China's Guoliang Tunnel
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The Guoliang Tunnel
(aka the Guoliangcun Tunnel)

Written by Rick Archer
SSQQ Dance Studio, Houston, Texas

First Published: January 2007
Last Update: October 2009

FORWARD

Rick Archer's Note: Here on my website, I have told the stories of two extraordinary places in China - the precarious Guoliang Tunnel (aka the Guoliangcun Tunnel) and the perilous Mt Huashan tourist hiking trail.   By the way, Guoliang is also known as Guoliangcun.  In Chinese, "cun" means "Village", i.e. Guoliangcun is the Village of Guoliang. 

I first learned of these places in an email sent to me by Milt Oglesby in December 2006.  The email was titled "Road of Death".  That was one time when the hype did not surpass the reality.  That truly scary road turned out to be located in Bolivia and it turned out to be a real life killer.

The original email contained 23 pictures. The more I looked at the pictures, the more confused I got.  Some of the pictures did not look like they belonged together. After visiting the Internet to learn more about the "Road of Death", I realized the "Road of Death" email had 15 authentic pictures of the frightening narrow road running along the side of a vast cliff (Bolivian Road of Death), but it also had 8 pictures did not match the others.  Curious, I started to nose around the Internet.

While I researched the dangerous road in Bolivia, I realized there had been a mistake.  Someone had incorrectly mixed in 8 pictures of a little-known location in China called the "Guoliang Tunnel" along with 15 correct pictures of the Bolivian road. I suppose someone mixed them together to make the truly dangerous Bolivian road seem even more scary!  I smiled.  If you have seen the
Bolivian pictures you will understand that the Road of Death doesn't require any help making it look dangerous!

I wasn't the only one who was confused.  Back in 2006-2007, this email was so sensational that it was forwarded all over the world. Understandably, lots of people picked up on the discrepancy.  This mistake caused a huge Internet flurry as people identified a hoax in the making.  At the time, even Wikipedia Encyclopedia had a comment on the confusion. 
Read some of the comments I ran across.

COMMENTS REGARDING THE 2006 ROAD OF DEATH EMAIL

bullet"I see that someone has taken these tunnel pictures and totally mislabeled them.
They are showing up on many sites as "
Stremnaya Road", the "Road Of Death" situated in Bolivia. I believe this tunnel carved out of the mountain side exists somewhere in China.
bullet There is definitely a road in Bolivia called the "road of death", but it isn't called "Stremnaya". 
I don't where they came up with that name. The correct name is
"Yungas Road"... it gets its 'road of death' nickname because of the high number of fatalities on it each year.
 
bullet But its appearance isn't anywhere close to this beauty that appears to be in China.
 
bullet I have tried to find out more information about this road in China and the closest pictures I can find that resemble this terrain is the Leshan Giant Bhudda. Does anyone have any more information about this place?   Thanks. Rob"
 

10-09-2006, 02:22 PM
Trantor
Registered User Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,519

"It was me who posted it as 'Stremnaya Road, Bolivia'.  All I did was copy the email. The thread is still on first page. I received the pics labeled as that.  But in the thread I already admitted some of the pics could be elsewhere, but all my google searches labeled it as being really in Bolivia, sites in english, german, etc. 

This may just prove that hoax emails travel faster than light or even tachyons!"


#11 12-24-2006, 05:57 AM
Longstreets
Registered User Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Alberta,Canada

"WooHoo !.................mystery solved!

The mystery pictures of the Yungas Road in Bolivia were actually from the
Guoliang Tunnel Road in Hunan Province, China."

THE MISTAKE I DIDN'T CATCH

Rick Archer's Note: In the space of just three emails above, there were three big mistakes. 

Mistake One was mixing the Bolivian pictures in with the Chinese pictures.  That one was easy to catch.

The second mistake was identifying the dangerous road in Bolivia as "Stremnaya" when the accurate name was indeed "Yungas". 

