Most Dangerous Bridges In The World: Rope Hanging Bridges.

Most Dangerous Bridges In The World: Rope Hanging Bridges.

Are you afraid of bridges? I wouldn’t blame you if you were. While most bridges we see and travel across on a regular basis are soundly engineered and reasonably safe, not all bridges are alike.

Bridges go far beyond the sturdy structures you drive across each day. And some of the world’s most dangerous bridges (not to mention scariest-looking ones) were intended for foot traffic. That’s what we’re going to explore here. But more specifically, we’re going look at hanging foot bridges — you know, the kind that leave you dangling above a rushing river, gorge, or some other bit of nature you wouldn’t want to come face to face with on a fall.

Before we take a look at some of the most dangerous bridges in the world, let’s explore some of the basics about these rope-style hanging bridges.

A Bit of Background on Rope Hanging Bridges

When you think of rope hanging bridges, what do you picture? One or two ropes like the makeshift bridges a young scout might set up on a camping trip? Or something more elaborate? Neither is right nor wrong. Hanging bridges come in a vast array of sizes and styles. Some aren’t even made with ropes. They might be made from vines or even tree roots.

One thing these bridges have in common is that they’re primarily utilitarian. Rope bridges have been used throughout history to simplify travel. Herders would move their flocks from one plateau to another across them. Ancient peoples would connect their cliff-side villages with them. In the case of the old Incan handwoven bridges showcased below, even the Spanish conquistadors used them to transport things like canons, and they marveled at the engineering feat.

If rope hanging bridges could support a cannon, they surely must be safe for you to walk across, right? Well, not so fast. Keep in mind that safety is subjective. Different rope hanging bridges were made in different ways. Some, like the Incan bridge, have been very well maintained whereas others have been left to the elements. Never assume by the way a bridge looks. Do some research before exploring these or other dangerous bridges to see if they’re still safe and in working order.

And now let’s get to our list. In addition to our original list of the world’s most dangerous bridges which you can find below, we’ve added the following three new additions to excite your imagination (or perhaps strike a bit of fear). Enjoy.

Q’eswa Chaca (or Keshwa Chaca), Peru

This handwoven bridge is the last operational Incan rope bridge in existence. It has survived this long thanks to a group of families who meticulously maintain the bridge by making repairs every year (such as replacing support cables) as a way of honoring their ancestors.

Keshwa Chaca Inca Rope Bridge

Credit: Rutahsa Adventures (via Wikimedia)

Keshwa Chaca Incan Rope Bridge

Credit: Bob / bridgink (via Flickr)

Kotmale Footbridge, Sri Lanka

This footbridge crosses the Kotmale Oya, a river in Sri Lanka. There’s something hauntingly beautiful about it despite (or perhaps because of) its apparent disrepair.

Kotmale Footbridge

Credit: Anuradha Ratnaweera (via Flickr)

Kotmale Footbridge

Credit: Anuradha Ratnaweera (via Flickr)

Vine Bridges of Iya Valley, Japan

This addition to our list is thanks to a recommendation from our readers in the comments.

Iya Valley is famous for its gorgeous mountains and the old vine bridges that span some of their valleys and rivers. Here’s a beautiful example of the kind of vine bridges you might encounter on a visit.

Iya Valley Vine Bridge

Credit: Jpatokal (via Wikimedia)

Iya Valley Vine Bridge

Credit: Rachel in Wonderland (via Flickr)

Now let’s get to our original list of the world’s most dangerous bridges, featuring a collection of hanging rope bridges for your enjoyment.

Note: This post was originally published on May 11, 2009. It was updated with new content and additional photographs on its currently-listed publication date.

In an earlier post, we have discussed some of the roads that are listed among the most dangerous in the world … for driving.  Today, we’d like to acquaint you with some of the world’s most dangerous bridges that are meant only for walking.  These are the so-called rope hanging bridges. You can find a wide variety of these bridges in countries like India, Malaysia, Philippines, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal, as well as in the interiors of some other countries.

A bridge can prove to be dangerous for a variety of reasons; either because it’s very old, narrow, too high up above the land, over a quick river or if the wooden “floor” goes missing.  What makes them dangerous is the fact that in spite of the condition of the bridge, they have to be used; as many a time, these pathways are the main or even the only way for the local inhabitants of a small village to reach a bigger city.   Among all the bridges, the most popular among tourists are the hanging bridges.  Let’s take a look at some of them.

