Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan
One look at the Hussaini Hanging Bridge should be enough to tell you why this is one of the most dangerous bridges in the world. Hussaini Hanging Bridge is one of many precarious crossings in the remote and rocky region of Upper Hunza in northern Pakistan. The rope bridge hangs over Borit Lake, and looks like it could collapse into the wild waters below at any moment.
The rope bridge is both long and poorly maintained. The decaying planks that form the walkway are few and far between, whilst the cables that keep it all in the air do nothing to inspire confidence.
Strong winds shake the bridge whilst you cross it, adding to its danger. That another decrepit bridge, this one in an even worse state, is strung up alongside just adds to the sense of drama.
Crossing the 399 steps of Hussaini Hanging Bridge is a nerve breaking experience, yet it still attract hundreds of hikers each year looking for an adrenaline rush. Northern Pakistan is an isolated location, high in the mountains and far from assistance. Just bear in mind that should anything go wrong here, no-one is coming to help.
Monkey Bridge, Vietnam
Said to be named after the stooped posture that must be adopted in order to cross safely, Vietnam’s Monkey Bridges are reserved for the agile and courageous.
These traditional crossings span countless streams and gullies and, whilst local people pass across without a second thought, those unfamiliar are advised to exercise extreme caution upon attempting a crossing.
Popular in the Mekong Delta, with its numerous waterways, the typical Monkey Bridge consists of a single bamboo log, laid over the stream or river in question, with a flimsy handrail to cling on to. Yet there are many variations, with some crude bridges made from coconut trees, and handrails not always present in extreme examples.
Called Cau Khi, Vietnam’s famous bridges are renowned for being dangerous and difficult to get across. Don’t want to risk plunging into the water below? Take our advice and leave these for the locals.
Quepos Bridge, Costa Rica
The Quepos Bridge has got two alternative names — the Bridge of Death and the Oh My God Bridge. Needless to say, neither one inspires much confidence.
Linking Jaco and Quepos on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, this fragile structure dates back to the 1930s, built to aid the thriving banana trade upon which the local economy’s fortunes have been built. Unfortunately, little (or nothing) appears to have been done to improve or upgrade the crossing during the subsequent decades.
The bridge is narrow, although this is the least of its problems. The road surface is constructed from planks, although these are not nailed down and, unsecured, the wooden beams rattle and move with each vehicle that is driven across.
Bikes and cars head over here on a regular basis, as well as heavy trucks and lorries, with each crossing taking its toll on the decaying structure. Quepos isn’t called the Bridge of Death for nothing. You have been warned.
Seven Mile Bridge, Florida
The name says it all. Seven Mile Bridge is long — really long. Located in the Florida Keys, this feat of engineering links Knight’s Key with Little Duck Key and forms a vast network of bridges that span the beautiful waters here. Scenic it might be, but committing to a crossing can be a daunting experience. Once you’re on, you just have to keep going.
There are two bridges here — the original, which dates back to 1912, is now restricted to cyclists and pedestrians, although a large gap in the structure means that a full crossing is no longer possible.
The newer bridge teems with vacation traffic and, although this is much safer, certain risks endure. The sea bed is soft here and, for all its modern engineering, the bridge still sits on the foundations of a much older predecessor. Need to get across? Take a deep breath — and take your time.
Deception Pass Bridge, Washington State
Spectacular in the extreme, Deception Pass is also rather scary. Linking Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island, in beautiful Washington State, the historic bridge here is a much photographed and loved location, with exclusive views of the water and beaches below.
When the bridge was dedicated in 1935, around 700 cars crossed per day. These days, that figure is closer to 20,000 a day. Some 180 feet above the deep and turbulent waters of the Puget Sound, this is, in fact, two bridges, spanning the fog-bound strait below.
If the drive over this foggy strait isn’t particularly frightening to you, try walking over the narrow pedestrian lane at the edge of the bridge. That’s where you’ll find especially hair-raising views of the rushing water directly below.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana
Stretching almost 24 miles over Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana, this is the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. It stretches far into the distance, much further than the human eye can see. To drive across, without the end in sight, can be an unnerving experience.
Linking the suburbs of New Orleans in the south with Mandeville and the state’s northern reaches, this direct route — which runs as straight as an arrow, across the lake’s imposing centre — can save considerable travel time. Yet it isn’t for all, and there are still some who would rather go around than across, with the thought of travelling so far over the water often too much to bear.
Drivers have been known to get the fear halfway across, requiring a police escort to complete their journey, whilst several babies have been born on the bridge, their mothers having failed to make it to the hospital on the other side in time. Not to be taken lightly.
Canopy Walk, Ghana
Suspended high in the trees in Kakum National Park, Ghana’s Canopy Walk offers a fresh perspective of the lush green jungles of the country’s Central Region. The view from up here is spectacular, it’s true.
But that makes it no less frightening, and those courageous enough to step out onto the narrow walkway don’t tend to hang around. Given the drop, it’s perhaps best not to look down. The Canopy Walk is 1,150 feet long, with separate sections strung between seven trees.
It’s constructed, in the main, from rope, and is a simple structure. With termites working their way through the wooden planks, and the supporting ropes doing little to inspire confidence, you should do a thorough risk assessment before committing to this. Not one for the faint of heart, no-one will judge if you decide that it’s sensible not to take the chance.
Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia
Suspended from a 82 metres high single pylon that emerges from the lush jungle, the Langkawi Sky Bridge is built on top of the Machinchang mountain, a spectacular sight offering breath-taking views of the island and sea.
The bridge hangs at about 100m above ground and it can accommodate up to 250 people at the same time. It swings out over the landscape to give visitors a unique spatial experience, and to bring them into otherwise unattainable locations, above virgin jungle with spectacular views. Notably, in contrast to a straight bridge, where the end is always monotonously in sight, a curved bridge offers spectacularly changing perspective.
Needless to say, the views are amazing from up here, but those without a head for heights might find the experience terrifying as the platform seems to move with each step you take. However, the magnificent surroundings might help you overcome the initial fear and enjoy the experience.
Titlis Cliff Walk, Switzerland
Strung between imposing rock faces in the spectacular Swiss Alps, the Titlis Cliff Walk is the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe. It’s a stunning sight, although terrifying for those preparing to cross the immense chasm that lies below.
Located almost 10,000 feet above sea level, just getting here is a challenge, although the greatest test awaits those preparing to set foot on the narrow platform. It’s 100 feet from end to end and, and weather conditions can change quickly up here, heavy snow being an ever-present danger for those heading up Mount Titlis.
At the summit, the route leads you through the glacier cave via an underground tunnel and on to the viewing platform at the south wall window. The suspension bridge stretches from here to the Ice Flyer glacier chair lift station. The views into the abyss below are breathtaking, but to cross the bridge, you’ll need nerves as strong as the steel cables from which it hangs.
Vitim River Bridge, Russia
It’s hard to believe that anyone would attempt to drive across the rotting Vitim River Bridge, yet for those seeking adventure and excitement in Siberia, it often proves a challenge too great to resist.
Once a rail bridge, the structure has long since fallen into disrepair, its wooden platform decaying and its dangers all too obvious. The bridge measures just six feet across and is not much wider than most modern motor vehicles. With no rail or barrier, there’s little to stop drivers plunging into the freezing waters below.
Siberia is cold — really cold — and, to make matters worse, the bridge is often covered with snow or, worse, a thick layer of ice that just adds to the danger. Some 1900 feet from end to end, once you’re on, there can be no turning back. Definitely one to avoid, but if you simply cannot resist, our best advice is to take it slow and steady.