These "Road of Death" mistakes in the original email actually worked to my advantage.  I was really curious about the mystery of the mixed-up pictures.  While I was researching the email containing the mislabeled pictures back in January 2007, not only was I able to discover the great story of China's Guoliang Tunnel, but I also ran across the incredible story of the
Siberian Highway of Mud.  

Unfortunately I didn't catch the third mistake.  The Guoliang Tunnel was actually located in the Henan Province of China, not the Hunan Province

The source of my original mistake is obvious.  Back in 2007, I took a statement I read on the Internet and accepted it as fact.  Read for yourself.

The mystery pictures of the Yungas Road in Bolivia were actually from the Guoliang Tunnel Road in Hunan Province, China."

On October 12, 2009, I received an email from a Korean gentleman named Suhan that pointed our my error.  Once I checked, to my embarrassment, I discovered Suhan was right and I was wrong.  Uh oh.

Here is the letter from Suhan:


From: Suhan
Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 1:18 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: Regarding the Guoliang Tunnel

Hello Mr. Archer,

I've read your site with great interest as I wanted to travel to Mt. HuaShan. It's definitely a great mountain, and after my travels, I can attest that it's not as dangerous as your main article suggests. But I'm sure you've already received a lot of correspondence regarding the mountain.

I'm actually emailing you about some inconsistencies regarding your article about Guoliang Tunnel.

I'm a Korean studying Mandarin in Beijing, and was looking for other sites to travel to in China. Of course, I wanted to check out Guoliang tunnel, but wasn't able to find it. It turns out that the tunnel is actually in Henan (??) Province, which is a different province from Hunan (??) as mentioned in your article. Hunan is more famous for being the province that Mao Zedong was born in.

According to Lonely Planet, the tunnel was built by a local man called Shen Mingxin and others, before which the only way into the village was via the "Sky Ladder" - Tian Ti (??). Both are attached to the "Precipe Gallery" - Juebi Changlang (????). You can verify the information by looking at p.469 of the 11th Edition of Lonely Planet China. (Different versions should have different page numbers, but look for Guoliangcun). The village apparently became famous after a few movies were filmed there.

Also, your map that shows the location of Guoliangcun is totally wrong too.  I know this won't be a high priority for you, but it would be great if you took the time to correct these inaccuracies when possible. It would be so kind if you could identify the exact location on a map.

I hope your dance studio is doing well in this bad economy. I also definitely hope that you visit China some day. It's a beautiful country with some amazing scenery.

Regards, Suhan
 

Rick Archer's Note: Suhan was indeed correct.  I have now changed the original map. Please note the new (and correct) location.

ORIGINAL INCORRECT MAP (2007)

 

UPDATED  CORRECT MAP (2009)

 
   

THE STORY OF THE GUOLIANG TUNNEL

  Can you see the steps? 
Notice the distance to the valley below!

   

Guoliang Tunnel

(Rick Archer's Note: I have never been to China.  I have based this report on stories I have culled from the Internet. If you have been there and read any inaccuracies, by all means contact me at dance@ssqq.com  Thanks!)

The Guoliang Tunnel is located in the Taihang Mountains of China.  The little village of Guoliang is situated in the northwest corner of the Henan Province.

There is an interesting story about this tunnel that makes it pretty special.  Before 1972, access to the nearby Guoliang village was limited to a very difficult path carved into the mountainside.  Apparently the village is way way up on a mountain.  The only way to reach it was to travel through valley surrounded by towering mountains, then climb the Sky Ladder.

"The community is approximately 300 people.  It was unreachable to the outside world until a road was blasted into the cliff side.  The village sits atop the cliffs and provides views of the surrounding area.  There are many places to walk and explore in the village and surrounding area."

Guoliang was basically cut off from civilization.  For one thing, it was extremely difficult to bring supplies in and out of the village.  Communication was another problem - there were no telephones.  Furthermore, there is a possibility there was no electricity either.  Cut off from the world, the village was little better than a medieval hamlet.

