Known as one of the 10 most dangerous roads in the world, to go up and down the mountain, the people of this village can only go on a single road built on an extremely steep and dangerous cliff with 720 ladder steps.
Deep in the scenic area of the Taihang Mountains in Henan Province (China), there is a place known as one of the isolated villages, completely separated from the outside world, called Guoliang.
According to the blog Anna Loves Travel, because of its geographical location and difficult terrain, Guoliang village faces many difficulties both economically and in the daily life of the people.
It is known that to go up and down the mountain, villagers can only go on a steep Tianla road, built on an extremely steep, dangerous, and inconvenient cliff with 720 steps. People here can only leave the village when they want to buy necessary necessities, and outsiders very rarely want to go inside to visit or explore.
Even if someone is sick and needs to go to the hospital for treatment, they will need up to 8 stretcher bearers to bring the sick person down the mountain via the cliff road. After going down the mountain, it will take people up to 4 more hours to get to the nearest hospital.
In particular, at that time, the Chinese government also announced that it would not invest any money just for the village to use. The life of Guoliang village is almost completely ruined, even at the risk of being forgotten, becoming a “ghost village” with no people living.
To break the difficult situation, in 1971, the village council decided to raise capital and buy tools to carve a tunnel through the mountain personally to connect the lives of the Guoliang people to the outside world.
Without any experience in construction and harsh conditions lacking electricity and necessary machinery, the 13 strongest men of this village only used rudimentary tools such as hemp rope. Rough people are hung on cliffs to lower themselves to chisel each block of rock with hammers and nails. During stormy days, it took them up to 3 days to complete a few meters of the tunnel.
After 5 years, in 1977, the 1,250m long, 5m high, 4m wide tunnel was finally completed. Accordingly, the Guoliang village that was once in danger of being forgotten has completely transformed. Now, the road going inside has enough room for two cars to pass each other.
As one of the places that attracts a large number of tourists, the revenue reaches nearly 20 million USD/year. According to the descriptions of tourists on the Tammizhi site, the entire tunnel has a total of 30 windows. In addition to absorbing natural light into the tunnel, it also gives visitors magnificent views. The mountains are towering, layer by layer, like a watercolor painting.
Occasionally, cars are passing by, creating a beautiful picture with tunnels, windows, and sunlight.
Coming out of the Guoliang tunnel, there is Guoliang village. Under the blue sky, you can see the village surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque scenery. After the tunnel opened, Guoliang village was favored by television producers and directors, “choosing to send gold” thanks to its unique scenery and ancient village, so it was also known as “The Village of Film and Television”. China’s No. 1 TV”.
There are many Airbnbs, hostels, and restaurants around the village, as well as some small food stalls. The houses here are all brand new, and there are also some new buildings under construction with a more modern feel. According to the disclosure of the Guoliang village chief, revenue from ticket sales here reached 17 million USD in 2018.
From poor farmers living in poverty, they have now become wealthy people. They even become businessmen, big business owners, and owners of hotels and tourist resorts in Ha Nam province.