Puente de Ojuela, Mexico
Image: Isaac Salvador P’rez, Wikimedia Commons
Few bridges are more terrifying than this – a ramshackle structure that spans a deep canyon in Durango, in decrepitude for decades and certain to scare those who come here to cross.
The bridge was designed in 1898 by the famous Roebling brothers, who also designed the Brooklyn Bridge to link Mapimi and the gold mines that, for a time, brought prosperity.
Puente de Ojuela is no longer as popular as it once was. The region’s precious metal mines exhausted, the bridge was neglected and left to decay. These days, there is little reason to set foot onto its perilous platform unless you want to visit Ojela city’s ruins. Yet, this high bridge appeals to extreme sports enthusiasts or fans of photography, attracted by the canyon’s greatness.
Passing through it gives a feeling of weightlessness, thanks to the open design of the construction and an impressive height. Jagged cliffs located around add thrill, so adrenaline rush during a walk across the bridge is guaranteed.
Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado
Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge is immense, the highest suspension bridge in the United States and one that isn’t for the faint of heart.
Spanning a vast canyon close to Canon City, the bridge is suspended 956 feet above the wild Arkansas River and, whilst the views are spectacular, those of a nervous disposition will not want to linger long. So deep is the gorge here that the Empire State Building could fit beneath the bridge.
This is a popular location for tourists, with a thriving amusement park amongst the attractions here, but the rides on offer cannot match the sheer terror that stepping foot onto the wooden planked walkway tends to provoke. Royal Gorge Bridge measures 1260 feet from one end to the other, and there’s no question that you’ll be relieved when you reach the other side.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida
The Sunshine Skyway has a dark past. It opened in 1987 but it is the second bridge of that name on the site. The first bridge, opened in 1954, collapsed in 1980 after a supporting column was struck by a giant freighter during a storm.
Buffeted by 70 miles per hours winds, the out-of-control ship caused the bridge’s southbound span to collapse, with 1200 feet of the road surface falling into the wild waters below. Several vehicles – including a Greyhound Bus – went with it. 35 people died. The surviving span was partially demolished and converted into a long fishing pier, and the current bridge was built.
No such tragedy has occurred here since, but sharing a name with its predecessor, the present bridge has a reputation for danger that has proved difficult to shake. Spanning Lower Tampa Bay, and linking St Petersburg and Terra Ceia, the Sunshine Skyway is a bridge that is much used. But given all that has passed here, you won’t want to linger long, and crossing during bad weather is not recommended.
Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
Eshima Ohashi is nicknamed the Rollercoaster Bridge and it isn’t difficult to work out why. Spanning Lake Nakamui, the structure appears dauntingly steep upon approach – the bridge reaches an intimidating 146 feet into the sky.
Eshima Ohashi bridge though is a type of optical illusion; spanning 250 metres, it won’t appear as steep when viewing the bridge from the side. Approaching head on amplifies the incline somewhat, but there’s no doubt that for those without a head for heights, tackling the crossing is an undertaking that is not to be treated lightly.
Linking the Japanese cities of Matsue and Sakaiminato, the bridge was constructed like this in order to enable large ships to pass beneath on the lake. It’s a spectacular sight, and approached from either end, it presents quite a challenge. This is a big dipper that calls for great bravery. Measuring just over a mile from one end to the other, you’ll be sure to breathe a sigh of relief when you finally reach the other side.
The Bridge of Immortals, Huang Shang China
Just reaching the fabled Bridge of Immortals is a hazardous undertaking. Located high up in China’s dramatic Yellow Mountains, a series of rickety walkways must first be negotiated.
Made using planks that have been crudely joined together and bolted to the mountainside, the perilous approach puts many off. There’s nothing but a chain to hold onto in places. This isn’t one for the faint of heart.
For those courageous enough to continue, the reward is a view to die for — and many have. Today’s bridge is safer than its ancient predecessors, with countless people having perished here over the centuries. For those keen not to suffer a similar fate on Mount Huang, great care must be taken. Plonked between two giant granite peaks, the Bridge of Immortals is one of the highest bridges on the planet. Like to see it for yourself? Be sure to watch your step.
Montenegro Rainforest Bridge, Costa Rica
Located deep in the thick Costa Rican wild rainforest, with its lush jungle landscapes and exotic insects and animals, this is a crossing that always calls for considerable courage. For one thing, it’s high up — set in the tallest treetops and the spectacular forest canopy. For another, it looks rather rickety.
Fashioned from wood and its well-worn platform missing boards in several places, this is a bridge that is perhaps best avoided. It forms a long network of passages through the trees, with one crossing leading to another, each one as precarious as the last.
The views are stunning from up here, but with the looming canyon below, and the bridges swaying from side to side, the rewards come with certain risks. Be sure to look out for the wildlife, with fierce jaguars prowling and snakes an ever-present danger amongst the thick jungle foliage.
U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
Rickety, ramshackle and with no handrails to hold, Myanmar’s famed U Bein Bridge requires great nerve to cross. Spanning more than one kilometre over Taungthaman Lake, not far from Amarapura, this ranks amongst the country’s foremost tourist sites. As a result, it is busy, always thronging with sightseers and souvenir sellers alike.
It is this immense foot traffic that presents the greatest danger, with the ancient bridge coming under increasing strain from those keen to cross.
U Bein was built in 1850 using teak salvaged from a former royal palace and, although great efforts are being taken in an attempt to preserve the structure, there can be no question that the 1,000 pillars that support the bridge are decaying badly. The longest teak bridge on Earth is also the oldest — and it shows. Take a trip, but don’t linger too long and never get too close to the edge.
Storseisundet Bridge, Norway
Storseisundet looks more like a roller coaster than a road bridge. Don’t like thrills and spills? This might be one to avoid.
With its sharp bends and dips and drops, it’s the longest of the eight bridges that make up the Atlantic Road. Storseisundet is 260 metres (850 ft) long and one of the most spectacular bridges in the world. Once you start crossing it, you realize that it seems to disappear in front of you as you go.
In addition, the Atlantic road is an area known for high winds, including hurricanes and rain, and huge waves often crash over the bridge, which, despite its size, doesn’t escape the constant bombardment. A crossing is then a white-knuckle ride, with the ups and the downs often giving the illusion that the end of the bridge has disappeared into the fierce waters below. Will you be brave enough to cross it?
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland
Linking the miniscule island of Carrick-a-Rede with the Northern Irish mainland, there has been a rope bridge here ever since 1775. It was first built by local salmon fishermen and, although these days, the focus is very much on tourism, crossing from one side to the other remains the same exhilarating experience it has always been.
Today’s rope bridge isn’t the original, of course, but to step out onto the unstable platform and make the passage from one side to the other is still a courageous feat.
It’s 66 feet from end to end, the narrow bridge hanging 100 feet above the sharp rocks and the wild seas below, and it’s always a great relief to make it across in one piece. Feeling brave enough to tackle the void? Just remember that you’ll have to cross again in order to return to the mainland as no other route is available.
Sidu River Bridge, China
Becoming the highest bridge on Earth when it opened in 2009, the Sidu River Bridge is enormous. Spanning a deep, deep valley — the river below is more than 1,000 feet down — this is a structure that must be seen to be believed.
It’s more than 5,000 feet from end to end, a distance so great that the engineers tasked with building it had no option other than to use rockets to string the pilot lines from one side to the other. Close to Yesanguan in China’s Hubei province, the bridge forms an important route between East and West, linking Shanghai and Chongqing, and being much used as a result.
It isn’t for everyone though and, such is its height and the less-than-convincing cables that are strung from the giant H-shaped towers, some still prefer to take an alternative route through these mountainous lands. Not got a head for heights? This might be one to avoid.