The picture on the left shows the steps used to climb from the valley to the village high above.  Having been to the State of Colorado here in the USA, I know that most mountain roads and railroads take the path of least resistance alongside rivers that cut a path through the mountains.  I am guessing that back in the Seventies there was a serviceable road that went through the valley down below in the Taihang Mountains.  However, there was absolutely no way a road could be constructed from the valley to the top using conventional methods unless the Chinese government was willing to blast a road out of a sheer cliff... which it wasn't.  The village seemed doomed to live in the Land that Time Forgot.
 
1972, a group of desperate villagers decided to take matters into their own hands - they would carve a modern road right into the side of the mountain all by themselves! 
Shen Mingxin was the head of the village at the time.  He insisted that the villagers needed to embrace this project as a way to connect to the vast world beyond.

So
the villagers sold goats and herbs to buy hammers and steel tools (and maybe some explosives?). Thirteen strong villagers began the project. It took them six years to finish the 1,200-meter tunnel (a little less than a mile).  The tunnel is basically a one-way road which is about 5 meters high (15 ft) and 4 meters (12 ft) wide.  It is wide enough for two vehicles to pass.

Not only was the project arduous, it was also dangerous.  Some of the villagers died in accidents during construction.  Undaunted, the others continued. 

On May 1, 1977, the tunnel was opened to traffic.  For the first time, cars could now reach the village.

Here in Guoliang, you can see areas where they created an open air ledge.  Think how difficult it would be to blast a complete ledge out of the side of this sheer mountain.  The tunnel is actually a pretty clever idea.  By creating a tunnel, they didn't have to blow away half the mountainside to create a continuous ledge. There are more than 30 windows.  The men carved the windows mainly as a way to push the rubble out.

When I first wrote this story back in 2007, very little information was available about the events of the Seventies.  Think about it for a moment.  Can you imagine carving a mile-long tunnel out of hard rock using only hand tools?  Surely they used explosives, but did they have training?   This might explain why there were fatalities during the construction.

When I wrote my 2009 update on Guoliang, I noticed there is now quite a bit of new information on the Internet about this village.  Thanks to Westerners who have visited and posted blogs of their journey, this place is almost famous now! 

If anyone has more information on the creation of the tunnel and would like to share it, please email
dance@ssqq.com and share.  Thanks!  Rick Archer

By the way, in addition to Guoliang, there are two other nearby mountain tunnels. 

Xiyagou pictured on the left lies 5 miles due south of Guoliang.

Kunshan pictured on the right lies 2 miles to the southwest of Guoliang. It is within walking distance of Guoliang.

For the complete 2011 story of these two tunnels, click here:
Kunshan Xiyagou

 

Video of the Gouliang Tunnel

From: david goorney
Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2010 10:35 AM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: GUOLIANG tunnel China

Hi there, enjoyed reading your web page on the Guoliang tunnel in China, thought you might like to see this video I made of the famous tunnel.

Hope you enjoy.  David Goorney

Guoliang Tunnel Video

 


CIVILIZATION VISITS THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT

Here is a writeup from a Chinese Tourism Website: 

Turning to the north, we now come to the Taihang Mountains in Huixian County. The local government has explored several scenic spots to develop tourism, among which the most attractive were Guoliang Cave with its red mountains (exposed red shale).

Local villagers cut a tunnel road through the mountain and named it Guoliang Cave.  Before the construction of the tunnel, Guoliang Village was almost cut off from its surrounding towns and villages. A dangerous ladder on the side of a precipitous cliff was the only route in and out of the village.

Today the situation has totally changed. Guoliang Village has become a pearl of Taihang Mountains because of its unique scenery and stone buildings.

As you can see from the Tourism recap, this story has a happy ending.  The villager's incredible gamble paid off in a big way.  Around the year 2000, China began to open its borders to the rest of the world.  The government decided the benefits of tourism outweighed the disruption of having outsiders tromping around the countryside.  When government officials visited this area, they decided the unusual tunnel and the beautiful surroundings made Guoliang a perfect tourist attraction. 

