China Uncensored: 10 Most Dangerous Roads in China

April 11, 2016 2:02 pm Last Updated: May 26, 2017 7:07 pm

China has a lot of really unsafe highways. And I’m not talking about all the bridges that collapse from poor quality construction and lax safety standards. Like this one, which collapsed in 2011 because a large truck drove on it.

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I’m talking about roads that were practically designed to be unsafe. Because safety standards are really just suggestions, right? So here are the 10 most dangerous roads in China.

 

Number 10 The Qinglong Road

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This road is called the 24 Bends. Can you guess why? The steep grade and sharp turn make it extremely dangerous.

 

Number 9 Old Kunyi Road

Well, if 24 bends sounded scary, check out Old Kunyi Road. It has 68 bends in just over 4 miles.

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Number 8 Tianmen Mountain Road

Want to get to that “stairway to heaven”? Then you’ll have to drive up this road. With 99 bends a drop of over 3,500 feet, you’ll be getting to heaven—one way or the other.

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Number 7 Friendship Highway

This is the road that connects China with its BFF, Pakistan. This 800-mile road took 20 years to build, and more than 1,000 workers died during construction. The border point, Khunjerab Pass, is nearly 3 miles above sea level. So if you don’t get sick from the altitude, watch out for: Mudslides. Landslides. Giant pot holes. Flash floods… And Chinese border police.

To go with story 'Pakistan-China-economy-transport, FEATURE' by Guillaume LAVALLÉE In this photograph taken on September 29, 2015, Chinese nationals arrive at the Pak-China Khunjerab Pass, the world's highest paved border crossing at 4,600 metres above sea level.  A glossy highway and hundreds of lorries transporting Chinese workers by the thousands: the new Silk Road is under construction in northern Pakistan, but locals living on the border are yet to be convinced they will receive more from it than dust.    AFP PHOTO / Aamir QURESHI        (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

 

Number 6 The Beijing to Hong Kong Expressway

Now you might have heard of this from the massive 50 lane traffic jams that happen routinely around Chinese New Year.

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But a part of it running through northern Guangdong, the Beijing-Zhuhai expressway, has been given the comforting nickname “Vehicle Killer.” It’s famous for accidents—because overloaded trucks, steep mountainous roads, and extreme winter cold apparently don’t mix.

 

Number 5 Badaling Expressway Valley of Death

Yae, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil. Except for the Badaling Expressway Valley of Death.

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It takes you from Beijing to the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. But when you see this sign, you know you’ve reached the Valley of Death. I mean, it says it’s a black spot, doesn’t it?

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It’s a little steep.

 

Number 4 Taike Road

But nothing can compare to what’s expected of you on Taike Road.

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Accidents happen nearly every week. So why would you drive here?

Number 3 The 213 National Highway

This highway connects Gansu and Yunnan provinces. It’s got everything. Windy roads, steep cliffs, landslides, and it sometimes simply gets washed out by the river.

 

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Number 2 The Sichuan-Tibet Highway

Well, maybe calling this a road is giving it too much credit.

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Not only is this one of the longest roads in China—15 days to drive the whole length—but it’s also considered one of the most dangerous. You know, steep cliffs and landslides. Of course, maybe this is intentional, to discourage people from visiting Tibet. Or to keep Tibetans in.

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And Finally Number 1 The Guoliang Tunnel

The village of Guoliang in central China used to be so isolated that the only way in or out was this staircase.

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So in the 1970s, they decided to build a slightly less dangerous path. 13 villagers literally dug this tunnel by hand. One died during construction. It’s now become a tourist attraction—for those brave enough to drive it. And it’s become a testament to the ability of Chinese people to make impossible things possible.

 guoliang tunnel

So what do you think? And if you’ve been to China—slash live there now and are illegally using a VPN to watch my show—what’s your most dangerous Chinese road experience? Leave your comments below.