Mekong River Crossing, China
The mighty Mekong River rages in parts, its white waters frothing and its strong currents fearsome. Despite the dangers, local people continue to take their lives in their hands, crossing on narrow cables that are strung from one bank to the other.
With sturdier bridges few and far between here, there is often little choice for those who need to get to the other side. It’s a terrifying sight — but one that is not unusual in these parts. Finding a proper bridge can mean trekking for several hours and attitudes towards taking such an extreme approach to crossing the fast-flowing waters are relaxed.
Such is the Mekong River’s immense power, there can be no question that one false move here could prove to be fatal. Take our advice on this one: leave it to the locals and don’t be tempted to take a chance.
Millau Viaduct, France
The Millau Viaduct ranks amongst the tallest bridges on Earth. It rises high above the low-lying clouds, climbing more than 1,100 feet into the southern French sky. It’s not one for the faint of heart and you’ll need a head for heights above all other things in order to make the remarkable crossing.
Taller than the Eiffel Tower, Millau spans the spectacular gorge valley of the Tarn River – an important route between Paris and Spain – and the imposing viaduct can be seen from miles around.
It’s also long, measuring more than 8,000 feet from one end to the other, yet the bridge’s vast supporting columns touch the valley floor below in just nine places, a feat of modern engineering. The winds can sometimes be strong here, just adding to the drama. Just can’t face it? Take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. France also boasts some of the most dangerous airports in the world.
Moses Bridge, Netherlands
Perhaps one of the least ‘bridge looking’ bridges on this list of the world’s scariest bridges, the Moses Bridge in the Netherlands is almost invisible.
Built as part of recent a restoration programme after the area was neglected and fell to ruin in the 19th Century, the bridge forms part of the West Brabant Line of fortresses and ancient cities built in the area in the 17th Century.
The Moses Bridge is a genius solution to beautifying the area around the largest fort, the Fort de Roovere. Much thought was put into transforming the area into a place ideal for hiking and cycling, and the Moses Bridge forms a sort of ‘trench’ across the moat. Made from waterproof wood, it’s invisible against the landscape and damns either side are controlled to avoid the ‘bridge’ becoming flooded.
With a distinct feel that the waters of this outstandingly beautiful area have parted for you, it’s little wonder this bridge is named after Moses. Its genius lies in the fact it’s almost invisible until you approach it, so as not to spoil the landscape, and crossing it always comes with a sprinkling of fear that it might just flood.
Mystery Bridge, Indonesia
Bridges don’t get much more dangerous than this. If, that is, this can actually be called a bridge. There’s precious little to it — no handrail and no walkway, at least not in the traditional sense, this ranking amongst the most basic crossings that we’ve ever come across.
Still, though, local people use it on a regular basis to get across the river below. That alone, perhaps, is the mystery that gives the so-called bridge its name.
Feeling brave? You’ll need great courage to step out onto the sagging rope that spans the river below. The drop isn’t great, it’s true, but the waters can be deep here and the current deceptively strong, so taking a dip is not recommended. Take it slow, hold on for dear life and don’t look down. Oh, and just hope that you don’t meet anyone coming across in the opposite direction.
Trift Bridge, Switzerland
Suspended over beautiful Lake Triftsee, Switzerland’s Trift Bridge is a terrifying sight. It’s long — spanning 560 feet between craggy Alpine cliffs — and it’s narrow. It’s also high, some 330 feet above the rocks and the waters below, making it a crossing only for the courageous.
Located close to Gadmen in the spectacular Swiss Alps, the bridge leads the way to the much-visited Trift Glacier, a popular destination for sightseers, although just reaching this point is quite an undertaking.
Take a cable car and then hike — uphill — for around one-and-a-half hours and, at last, you’ll reach the bridge. The question is, after all that effort, do you still feel brave enough to cross? Plenty don’t, with the narrow planks strung high over the lake below a step too far. The views here are magnificent, but you might only want to stick with the hike.
Devil’s Bridge, Germany
Situated in Saxony in Germany, the scarily named Devil’s Bridge (known locally as the Rakotzbr’cke) is more of an archway, that crosses a stunning lake in the equalling stunning Kromalu Park.
It looks as if it’s a feat of nature, perhaps a circular rock formation, made after a landslide in prehistoric times, but the Devil’s Bridge is actually manmade. It was designed to form a full circle from its reflection in the crystal clear and still waters below when the sun shines on it. And it’s certainly matched that brief, as the thousands of Instagram pictures of it show.
Aside from just being a social media starlet, this stunning bridge is named so because of its association with mythical tales of the devil. One of many devil’s bridges in Europe, it’s a medieval bridge with plenty of folklore surrounding it.
Although in today’s modern era it’s no longer possible to physically cross the bridge due to safety reasons, visiting the area can still evoke the mystique of years gone by. It’s so tranquil, we’d suggest visiting and taking a moment to close your eyes and listen out for ghosts of the past. Because perhaps trolls under devil’s bridges really are real?
Henderson Waves Bridge, Singapore
Standing a mighty 35 metres above the ground is the Henderson Waves Bridge in Singapore. The highest bridge made for pedestrian use in the country, this bridge is a relative newcomer, having only been opened to the public in 2008.
The Henderson Waves Bridge offers a glimpse into the architect’s mind as its stands proud, tall and stunningly wooden in this otherwise green, lush area. As its name suggests, it’s built in the shape of a wave, with stunning twists and turns along its whole length ‘ a length of a whopping 274 metres.
Arches made of steel give this bridge it’s shape, and it’s covered with Balau wood slats, which is a wood commonly used in construction in Southeast Asia. The ‘waves’ allow for interesting and cosy nooks where visitors can sit in privacy, watching the wonders of nature nearby, eating and talking to loved ones.
Connecting the Telok Blangah Hill Park and the Mount Faber Park together, this bridge forms part of a 5km hiking trail through an area of the world known as the Southern Ridges Walk. Being that high above ground certainly allows for stunning views and romantic walks, but beware ‘ if you suffer with vertigo, you may want to avoid it!
Keshwa Chaca Bridge, Peru
Image: Rutahsa Adventures, Wikimedia Commons
Keshwa Chaca is a bridge that enables travellers to cross the Apurimac River, close to Huinchiri, a remote spot in Peru. It hangs 100 feet in the air and is almost 148 feet across. It sags in places and doesn’t look the most stable. Oh, and it’s made from grass.
Handwoven bridges have been part of the trail and roadway system for over 500 years, and were held in very high regard by the Inca. The punishment for tampering with such a bridge was death.
Grass bridges have been common in these parts since ancient times and, although these days they’re few and far between, Keshwa Chaca endures, staying a last testament to Inca engineering. The bridge is rebuilt each June, making the summer months (when the bridge is, in theory, at its strongest) the best time to tackle it. For those unable to stomach a crossing, there’s a modern steel bridge that runs alongside.
Longjiang Suspension Bridge, China
You’ll need quite a head for heights to tackle China’s immense Longjiang Suspension Bridge. Ranked amongst the highest on Earth, sitting almost 1,000 feet above the rushing river below, it’s a remarkable sight.
Longjiang River is the most beautiful river in the city of Tengchong, often obscured beneath the drifting mists and low-level clouds in Yunnan. Whilst the bridge’s vast scale must be seen to be believed, the fear it provokes in those unprepared is very real.