Suddenly the little village that had been once cut off from the world had thousands of visitors from every part of the world!  In fact, as of 2009, there are hotels being built in the village itself to accommodate all the visitors.  The area itself has become a national park of sorts.  There are modern walkways and bridges constructed so people can wander all over the area.

 
   
Mind you, this work was done by 13 untrained villagers who had to trade practically every animal they owned to buy modern tools. 

They had no idea how their gamble would pay off.   For five years, they labored. Nor could they tend to their farms very much while they worked.  In poker terms, this is called "Going All In." 

The villagers literally bet the farm on this project! 

I doubt seriously that Hollywood has ever heard of this place, but I can imagine the story would make for a very interesting movie.  I remember a goofy 1995 Hugh Grant movie The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.  The movie was cute, but kind of lame.

My point is that if someone can make a film like that, then Guoliang's compelling story should be fair game.  The story of Guoliang's tunnel is definitely a tale of bravery, gamble and sacrifice.

 
You have to hand it to the villagers.  The moment they opened their tunnel to vehicles, they quickly came up with a great marketing slogan:

- The Road that does not tolerate any mistakes

At a glance, this road doesn't look anywhere near as dangerous as that monster in Bolivia, but on the other hand, you might notice that open stretch in the side of the mountain.  Maybe there is some danger!

Plus with a road only 12 feet wide, I can't imagine much two-way traffic either.  Maybe it's like rush hour contraflow... one way in the morning for tourists, the other way in the evening.

Personally, I doubt there is any danger unless someone isn't paying attention, but so what?

The story here is the remarkable achievement of a small group of uneducated, impoverished people taking a huge gamble so they could join the world. 

 
I certainly hope those tourists in the picture are keeping a close watch on the traffic. 

One vehicle coming around the corner a little too fast might take them out!

It isn't like they have any place to hide from an oncoming car.  I guess they would have to throw themselves against the side of the rock.

Or maybe they could take their chances and jump off the side.

What do you think?  Good idea?

 

Here is an excerpt from a writeup I found on the Internet:

"We chose to go through the tunnel.  Sitting by the elderly driver I heard the story about how the tunnel was created. Before 1972, the path chiseled into the rock used to be the only access linking the village with the outside world. Then the villagers decided to dig a tunnel through the rocky cliff.

When I was mulling over what the tunnel looked like, the van started a very steep ascent. I looked up and could not move my eyes away - it was so beautiful!

All of us were excited by the vision. We found ourselves in extremely gorgeous surroundings - against the blue sky, with a path frighteningly narrow, and the cliffs piercing the sky.

All of my fellow "donkeys" stopped talking; some were busy taking photos, some were just dumbfounded. The golden sun shone upon the ground and through the air vents in the rocky wall of the tunnel. We were sometimes in the dark and sometimes in the light.

I was deeply moved and even wanted to cry, for the sacred Guoliang Tunnel and for what the villagers have done - to triumph over nature.

In about an hour, the small van slowly took us to the unsophisticated village surrounded by the towering mountains.

The village, more than 1,200 meters above the sea level, seemed as if it had retreated from the world.  The story of Shangri-La crossed my mind.

Everything there was made of stone: the village gate, roads, bridges, houses, tables, stools, bowls and chop sticks.  It is said the village originated from Guo Liang, a peasant army leader who used to fight there in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24).

There are currently about 83 households in the village with 329 people."
 

Keep in mind that the Guoliang Village is on top of the mountain. This tunnel goes upwards to the left as you view this picture.  Here is another look at the open stretch of the tunnel. 

Maybe that slogan about not tolerating any mistakes refers to this part of the road!

Take a look at the rubble below at the bottom of the canyon.  That debris is likely the remnants of the open area where they blasted out a ledge rather than continue the tunnel.