Before we start, I’d like to make a small note that this post is not meant to be scientific or a historical fact-sheet.   The intention is to provide some entertainment in the form of a picturesque fun post that may even hold a surprise element.  If you have ever seen or been on any such bridges, let us know and we’ll add it to the post.  Enjoy the post!

Hussaini – Borit Lake, Pakistan

hussaini1

hussaini2

hussaini3

hussaini4

hussaini5

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

car1

car2

car3

car4

car5

Aiguille du Midi at the Mont Blanc Mountain, France

loboc1

loboc3

mont_blanc

Taman Negara National Park Bridge, Malaysia

That’s the world’s longest Canopy Walkway.

taman1

taman2

taman3

Hanging Bridge of Ghasa in Nepal

ghasa1

ghasa2

ghasa3

ghasa4

Siju Hanging Bridge, India

siju

Some Hanging Bridge in India

some

Hanging Bridge at Thenmala, India

thenmala

Just some bridge in Philippines

just

Repovesi nature park Valkeala, Finland

repovesi

Arenal Hanging Bridges, Costa Rica

A three kilometer hike through the Costa Rican rain forest. There are six suspension bridges, with the largest one at just under 100 meters long and 45 meters off the ground.

arenal1

Hanging Bridge in Drake Bay, Costa Rica

drake

Hanging bridge in Bohol, Philippines

bohol

bohol1

Kambadaga, a village near Pita

kambadaga1

Hanging Bridge at Trift Glacier, Switzerland

trift

Kakum National Park Canopy Walkway

kakum1

kakum2

kakum3


Check out the series of Most Dangerous Roads in the World. Part 2 and Part 1 of Most Dangerous Roads

162 COMMENTS

  1. I have to say, except for the first one, all these bridges look totally safe – hardly the most dangerous in the world.

    Take the one in Ireland, for instance – that bridge is taken down during the winter, and reassembled in spring. This means that it isn’t open during dangerous winter months, and provides a tourist attraction in the summer. Hence, due to the large volume of people crossing it, very strict regulations are imposed regarding its safety.

  2. i was actually on that bridge in ireland the view was beautiful though i did have a fat polish lady jumping up and down on the bridge behind me laughing so it was alittle nerve wracking but i highly recommend it to anyone who goes to visit ireland really one of the most beautiful countries ive seen

  3. I have to say the only bridge that I would not cross was the first one. The rest of them didn’t even get a response…

    It was like “Cool…”
    Most of them were actually crafted well, like I said, except for the first one.

  4. See noone else is interested in these LAME bridges…Noone is commenting them.
    Next time do some better research and find something people will actually like.
    Moron…

    :(

  5. I’ve been reading this awesome site for 2 weeks now. I’ve been impressed tremendously. I applaud. =) Though, this post? I beg to differ. Taman Negara National Park Bridge? In Sarawak, Malaysia? I’ve been there, and indeed I took a shot at the longest canopy walk in the world. It was unimaginably safe, the ‘supporting ropes’ were clearly strong! In fact, they do have an everyday ‘check-the-ropes’ routine. Therefore, it there were to be any damages, if it’s fixable, it would be fixed, and if it was not fixable, then the bridge shall be closed down for a day or two till it’s fixed. Above all, good post! ;D

  6. The country I live have much more dangerous bridges than what I saw in this collection. However much they seems to be dangerous, these bridges still serves the requirements of the indigenous people of the locality.

  7. The are awesome.

    I DON”T understand why they are ‘dangerous’ at all. Is it because people have fallen off them (is there data to support this)?

    The Most Dangerous bridge in the world is actually the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco where on average at least one successful suicide happens each week.

  8. I’ve been over Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge several times. Scary it might be but dangerous? No.

  9. plz wel come in nepal to see ghasa bridge ,this is the year of turisuam in nepal 2011, so plz came to see beauty of neture, nepal is one of the most beautyful country in the world

  10. This is a wonderful collection of bridges, beautiful photographs and certainly they live up to the label of dangerous! I love the virtual tour, but I doubt I could ever bring myself to try crossing one of them!

  11. Fantastic blog! These rudimentary suspension bridges are sometimes the only means of access to remote isolated places. The authorities that own or are responsible for them should ensure that they are safe for the users by properly maintaining and repairing them. The one in Pakistan certainly needs attention.

Leave a Reply