Longjiang is not just tall, it’s also very long, spanning close to 4,000 feet across the great canyon that once required a sizeable detour. It’s perhaps no surprise that nervous travellers still prefer to take the much longer route in order to avoid going across. Connecting Baoshan and Tengchong – and boasting a huge unsupported middle section – Longjiang is much used. Sidewalks were also included in the the design so people can walk along the bridge and see their surroundings from a new angle.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada
The Capilano Suspension Bridge draws huge crowds of visitors every year and is ranked as one of Vancouver’s most popular destinations. Built in 1889 by Scottish civil engineer George Grant Mackay, the 460-foot bridge was constructed of hemp rope and cedar planks.
Once the bridge was in place, Mackay’s property became popular among his friends who took the name ‘the Capilano Tramps’ to mark themselves as the adventurous types who would dare cross the swaying bridge.
The Capilano Bridge soon developed a reputation for danger and, although it has been rebuilt and reinforced down the years, it kept its character. Strong wire cables have long since replaced the hemp rope, whilst the concrete supports that were added in the 1950s mean that a bridge that spans 450 feet is a great deal sturdier than the one that was first built here. Yet, whilst the glorious views out over the tree-lined cliffs and shimmering river are a treat, it might still be a little unnerving to cross it.
Ai Petri Bridge, Ukraine
Located high in the stunning Crimean Mountains, the precarious-looking Ai Petri Bridge is for sensation seekers. Strung between craggy peaks at 4,000 feet up, the simple cable suspension bridge looks rather rickety and extremely unsafe.
To take a step out onto its plank-lined walkway requires courage. Moreover, this is an unforgiving spot. Whilst the low clouds and fog make it feel mysterious, the 100 miles per hour winds make the place actually dangerous.
On clear days, the views out over Yalta, Alupka and the Black Sea are impressive, it’s true, but this is a terrifying place to traverse and visitors tend to be few and far between. Make sure to look out for the famed stone cross that sticks out from the summit before once again braving the bridge, the howling winds and beginning your descent. You’ll be relieved to make it back in one piece.
Suspension Glass Bridge, China
Spanning China’s ‘Grand Canyon’, the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge is an awe-inspiring sight. Both the longest and the tallest glass-bottomed bridge on Earth, this is a passage that has proved popular since its official unveiling in 2016.
So popular in fact that, with 80,000 visitors a day stepping onto its glass walkway, the bridge had to be closed for a time, not long after its opening, in order to check that it could cope with all those keen to test their courage in the spectacular Hunan province.
Stretching more than 1,400 feet between two tree-lined mountains, the views are stunning, but you might choose not to look down, with the bridge suspended 980 feet above the ground below. Numbers are limited now, with no more than 800 people allowed access at any one time, but it can still feel crowded. Feeling brave? Be sure to look out for the bungee platform halfway across.
Mount Hua Trail, China
Tourists jostle for space on the Huashan Plank road, wooden beams bolted to a mountainside in China’s Shaanxi province, far from the ground below, with little to cling onto.
It’s a terrifying experience, yet one that continues to prove popular, with visitor numbers surging and no shortage of those keen to test their courage in the most extreme environment imaginable.
Located one hour from Xi’an, just getting here is a serious undertaking, with rickety-looking ladders to be climbed, narrow ledges to negotiate and few passing points to facilitate the two-way traffic.
The views from Mount Hua are stunning, although those brave enough to step out onto the Plankwalk tend to find that it’s best not to look down. There’s a small shrine to explore at the end, but do be sure to take care. Huashan is considered one of the most dangerous tourist attraction on Earth, with as many as 100 lives lost on the trail each year.
Musou Tsuribashi Bridge, Japan
Japan’s oldest suspension bridge is also its scariest. Located deep in the country’s Southern Alps, the ramshackle structure dates back to the 1950s.’Musou Tsuribashi’ literally means ‘Matchless Suspension Bridge’ in Japanese.
That the dilapidated bridge hasn’t been well maintained during the subsequent decades is all too obvious, making it a health and safety hazard. It’s constructed ‘ in the main ‘ from rope, wire and thin wooden boards that are well spaced out in places and does little to inspire confidence.
Just getting here is a challenge, with Musou Tsuribashi far from the beaten tourist track. You’ll need to climb high into the hills, with little to cling on to, other than a series of chains bolted to the rocks, before taking a step onto the decaying platform that looks ready to crumble at any moment. It’s narrow and it wobbles, and the risks here are obvious.
Root Bridges, India
In Cherrapunji near the India-Bangladeshi borders, bridges aren’t made from bricks or steel. They’re made from nature ‘ tree roots to be exact. The Root Bridges of Cherrapunji are centuries old and grow in one of the wettest places on earth. They’re formed from a species of rubber tree called Ficus elastica that grows on the slopes of the hills.
What sets these trees apart is its incredibly strong secondary roots that grow high up the trunk. When these roots grow up the river banks, they’re strong enough to support the banks and even heavy boulders. Savvy locals soon cottoned onto the fact they can be used to help them cross the riverbanks.
The roots are manipulated by pulling, tying and twisting until they form bridges. Sometimes, bamboo structures are used to encourage the root growth over them, forming strong, natural bridges that are a thing of beauty. This understandably takes years, and the bridges are only as strong as the tree is healthy – there’s certainly no way an engineer could help fix one of these bridges!
Not many of these amazing structures are easily accessible, especially to tourists. So if you do decide to visit them, don’t go without a local guide who knows where they’re going and where to cross safely.
Taman Negara Canopy Walkway, Malaysia
Located in the lush jungle canopy, Taman Negara’s famed walkway provides a unique perspective on some of Malaysia’s natural wonders. The trouble is it’s really high and stepping out onto the narrow passages that are strung between the trees can be harder than you might at first imagine.
With its interconnecting sections measuring more than 1,700 feet in total, this is one of the longest canopy walks in the world and, with the platform suspended some 100 feet above the ground below, you’ll be well advised to not look down.
Getting here is a challenge in itself, requiring a long trek or a boat ride into the heart of the National Park, and it isn’t an undertaking to be treated lightly. Concerns about the walkway’s safety have been raised in recent times, so unless you’re prepared to accept the risks involved, it might be best to find something else to do.
Mur Island Bridge, Austria
Another relatively new bridge, constructed in 2003, the Mur Island Bridge (also known as the Aiola Island Bridge) was always meant to form a temporary structure as part of the manmade Ailoa Island. Situated in Graz, in Austria, it was built to commemorate the city being the 2003 European City of Culture.
But like so many structures that we humans fall in love with, this pedestrian bridge was saved from demolition after 2003. The island, which is accessible as a floating platform, and the bridge, were intended to be moved elsewhere but still now they remain in place in Graz.
Now tested for its permanency and safety as a full time structure, it’s expected to stay in place for up to 50 years. Spiral shaped, the Mur Island Bridge was designed to integrate with nature, and link the area of beauty to the nearby city. Previously, the area was pretty much inaccessible by foot.
Made from steel and glass, the bridge is supported by two invisible pillars, giving it the impression that it’s floating. Nervous pedestrians might not want to think about the entire structure being supported by just two pillars though, as it could be quite overwhelming.
Geumgang Bridge, South Korea
Otherwise known as the Cloud Bridge, the Geumgang Bridge crosses the spectacularly beautiful Daedunsan Mountain in South Korea. Known for its stunning bursts of autumnal oranges, browns and yellows as the trees change colour for Autumn, this mountain is revered throughout Korea for its beauty and its romance.
But the Geumgang Bridge, at 50 metres long is breathtaking in a different way. A suspension bridge, it’s been built 81 metres above ground and forms a passing between two rocky mounds either side of a deep but narrow canyon.