The area is completely barren of foliage.  Most pictures of this same location have lush greenery visible.  This suggests that the picture was taken during the construction of the tunnel.

Another reason the area was barren because it was winter time.  Note that many trees in the picture have no leaves.

 
In this picture, you can make out two vehicles driving on that open stretch.

Too cool.

This picture was likely taken long after the construction was over.

Notice how much vegetation there is compared to the picture above of the same spot which is totally barren. 

 I believe this picture lends support to my guess that the barren pictures were taken during construction.

What is interesting about the picture on the left is to see how narrow the gorge is towards the top. I wonder if there is a bridge up there.

The picture on the right shows how rough the road is. 

In pictures taken down at the bottom of the valley, the roads are smooth and modern.  Since their village was at the top of the cliff, the villagers had to find a way to connect their tunnel to the valley road below.

The narrow stretch in the picture is likely taken towards the top of the tunnel.  It confirms that chiseling and blasting doesn't make for a very smooth surface. 

Both pictures indicate the tunnel isn't wide enough for two vehicles.

Guoliang Tunnel is different from other road tunnels; it is quiet, secluded and mysterious, bright one minute and dim the next, full of twists and turns.

The wall of the tunnel is uneven and there are more than 30 "windows" of different sizes and shapes.

Some windows are round and some are square, and they range from dozens of meters long to standard-window-size.

It is frightening to look down from the windows, where strange rocks hanging above form the sheer cliff and there is a seemingly bottomless pit lying below.

Walking through the twisted tunnel is like walking through a labyrinth as the window light mingles with the shadows inside the tunnel.

And the stroll can be unsettling - you never know when the the sound of a motor might come from behind, sending tourists scrambling desperately in search of a safe place. 

Considering the primitive technology used by the villagers, I hope a trained engineer has taken the time to make sure how safe the tunnel is.

 

Isn't this a great picture?  Maybe there really is two-way traffic.  Those two vehicles look ready for a head-on collision!  

   

Blogs about Guoliang

Rick Archer's Note:  During my 2009 update, I ran across three excellent blogs about Guoliangcun that you might enjoy reading.

Tofudan

Marizanne and the excellent Slide Show

I ran across many other excellent stories as well.  Any Google Search should gather you all the pictures, stories, and information you would ever wish to acquire.

The third blog is a wonderful story written by Darren Crawford who actually visited Guoliang.  Mr. Crawford's story about Guoliang was my favorite. 

I wrote to Mr. Crawford for permission to reprint his fascinating story.  Please note I have placed a link to his original blog as well.  Mr. Crawford deserves a lot of credit for sharing this great story with all of us.

From: Darren Crawford
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 4:30 PM
To: dance@ssqq.com
Subject: Mt Huashan & Guoliang Tunnel

Hi Rick Archer

I got your email and did a Google Search on my name. I came across your web page since you have a link to my blog.

It was interesting reading all the facts about Huashan, Guoliang and Yungas (Bolivia) and its nice to see that my material helped you publish a very helpful article for others.


You are right, when I purposely ventured out to find these three places there was much confusion on the internet, no one seemed to know where they were located. That included half a dozen taxi drivers and bus terminal reps. It took me a long time to track down the information and then a lot of patients to actually find these places (Huashan, Guoliang).   It's nice to see all the info in one place.  Good job, mate!

Thanks for referencing my blog properly, it is much appreciated. I have been finding copies of my stories and photos all over the internet without reference. Still its nice to see people find my blogs interesting.  Maybe I should try publishing some of this stuff myself.

Cheers, Darren

Darren Crawford BSc, MBCS, CITP
Email: Daz_Crawford@Hotmail.com   

Traveling The Most Dangerous Road In China
Written
by Darren Crawford
June 2nd 2008

Guoliangcun was another one of those small towns that was incredibly difficult to find. We left Shaolin in the early hours and got on a local bus to Luoyang and then made our way to the long distance bus station in Dengfang.

