Located in the Taihang Mountains, this amazing tunnel was built by a handful of local villagers nearly half a century ago to provide the access to the isolated village of Guoliang.
Previously there was only a path known as the “Sky Ladder” with over 700 steep steps and no handrail. But local authorities refused to provide funds to build a road as only about 350 people lived in Guoliang at the time.
So 13 brave farmers used hand tools, and explosives to carve a tunnel into the sheer cliffs, and unfortunately several men died during construction. But the team persisted, getting through about 12 tons of drill rods, and around 4,000 hammers.
The passageway was officially opened in 1977. It’s about 0.8 miles long, over 16 feet high, and 13 feet wide, allowing just enough room for two vehicles to pass.
There are over 30 “windows” of different shapes and sizes overlooking the gully that were used by the builders to remove rubble from the tunnel, but now allow light into it.
The road is one of the top 10 steepest roads in the world, and is also known as ‘the road that does not tolerate any mistakes.’
Guoliang ended up becoming a tourist destination because the tunnel attracts so many visitors, and there are now several hotels there.
The success of the project inspired two other tunnels to be hewn by hand for accessing other nearby clifftop villages in remote Henan Province—the Xiyagou and Kunshan tunnels.
Research by Ming Yue
Looking down the valley at the hairpin road. (Image: 360doc.com)
The tunnel road viewed from the village of Liaoning. (Image: 360doc.com)
Tourist buses make their way through the tunnel. (Image: 360doc.com)
Looking down the valley. (Image: 360doc.com)
The entrance down to the tunnel. (Image: 360doc.com)
13 farmers took 5 years to carve the tunnel by hand. (Image: 360doc.com)
Looking out through one of the larger “windows” which were originally used to dispose of rubble. (Image: 360doc.com)
The view of Guoliang from a tunnel “window.” (Image: 360doc.com)
And this is what it looks like to actually drive through the tunnel. Hopefully there aren’t too many crazy motorists who overtake like that!
Read more about The Guoliang Tunnel: One of the World’s Scariest Roads (Pics + Videos)