Despite its height, the Cloud Bridge is quite the tourist hot spot. But it’s said that most tourists can’t wait to get off, and tend to walk over it at a fair pace, screaming as they go. If you do walk across it, and you’re brave enough, make sure you take a moment to stop and look down. The reward will far outweigh the fear!
At the end of the bridge is an extremely steep, exposed stairway where you can listen out for more screams from nervous hikers crossing the bridge. The stairway does lead up to some local eateries where you can sample some Korean delicacies though. Perhaps your reward for looking down over the deep canyon below.
Iya Kazurabashi Bridge, Japan
Located deep in Mount Tsurugi Quasi National Park, there were once 13 such bridges spanning the various valleys here. Just three survive these days, the others having long since collapsed and disappeared from sight.
Strung between cedar trees and constructed, using traditional methods, from vines, the Iya Kazurabashi Bridge has at least been reinforced in order to meet modern standards. Yet that doesn’t make it less terrifying to cross.
Natural materials were used so that the bridges could be hacked down easily in case of attack and, for all that the bridge has been strengthened, it isn’t difficult to imagine the vines breaking apart and the bridge (and all those on it) plunging to the valley floor below. Made from planks that are spaced far apart in places, the walkway does little to inspire confidence. Make sure to hold on to the ropes!
Pont de Singe, England
French for monkey bridge, the Pont de Singe bridge in North West England is made from cedar wood, but amazingly, seemingly ‘floats’ in the air as it’s held in place by three huge helium filled balloons evenly spaced along its length.
Anyone with a fear of heights or water (or both) would be advised not to cross this bridge! Made in the style of a rope bridge, it crosses a beautiful lake in the historic Tatton Park. It was constructed for the Tatton Park Biennial which in 2012 had a flight theme, and it might just feel like you’re flying when crossing this bridge, located in a peaceful Japanese themed area of the park. But not when you look at the ends of the rope bridge, as they were designed to extend into the water so that the ends can’t be seen making it as fluid as the water below.
Technically, visitors are prohibited from using this scary bridge, but it has been constructed so that it’s strong enough to hold the weight of a human brave enough to cross it. It was built and set in place by human hands, so at some point, humans have walked this bridge, and we’re told, no one got wet. Would you be brave enough to cross?
Hanging Bridge Of Ghasa, Nepal
Ghasa’s hanging bridge can often get crowded. It isn’t always people causing the blockage, however, with this an important crossing for the region’s cattle. Located high in the Himalayan foothills, the bridge is strung over a dramatic river valley, an often-used route for those herding animals to the local markets.
Before this, the narrow roads, tracks and trails would tend to become clogged. The bridge has eased congestion, but the animals apart, few relish making the crossing.
Located not far from Ghasa — a small town in Nepal — the hanging bridge does little to inspire confidence, suspended between the cliffs, sagging in the middle, with the white water rushing by below. The chances are that you’ll meet the cattle, heading for market, halfway across. Take our advice on this one: look for an alternative route and leave the bridge for the animals.
Confederation Bridge, Canada
Looking for a stunning bridge that crosses ice covered water? Actually, scrap that. Are you looking for a stunning bridge that crosses ice covered water, that’s the longest of its kind in the entire world? Yes? (Who isn’t?) Then look no further than the Confederation Bridge in New Brunswick in Canada.
This bridge is immense and stretches for just short of 13km over the icy waters of the Northumberland Straight. It connects Borden-Carleton on Prince Edward Island to Cape Jourimain on the Canadian mainland in New Brunswick.
Built to withstand the harsh ice flows coupled with the high winds of the Canadian winters, the Confederation Bridge is expected to last 100 years. Which when you think that most bridges are expected to last for around half of that, is pretty awesome. And a bit scary.
Although perhaps the most dangerous thing about this bridge was the construction. Can you imagine building that? The construction workers, 90% of which were Atlantic Canadians, of 1997 could certainly tell some tales. Built from 175 major structural parts, some weighing more than 7,500 tonnes, put together with an accuracy of 2cm sounds about as dangerous as a bridge can get.
Ponte Vasco da Gama, Portugal
Officially the longest bridge in Portugal, the Ponte Vasco da Gama Bridge is a whopping 17km long (which is more than 10 miles, in case you work better in miles). Situated just east of the capital city Lisbon, this bridge crosses the Tagus Estuary, a wide, but thankfully shallow, expanse of water.
No longer the proud bearer of the Longest Bridge in Europe moniker (that now belongs to the ‘resund Bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden and stands at over 10 miles long), it’s a road bridge that’s a feat of engineering. Built to ease traffic, it’s not just an ultra long bridge, it’s built over water that tells a story deep below its surface. An area of known seismic activity, the danger of this bridge is its potential for an earthquake at any time. And the fact that the very nature of the water bed makes the foundations fairly unstable.
However, it has been built to withstand an earthquake, and its viaducts that extend 95 metres down into the rock below should be enough to satisfy even the most nervous of road users. Fun fact ‘ the Ponte Vasco da Gama bridge is so long, that it needed to be built with the curvature of the earth in mind. Wow!
Pont du Gard, France
An ancient artefact from the days of the Roman empire, the Pont du Gard Bridge in France was built way back in the first century AD. It’s a type of aqueduct bridge and is the highest of its kind, and is also stunningly beautiful and one of the best preserved Roman aqueduct bridges still in existence.
At 275 metres long and 48 metres high, it was built near Avignon in the south of France and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you look at this ancient relic, it’s outstanding to think that it was built so long ago, by human hand, before the invention of the engineering tools we have at our disposal on today’s building sites.
Building this architectural marvel must’ve been one of the most dangerous construction projects of its time. It includes three levels, one on top another, and 52 individual arches and has survived use as an aqueduct until the 6th Century, a tollgate in the Middle Ages and being a road bridge until the 20th Century. Now a tourist attraction complete with exhibitions, outdoor entertainment and restaurants, visitors can marvel at its awesomeness over the safety of a coffee and a croissant.
Kintai Bridge, Japan
Built originally in 1673, the Japanese marvel, the Kintai Bridge is one of the most revered and famous sites in Japan, still to this day. Made up of five wooden arches, it’s constructed mainly from wood and crosses the Nishiki River at the foot of the Yokotama mountain. The five wooden archways are built on top of a series of stone a wooden piers that are situated along the (now dry) riverbed.
The Japanese word Kintai translates into ‘gold brocade sash’ in English, due to its resemblance of a gold coloured kimono. Its original construction was thought to be indestructible, but sadly the bridge has had to be repaired numerous times due to natural disasters. Most recently it was rebuilt in 1951 after a typhoon almost destroyed it.
Even though it was built to be indestructible, for its first 300 years, it stood complete without any nails whatsoever. Instead, sheets of copper were placed over critical points in the bridges design.
It’s still accessible by pedestrians where it gives way to stunning views of the Seto Sea and is extremely popular during the Springtime Japanese blossom festivals. Although a feat of engineering in its day, we wonder how long all those wooden pillars will remain stable for!
Slater Bridge, England
Slater Bridge, in the delightfully named Little Langdale in Cumbria, looks like it was made by magicians. Built from rocks, this tiny bridge has been constructed from one large central rock and several long slate slabs that look like they’ve been glued together into a shallow archway.
But since it was built in ancient times, we can assume that no glue was used at all in the making of this cute bridge! It crosses the River Brathay and connects the villages of Little Langdale and Elterwater, and is still in use for today’s hikers, walkers and Cumbrians about their daily lives.