At first we struggled to find the long distance bus station, because everyone kept pointing us in different directions. I got the feeling they didn't have a clue what we were asking and they just wanted to get rid of us. Occasionally we would approach people for directions that would give us a confused look and then proceed to run down the road to get away from us! We found this reaction to our presence hysterical!

We eventually found our way and got on a long distance bus for a day’s travel. We made our way to Zengzhou and then caught a connecting bus to Xinxiang. Unfortunately when we arrived in Xinxiang we soon realized that we had missed the last local bus to Guoliangcun. We didn't really want to lose a day in Xinxiang because our China visa is running out, so the negotiations with taxi drivers began.

Those Chinese taxi drivers are a real pain!

On The Road To Guoliangcun

How it looks from inside the roads tunnels in the arse, they try to fleece you blind. We argued with a few before we managed to find a reasonable price (try arguing while using charades - its hysterical). Even then, we had to trust a taxi driver who we had successfully pissed off through harsh negotiations to take us to our destination. We didn't have a clue where we were trying to get to, if he had dumped us at the side of the road we would have been screwed. We drove through some very dodgy towns and yet again I felt an un-nerving feeling in my stomach.

Guoliangcun is a high altitude town nestled away on its cliff-top perch high up in the Wanxian (Ten Thousand Immortals) Mountains in northern Henan. For centuries it has been sheltered from the outside world by a combination of sheer inaccessibility and anonymity. Until recently the only way into and out of the town was via a very dangerous sky ladder up a cliff face high into the mountains (similar to the ones we climbed in Xian). Fortunately it is now connected to the rest of the world by one of the ten most dangerous roads in the world knows

Balancing On The Edge

Hey, its a long way down!  Lucky for us, this was exactly what we had come to see.

As we approached Guoliangcun we immediately set sight on Precipice Long Corridor. Our Taxi driver originally tried to dump us at the bottom of the road and told us to walk, we refused to get out and made him drive us up the dodgy road high up into Guoliangcun.

Precipice Long Corridor is an insane stretch of road carved into the face of a cliff. Its almost like a tunnel, but with large gaps just large enough for a vehicle to lose control and fall thousands of meters. The structure and tunnels within the road don't look very well constructed. One day I can see the entire thing collapsing, especially if there is an earthquake!. There are huge cracks in the tunnels and foundations. Cars whiz up and down the road without a care in the world. Our taxi driver was slightly more careful, he wasn't happy we had made him drive us to the top!

When we arrived in Guoliangcun we stayed in a converted home stay. Things are very basic with mind boggling views of stunning landscapes, cliffs and mountain ranges. 

We wondered around the old town while watching the locals follow a fairly primitive way of life. Whoever came up with the idea of building a town this high up in the mountains must have been either insane or paranoid. Its one hell of a hike. Getting supplies into the town must have been a nightmare!

We spent some time independently hiking high up into the mountains. My memory of China is definitely going to be the million carved steps I have climbed while hiking high into mountain ranges. I think I will need some new knees when i return home to the UK. We were told there was only 4 other foreigners in town. I guess not to many foreigners make it out this far. Its always a nice feeling to get off the beaten track.

By the time we arrived at Xinxian we were exhausted and really didn't fancy the prospect of getting on a motortaxi to get to a bus stop to take a bus to get to another bus stop where we could catch a bus to a town where we could pick up a mini bus which would take us to the bottom of a 3k hike to the place we wanted to go. When a taxi driver offered to take us there for about £12 we just said ok and slept in the back of his cab for the 2 and a half hour journey. The only thing I really remember about that journey wasd when the driver didn't fancy paying to use a toll road he bought a packet of fags and gave it to a farmer to let him cut across his field. Which was pretty funny I thought.

A Beautiful girl

We got to Guoliang at about midday and had to go and take a quick nap in our newly built hotel.

