cliff are really scaring. spectacular vision!

  • Roshan

    January 3, 2009

    You mean some people DON’T survive – and they STILL offer tours???

  • Rich Johnson

    January 3, 2009

    I have seen articles on this road before. Believe it or not there are tour guides that promote bicycle trips down it. It’s quirte a ride for those that survive.
    Johnson Team Real Estate Bellingham Blog

Any comments?