China’s Taihang Mountains are home to one of the most amazing sights in the country. The Guoliang Tunnel Road has an amazing history and has become one of the hottest tourist spots in China. Countless visitors flock every year to see this amazing feat of amateur engineering and enjoy the hospitality of the local village that was the catalyst for the construction of this thrilling and scenic road.
The History Of The Guoliang Tunnel Road
The village of Guoliang was almost completely cut off from the rest of China, being able to be reached only by a very steep stairway dug into the side of the 1700 metre high cliff. In the 1970s, the Chinese government refused to invest the resources into giving the village a connecting road as it would only serve around 300 villagers and was considered not to be worth the money. Undeterred, the local people decided to construct their own road and, despite having no skills, experience or engineering knowledge, they managed over the next five years to create a spectacular mountain road, extending 1200 metres through the mountain. The road is even wide enough to accommodate two vehicles side by side and is 5 metres high. The Guoliang Tunnel road was finally opened in 1977, despite having seen the deaths of several of the villagers due to accidents with explosives used in the tunnelling. When China became a popular tourist destination, news of the Guoliang Tunnel Road spread and people from all over the world now arrive every day to marvel at the wonder of the dedicated people who gave their heart and souls, and sometimes even their lives to building this amazing construction.
What Is There To See?
Because the tunnel road has become so famous, the area has begun to cater for tourists, providing walkways and bridges to enable tourists to see the stunning hand-carved tunnel for themselves easily. Although there is a fee to enjoy the tunnel road itself, the scenery in this area of China is also beautiful and is perfect for those who enjoy hiking so you can still enjoy spectacular mountain views in the region completely free of charge. The village itself is well worth exploring for its novelty factor – everything is crafted from stone including eating utensils and furniture. The area is now commonly used as a TV and movie set location and many of the villagers have been extras in countless films!
Where Is There To Stay And How To Get There?
The local village of Guoliang has a few hotels dedicated to serving the needs of tourists, however the local people often provide food and accommodation to visitors. It can be tricky to get to Guoliang because of its remote location, a hire car is the best option, but don’t forget to take out hire car excess cover. There is a local bus service, however it is very slow, taking two hours.
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Image credits (Creative Common) by order: FANG Chen, zachho (x2)