Guoliang Tunnel Road in China
Deep in the Taihang mountains in China is the Guoliang Tunnel. It took 13 villagers 5 years to carve the 1200m-long tunnel through the mountains to connect their isolated village with the outside world. The tunnel was chiselled out with hammers and steel tools. The walls of the tunnel are unstable and with many twists and blind corners, one could easily drive over the edge into a seemingly never-ending drop. It is not surprising, then, that some of the villagers
lost their lives trying to build this road.
The M56 Lena Highway in Russia is a truely dangerous road. Despite being a federal highway, it is just a dirt track, that during heavy rains in the summer,turns to impassable mud that can swallow small vehicles whole. The highway gets its name from the nearby Lena river, which feezes over in the winter and drivers can actually drive over the frozen river to reach the city of Yakutsk. The highway is famous for its lawlessness, as trucks get stuck in the mud and become victim to people breaking into them in search of food and warmth.
Bolivia’s Road of Death
This road, like the Lena Highway, is the only connection between many isolated villages in Bolivia. As such, people are forced to navigate this treacherous road that has claimed many lives. It is estimated that 200-300 people a year die on this road and it is littered with crosses showing the places where travellers have lost their lives. Its sheer cliffs, lack of guardrails and its single-lane width, combined with loose rocks and common fog have rightly earned this road as “the world’s most dangerous road” in 1995.
The Halsema Highway
This road offers a beautiful view along its 100km stretch from Baguio to Sagada in the Phillipines. However, with many twists and turns through the mountains it can become a very dangerous journey. It is the highest highway in the Phillipines and the sides of the mountains are liable to landslides and include many ravines and narrow paths, making this journey truely dangerous.
The Skippers Canyon Road
This narrow road snakes its way through Skipper’s Canyon in New Zealand and features vertical drops down to the Shotover River. The 17km-long road has many dangerous bends, and one slip could mean certain death. With the increase of traffic due to technology and tourism, this road has to be maintained regularly to ensure driver safety. Nevertheless, rental car companies don’t allow customers to travel on the road due to its dangerousness.
Highway of Death
This road linking Kuwait to Basra, Iraq was the site where many Iraqi military personnel and civilians were killed by American aircraft. This road has become one of the most famous images of the Gulf War, as both sides are littered with debris and hundreds of vehicles that were destroyed in the attacks. Officially known as Highway 80, its moniker serves as a startling reminder as to how dangerous some roads can be, especially in war-torn areas such as Iraq.