More cobbled than the cobbliest street, we guess the danger in this bridge is crossing it in anything other than sensible walking boots. It forms part of the 6km long walk from High Tilberthwaite to Little Langdale and is one of a pair of identical bridges along this scenic and winding route that’s popular with walkers. Just mind your foot underneath, and you won’t end up having to pick yourself out of the babbling River Brathay! And if you visit the nearby Three Shires pub before tackling this walk, be even more careful.
Aqueduct de los Milagros, Spain
The Acueducto de los Milagros, which translates into the fantastically named Miraculous Aqueduct in English was built in the ancient Roman era. It was used to supply water to the residents of the Emerita Augusta colony below, which is now the town of M’rida in Badajoz in Spain.
Made using the materials the construction workers had in plentiful supply at the time, namely brick, granite, masonry and natural stone, it’s a stunning construction. Standing at around 25 metres high, it’s made up of three rows of arches, one on top of the other. In its heyday, it would’ve had, now long forgotten, basins that would’ve distributed the water to residents.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Aqueduct de los Milagros bridge is a popular tourist destination with visitors flocking to the area to see the stunning fields and green spaces that surround it.
We suspect that many visitors stand back and admire this bridge (which is no longer used for pedestrians) and marvel at the miraculous-ness of its structure and engineering, and the fact that it was completely made by the hands of humans. No data is available to tell us quite how dangerous a build this was, but we suspect it was pretty dangerous.
Carioca Aqueduct, Brazil
A mid 18th Century built water crossing, the Carioca Aqueduct in Brazil’s famous capital city Rio de Janeiro was built to supply fresh water to the cities many thirsty residents in need of drinking water. Also known as the Arcos de Lapa, or arches of Lapa, it’s now used as a cool meeting place for people going out for the evening in the bohemian region of Lapa.
It’s now also used as a tram route from the capital city up through the hills of the nearby Santa Teresa neighbourhood which is as useful for residents as it is fun for tourists and thrill seekers. Only now partially open after an incident with the brakes of one of the trams, it still provides stunning views.
Formed of 42 beautiful monumental arches over two rows atop one another stretching from Santo Antonio to Santa Teresa over 270 metres in length, this aqueduct is 17.6 metres tall. It’s said to have been built using a mixture of lime and whale oil which were freely available building materials commonly used at the time (There was nothing resembling the concrete we’re now used to!). Presumably at the time, there wasn’t much thought put towards the Health and Safety rules we’re now used to either.
Bhumibol Bridges, Thailand
The Chao Phraya river in bustling Thailand has been around since ancient times, but it’s only in the last 100 years that bridges have provided crossing points from one bank to the opposite bank.
But that doesn’t mean there’s not many bridges crossing this busy river! There are many, and one (or two) of note are the Bhumibol bridges. Called Bhumibol 1 and 2, they both form part of the super busy ring road that connects Southern Bangkok with the Samut Prakan province. This essential ring road is 13km long and provides an important industrial route for the area’s Khlong Toei Port. The Bhumibol Bridge crosses the Chao Phraya river twice (hence there being a Bhumibol 1 ‘ the northern bridge and a Bhumibol 2 ‘ the southern bridge). Each is constructed from metal cables and is supported by two pylons that form a diamond shape.
At one end is an interchange section of road that is suspended 50 metres in the air. So if the length of these bridges, supported by metal ropes doesn’t add an element of danger, the suspended road certainly will! (Oh and motorcycles are banned from using the bridge due to safety reasons’)
Baliem River Bridge, Western New Guinea
Looking for a super rickety bridge, the sort you might see in action films with the hero just about making it to the other side before it breaks in half and falls to the water below? Well, we’ve just found it for you… The Baliem River Bridge in Western New Guinea.
Found in the central area of the Papua province, the Baliem River is a tributary of the better known Pulau River. Beginning its journey in the mountains of the east, it flows down through the province, sometimes underground, but most of the time above ground. The waters of this river are far from calm. Instead, they’re at best choppy, most of the time being rapid and vigorous. So clearly a bridge is needed to cross them. Step forward the Baliem River Bridge ‘ but this bridge is also far from calm. Barely resembling a bridge, this wooden construction looks like it’s been made from twigs tied together with string.
Amazingly, locals cross this bridge on foot in their droves every day, daring it to hold their weight above the white, choppy rapids below. We would advise you to cross it with your eyes held tightly shut, but that’ll probably make it an even more dangerous crossing!
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Arguably one of the, if not the most famous bridges in the world, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a stalwart of the Australian landscape, often depicted ringing in each new year surrounded by fireworks as it’s one of the first places on the planet to reach midnight on the 31st December.
But what could be dangerous about this feat of engineering we hear you ask? Well, did you know that you can walk (or rather climb) up to the top of the arch of this stunning bridge? Pedestrians, vehicles and even trains traverse this bridge all day long, but for the most daring among us, it’s all about the hike to the top.
Standing 134 metres tall, it was given the nickname ‘The Coat Hanger’ shortly after its completion in 1932 due to its arch shape, this steel bridge is no wallflower. It’s the tallest steel arch bridge in the world, which makes it even more amazing that the 1950s and 60s saw plenty of illegal bridge climbers under the cover of darkness. There was even a wire walker in 1973 who crossed between two pylons. Now it’s legal to climb the bridge (and has been since 1998), will you be brave enough to join those daredevils?
Danyang’Kunshan Grand Bridge, Shanghai
Measuring a whopping 165km long (yes, that’s kilometres!) the Danyang’Kunshan Grand Bridge in Shanghai is officially the longest bridge in the world. A newbie to the world of bridges, this beast was opened to the public in 2011 after taking 10,000 people a total of four years to construct it.
It provides a rail connection between Shanghai and Nanjing in the Jiangsu province helping to ease congestion and allow for easier transport for workers commuting between the two areas. Constructed of many smaller sections, it’s officially a viaduct bridge. These smaller sections allowed the designers, engineers and construction workers to deal with the vast differences in terrain that the bridge needed to cross including smaller rivers, canals, flatlands, hills and rice fields.
They also allow the bridge flexibility which might sound alarming, but is necessary for it to be able to rise, fall, twist and turn with the different terrains and climates. It needed lots of reinforcement too, especially in the areas where it crosses flood plains, with their notoriously soft soil. Once on this bridge, you’re on it for a long time, so hold onto your hat, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!
Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China
Spanning an inlet of the East China Sea in the municipality of Shanghai, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge in China is an outstanding S shaped bridge that forms a crucial part of the busy East Coast Superhighway. At 36km long, with six lanes and a 100km per hour speed limit, its officially the world’s longest bridge that crosses an ocean.
Once this bridge was completed and opened in 2005, it knocked 120m off the road journey time from Ningbo in the south of the municipality to Shanghai. Seen from the air, this bridge is a wonder, winding its way across the ocean magnificently.
What makes this bridge dangerous? Well, aside from it being the longest sea road crossing in the world, how about the fact it’s been built over ‘the world’s most complicated sea environment’? Or that this particular sea has ‘one of the three biggest tides on earth’?
Or that it has to withstand typhoons and the ‘difficult content of the sea soil’. Those were the words of the chief director overseeing the construction. But take our word for it ‘ this bridge is a feat of engineering so large, that crossing it must come with a side helping of at least a tiny bit of fear!
Forth Bridge, Scotland
Legend has it, that painting the Forth Bridge in Scotland is a full time job ‘ by the time the painters reach the end, they need to start at the beginning again. Not to be confused with the Forth Road Bridge, the Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge that’s carries trains across the Firth of Forth estuary in the east of the country.
Opened in 1890, the bridge is 2,467 metres in length. It held the title of the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world until Canada’s Quebec Bridge was opened to traffic in 1919. However, to this day, it still holds the title of the second longest single cantilever bridge span with a span of 521 metres.