I'll give you a little history about this beautiful cliff top town. There are around 300 residents and until 1976 it was virtually inaccessible. In 1976 however 12 “brave” men hollowed out a road in the side of the cliffs creating a safe passage way up to the town so tourists and film crews alike to get up there. It was a stunningly beautiful place and one I'd recommend to anyone in that region of China. It is rapidly turning into a big tourist spot for Chinese holiday makers and Westerners alike. We saw 3 other whities in our time up there. It's also a place very popular with young artists. With dozens of them dotted around the tiny village and placed strategically in the most picturesque of positions on the outskirts.

A Waterfall

Words really can't describe the ornate beauty of Guoliang, the pictures don't do it justice either really. All that can be said is it was amazing. By 10 every night it's bed time simply because there are so few lights in the place.

The next morning we woke up nice and early to the delightful stench of poo. I think it's just something to do with the Chinese drainage systems every where or perhaps they just like piling their poo near the foreigners.

After overcoming the smells of the bedroom we went and bought some snacks for the day ahead, we were going on a walk around all the hotspots of Guoliang, and we had to hurry to beat the throngs of Chinese tourists who would be dithering and shouting at each other ahead of us. We failed for the first attractions, which wasn't that attractive really and went on ahead of them all to really enjoy a beautifully scenic walk, up cliffs, through caves (which may I add we not safe in anyway whatsoever) and past fresh springs.

Which I would like to point out now were not so fresh after my little visit. Along the way we had a number of requests to have photos taken with us. One woman with a very interesting set of teeth took a particular shine to Sarah and even picked a flower for her. Because Sarah is as beautiful as a flower.

After our long walk we ate some lunch and I taught Sarah how to skim stones, for a few hours, she managed to miss my greatest ever skim when recording in completely the wrong direction. Never mid though.

We decided to leave the next day, while we were waiting for our transport though we took it upon ourselves to put some decent stepping stones in to aid a young artist with crossing a small ford. Before long it was being used by everyone, it was kinda like a bridge over troubled water you could say. You wouldn't say it, but you could.

Story by Darren Crawford

Where in the World is Guoliang Located?

Rick Archer's Note:  I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful story about Guoliang Village and its amazing Tunnel. 

Are you curious to know where it is located?


In October 2009, I realized I had made a serious mistake when I said Guoliang was in Hunan Province as opposed to Henan Province nearby.

I was now determined to find the accurate location to atone for my original error.  Unfortunately, I could not find a detailed map of small villages in China to save my soul.  You have no idea how lost I got!  I wandered around the Internet for three entire days trying to solve this mystery. However, during my wanderings, I learned all sorts of amazing things (including the existence of another tunnel just like this one!)

If you liked this first story about Guoliang, I am certain you will also enjoy the follow-up tale.  I invite you to read: 
THE SEARCH FOR GUOLIANG

   
THE STORY OF GUOLIANG THE SEARCH FOR GUOLIANG GUOLIANG MAPS

Another great story about China:  The Death-Defying Mt Huashan Hiking Trail

Danger Home  Russian Highway from Hell Bolivian Highway of Death  Guoliang Tunnel
El Camino del Rey Mt Huashan Hiking Trail Mt Huashan Letters Search for Guoliang
   

Taroko National Park in Taiwan

Rick Archer's Note:  The pictures below are from Taroko National Park in Taiwan.  I found them on another web site listed as "Guoliang".  However in March 2010, Ben from California emailed me to point out they are actually photographs of a tunnel in Taroko.

I regret the mistake. 
 

In these pictures, you can see how the road followed the path of the river flowing through the valley.

 

Rick Archer's Note:

Oops!  When I found the two pictures on the left on the Internet, they were listed as "Guoliang". 

However, a reader named Ben suggested these pictures are not of Guoliang but rather Taroko.  I think the reader is correct, by the way.

Let's add Taroko to our lists of interesting places on the far side of the world to check out!

File:Taroko national park Taiwan 1.jpg

This picture is DEFINITELY from
Taroko National Park

in Taiwan.
it sure looks like the same place
as the two pictures on the left.

     

 

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