With Scotland’s weather being notorious for wind and rain for much of the year, crossing this bridge is no mean feat. (Much like building it in the first place must have been, way back in the 1880s.) Thankfully, trains run regularly and on a clear day, the bridge appears proud and bright red against the clear waters of the Firth of Forth. It must be all that painting and now it’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it makes crossing this bridge even more exciting!
Runyang Yangtze River Bridge, China
Situated in the Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, the Yangtze River is a famous river, often depicted in children’s tales and storybooks. Many bridges span this expansive river, but across the part of the river downstream of Nanjing, rises the majestic Runyang Yangtze River Bridge complex.
Part of the Yangzhou Liyang Expressway, this complex was meant to replace the ferries that were running across the river constantly when it opened to traffic in 2005. But some locals argue that the ferries are still quicker, hence why they still run. This bridge is a long one ‘ just over 22 miles to be exact. Technically, the Runyang Yangtze River Bridge is two bridges ‘ a south bridge and a north bridge. The south bridge is a suspension bridge that spans 1,490 metres. It’s six traffic lanes wide and is suspended 215 metres above sea level. The north bridge is different ‘ it’s a cable stayed bridge that has a much smaller span of 406 metres. However, with a height of 3,000 metres above sea level, it’s much higher.
So if you’re afraid of heights, you’re better off sticking to the south bridge. But if you’re more scared of travelling across a bridge over (hopefully untroubled) waters, then we suggest you use the north bridge. Or, use the ferry!
Øresund Bridge, Sweden
Not content with linking cities or towns, the Øresund Bridge connects the countries of Denmark and Sweden. Known in local dialect as Øresundsbron, it runs from Amager and Øresund in Denmark (on the island of Zealand) to Skane on the Swedish mainland. It’s the longest bridge in Europe, unsurprisingly, and carries cars on the upper part and trains on the lower part. (Yep, this bridge has two ‘decks’ ‘ one for vehicles and one for trains.)
The Øresund Bridge is in two connected parts too. The first part, from the Swedish coastline, is around five miles long and ends at a manmade island called Peberholm. This island was built in order to provide a link between the first and second parts, and is incidentally home to many endangered species of sea bird. The second part goes underground and forms a tunnel of around the same length.
Building a road over the sea, which turns into a tunnel that goes under the sea is no easy task and is one of only eight such structures in the world. Situated in a beautiful part of the world, thrill seekers will be breath taken by the stunning scenery and backdrop to this stunning bridge.
Duge Bridge, China
Hands up if you want to know where the world’s highest bridge is? Ever the servants, we’ve found it for you ‘ it’s the Duge Bridge in the Guizhou province in China. It stands at a humongous 565 metres high and has a span of 720 metres.
This bridge is a cable stayed bridge and is an awesome sight from afar. It also provides spectacular views when crossing it (if you dare). Crossing the Beipanjiang River near Duge (which translates into English as the North Winding River) the Duge Bridge opened in 2016. Below it, there are vertical, sheer droops of limestone cliffs that are so mighty, the river at their foot is often in the shade for most of the day, and is barely visible from the bridge. Despite how terrifying a thought it must be to drive along the length of this bridge knowing what a sheer drop extends below, this road bridge is used by thousands each day.
Prior to its opening, this area wasn’t passable by car or truck, but now it’s opened up a whole new route for traders, locals and industry. So now you know where the world’s highest bridge is, and that it passes over a terrifying drop, the question is ‘ are you daring enough to travel across it?
Gateshead Millennium Bridge, England
Now for something completely different, and exciting ‘ the world’s first tilting bridge! The Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Newcastle in the north east of England is still to this day also the only tilting bridge in the world.
Crossing the River Tyne (put into lyrics forevermore after the song Fog on the Tyne) this bridge connects Gateshead to Newcastle and is the only pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Tyne.
Said to resemble an eyelid, this tilting bridge rotates to allow big ships to pass underneath. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is made from steel and is 126 metres long with a span of 105 metres and an arch height of 50 metres. Since opening in 2001 it’s won several awards and visitors and locals alike flock to this tourist attraction to watch the tilt. It’s earned itself the brilliant nickname of the Blinking (or Winking) Eye Bridge.
Lowered into place in one piece by what must have been extremely strong cranes, it has six hydraulic rams that rotate the bridge when ships need to pass. This process only takes four and a half minutes but sadly for thrill seekers, it will only tilt when there’s no pedestrians or cyclists on it!
Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong
With perhaps an underwhelming badge of honour as the 14th longest span suspension bridge in the world, the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong is named after Tsing Yi and Ma Wan ‘ the two islands it links together.
But don’t let its underwhelming claim to fame put you off, this bridge is seriously attractive. A double decker bridge, it has one deck for cars and other road vehicles, and one for trains. And that fact earns it a better title ‘ the largest suspension bridge of its type in the world. With inspiration coming from the Forth Bridge in Scotland and the Severn Bridge in England, the designers had to overcome wind safety tests in order to get the go ahead. This is an area of the world that experiences extreme winds and typhoons, so this bridge had to prove itself as a sturdy beast.
Here’s another fun fact ‘ the Tsing Ma Bridge has also been built with rock seawalls at each of its tower bases that can stop a 222,000 tonne ship, travelling at eight knots, in its tracks. And that’s some awesome power! So if you fancy some dare devil action, cross this bridge, daring it to stop you in your tracks.
Najiehe Railway Bridge, China
The proud owner of the Highest Railway Bridge in the World badge, the Najiehe Railway Bridge in central Guizhou in China boasts a railway located 305 metres above ground. It also boasts the title of being one of the longest arch bridges, since its span reaches 352 metres.
At 802 metres long, this incredible bridge stretches between Zhijin in Bijie and Qingzhen in Guiyang crossing majestically over the Sancha River (which is also known as the Wu River). Made from steel, it was opened very recently in 2016 and was given the Guinness World Record for being the highest railway bridge.
With stunning views of the surrounding lush green landscape, this bridge, which is painted a bright pillar box red, allows for breath taking views as tourists, locals and commuters alike travel in comfort in the rail coaches. We defy anyone to fall asleep on this journey and miss out on all the fun. Whilst there might not be the opportunity to stop and peer over the side like some of the world’s other spectacular bridges, this one provides an element of danger from the safety of the train. Who’s coming with us?
Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, Switzerland
Famous for watches, chocolates and awesome tennis players, Switzerland is also home to the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. Traversing between Gr’chen and Zermatt, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge rounds off the Europaweg ‘ by many considered to be the most beautiful two day hike through the Alps.
At its highest point, this stunning suspension bridge reaches 85 metres above the valley below and its entire length is almost 500 metres. If you’re looking for a pedestrian bridge that evokes fear and awe, then you’ve found it here. Because this bridge is made with slats that you can see through, down to the sheer drops of the Alps below. In fact, the possibility of slips and falls is so high, this bridge doesn’t even open during the winter months, opening from spring to the end of the autumn.
It’s super narrow, and walkers are advised to cross this bridge in single file. It looks quite literally, like a suspended walkway. Many can’t look down and clutch the ropes in fear. Many others stop to look down, without even holding on and their only sharp intake of breath is caused by the stunning scenery from this daunting viewing platform in the sky. Which one will you be?
Python Bridge, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam in the Netherlands is famous for its bridges and the Python Bridge, or Pythonbrug in Dutch, is one of its most renowned. Shaped like a snake, this bright red metal bridge winds up and down over the water like a serpent, it’s railings reminiscent of a snake’s scales.
It opened to the public in 2001 and connects Borneo Island to the Sporenburg Peninsula, right in the centre of Amsterdam. This bridge is 90 metres long and like most of this city, is pedestrian friendly. Cyclists are welcome, however, they’ll need to push their bikes up the stairway ramp on the up and down parts of this crossing. (Or cyclists can use the nearby Lage Brug which is higher and can be cycled over.)
When you cross this bridge, take a moment to look at the views of the contemporary buildings in this area known as the east docklands. If you dare, crouch down and look through the stunning red railings and study the water below your feet. It’s not a very high bridge and certainly won’t win any awards for being a thrill seekers bridge, but if you’re finding your feet in Amsterdam, then this is the place to head for.
William Preston Lane Bridge, United States
Located in Maryland in the United States, the William Preston Lane Bridge is also known locally as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, or simply, the Bay Bridge. With two bridges running alongside each other over the Chesapeake Bay it connects the rural in the east to the urban in the west.
The first route was opened in 1952 and was then the longest structure made of steel to run continuously over water. Then, in 1973, the parallel section was opened to make the William Preston lane Bridge officially a dual span bridge.
Part of the Route 50 and five miles long, more than 24 million cars use this pair of bridges each year. The road deck is 200 feet high both bridges are almost 23,000 feet long. As handy as it might be to link these parts of Maryland to millions of drivers, this region attracts many heavy, violent and dangerous storms.
If one comes across when you’re mid way through crossing the bridge, it could be a very dangerous place to be. Visibility gets extremely limited so if you are going to drive over one of these bridges, make sure you check the weather forecast. Unless dangerous bridge crossings are your thing! (Although you may have no choice ‘ when winds reach 55 mph, the bridge is closed to traffic.)
Kawarau Bridge, New Zealand
Anyone fancy a crazy bungee jump? If you’re in New Zealand, then head for the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown. This bridge is officially the home of bungee jumping, since it became the first place in the world to introduce thrill seekers and backpackers to bungee ropes and jumping off bridges for fun.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in New Zealand, the Kawarau Bridge stretches 141 feet across the Kawarau River, and is nestled amongst some absolutely breath taking scenery. And that’s without your breath being taken away by a bungee jump! It’s also part of the Queenstown Trail, so don’t worry if bungee jumping isn’t your thing. You can still walk across the bridge if you’re walking, running, hiking or cycling and soak up the amazing views.
Most of this list has included bridges famed for their extreme height, length or dangerous weather systems. But this bridge is included because of its association with bungee jumping. Here, you can take part in a 43 metre jump which is said to be one of the best in the world. Ideal for danger seeing adrenalin junkies. So take your leap of faith where thousands have before you ‘ whether it’s your first or your 100th, the same fun and thrills are guaranteed!
Mackinac Bridge, United States
For years, many said it was unfeasible or perhaps madness to get the Mackinac bridge built. Back then, the idea of a roadway across the Straits of Mackinac was simply scandalously expensive and architecturally inconceivable. Though the bridge opened in 1957 after three years construction and is still proudly standing above lake Michigan whilst connecting the state’s two peninsulas.
The design of the Bridge was directly influenced by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (Washington), which collapsed in 1940 because of its instability in high winds. But don’t worry, deep stiffening trusses and an open-grid roadway have been incorporated into the design of the Mackinac Bridge to make it stronger and a similar incident can’t (in theory) occur. Five men died during the bridge construction, a fact that’s as remarkable as it is tragic, given the dangers of the work site and the difficult weather conditions the workers had to face.
You’ll certainly want to check the weather forecast before planning to cross the bridge, as it often closes due to violent winds and storms. However, as far as we know, only two vehicles have ever plunged from the bridge to the Straits of Mackinac, one in 1989, due to excessive speed and one in 1997, which was classified as a suicide. The weather conditions are closely monitored by the state of Michigan to preserve the crosser’s safety and they seem to do a good job at it. How would you feel about crossing that bridge?
Built way back in 1840, the Marienbrücke bridge in Germany was built by Prince Maximilian II for his friend Mary. Quite the grand gesture, it’s said that he had it built as a romantic token of his love, but we’re unsure whether she gave him her hand in marriage or not.
What we do know is, that this pretty bridge stretches between the hilly and rocky landscapes of Bavaria, and provides fantastic views of the nearby Neuschwanstein Castle. Translating into Queen Mary’s Bridge in English (unsurprisingly), this structure resides 90 metres above the Pöllat River and offers picture postcard views of the castle and the surrounding lush green spaces. With breath taking views when you look downwards too, those with vertigo had best leave this bridge alone and explore the castle instead. The Queen Mary’s Bridge has been repaired and restored several times, but happily some of the original metalwork remains.
The ultimate in crowd pleasing bridges, this bridge offers scenic views, an element of danger (when you look down) and romanticism. Ideal if you’re with a partner or travel group of buddies who are all looking for different things from a day trip in Germany. What more does a tourist need? Beer, perhaps? Well, when in Bavaria.
Captain William Moore Bridge, Alaska
Constructed in 1976, the Captain William Moore Bridge in Alaska in America, rises majestically 100 feet up above the Moore Creek Gorge. This gorge had carved its way through the landscape over millennia, creating a huge gaping hole between the rock formations. As communities grew around the area, it became clear that a road bridge was needed in the area to help industries grow and communities thrive.
Now a daily commuting bridge, the surrounding scenery is unlike any you may get if you’re a city dweller, commuting on public transport. However, with this amount of daily usage, which would have been unprecedented in the 1970s, the bridge has become quite dilapidated. With a 100 foot drop, the last thing a car needs is for the bridge to fail, so locals have been trying to think of ways to restore it to its former glory without the inconvenience of closing it.
Part of the busy Klondike Highway, if you’re in this area of the world, will you be brave enough to continue your journey over the Captain William Moore Bridge? (Is now a good time to also add in that it passes over an active earthquake fault line’)
Puli Bridge, China
Standing tall and proud amongst China’s highest suspension bridges, the Puli Bridge is 485 metres high with a 628 metre span. Completed in 2015, this bridge is a phenomenal sight. Nestled high above the Puli Creek, the rocky and bushy terrain of the area provides beautiful scenery but also provided a headache for engineers and construction workers on the site.
Literally stretching between two sides of a huge crack in the ground, the Puli Bridge was built only after rock stability was sussed out and guaranteed by, no doubt, nervous engineers and architects. The Puli Creek is so vast, that the main cable holding the bridge together and in place was shot across the creek by a rocket to get it to the other side, only the third time this has been successfully carried out. So that gives you some insight into the feat of genius building this road bridge was.
Travelling across this bridge may cause your heart to reach your mouth. For whilst offering an unrivaled view down over the naturally stunning scenery below, stopping to look over the side of this bridge is for the most dare devilish among us only!
Baluarte Bridge, Mexico
Standing proud at 390 metres high and with a span of 520 metres, the Baluarte Bridge in El Palmito in Sinaloa in Mexico was completed in 2013. The highest bridge in North America, it crosses between the Pacific coast of the continent and the centre of Mexico. In fact, it’s the only bridge to do so for over 500 miles.
Part of the ‘greatest bridge and tunnel highway project in North America’, the Durango-Mazatl’n highway, the Baluarte Bridge is known locally as the crown jewel of this massive undertaking. But even crown jewels can still be terrifying and this is certainly no exception. The entire highway has more twists and turns than our favourite TV soap operas and in areas, it’s so tight that the road almost doubles back onto itself.
This though was considered a safer route, going directly through the mountains no fewer than 61 times, opening up the surrounding areas for trade, industry and much needed tourism.