• Directory Journal

Most Dangerous Bridges In The World: Rope Hanging Bridges.

by Anastasia on May 29, 2013 · 162 comments

in Architecture, Interesting Facts, Travel

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

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

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Aiguille du Midi at the Mont Blanc Mountain, France

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Taman Negara National Park Bridge, Malaysia

That’s the world’s longest Canopy Walkway.

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Hanging Bridge of Ghasa in Nepal

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Siju Hanging Bridge, India

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Some Hanging Bridge in India

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Hanging Bridge at Thenmala, India

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Just some bridge in Philippines

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Repovesi nature park Valkeala, Finland

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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.

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Hanging Bridge in Drake Bay, Costa Rica

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Hanging bridge in Bohol, Philippines

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Kambadaga, a village near Pita

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Hanging Bridge at Trift Glacier, Switzerland

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Kakum National Park Canopy Walkway

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

{ 138 comments… read them below or add one }

chelsea May 27, 2010 at 6:40 pm

how scary i could never walk on one of those!!!!!!!

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Rob June 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm

126 comments and nothing about Indiana Jones?

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nature July 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

very nice pics!

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sunil thapar July 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

all bridges should not be repaired and should be sent their images as most amazing monuments

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Rylie September 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

Don’t forget the vine bridges of Iya Valley, Japan :) http://atlasobscura.com/place/vine-bridges-japan

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Mark NYARPP . October 1, 2010 at 10:46 am

pakistan has the most dnagerous bridge . but philippines’ bridge is awesome !

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chris_hogarth@msn.com October 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm

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

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afcles October 16, 2010 at 6:47 am

is there any bridges like these in
uk ? any body know

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Andro January 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

Impressive collection

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pawan dahal March 31, 2011 at 7:08 am

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

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ganesh October 19, 2011 at 7:16 am

just awesome!!
are all of them tourist spots, or some of them used by the local people of that region?

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Ranjith December 15, 2011 at 2:51 am

Fantastic view

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Dharmendra December 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

awesome…!!!♥♥

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Muhammad Saleem Ahmad January 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

ther are so many dangerous bridges in the world but i like Philpinies bridges because of there beautification and way of technique . i like it very much

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Stephanie Henkel January 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm

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!

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swati June 8, 2012 at 6:38 am

wow!!!! its very nice…….

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shamsi shahid June 8, 2012 at 11:12 am

oh my god i would like to visit such places,

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JonFromSeattle June 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

No pictures from Washington State? Come on!

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naresh nastturace June 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

its very adventures …………………………

i love tis place

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satendra shah July 27, 2012 at 1:47 am

it’s fantastic & filled with lots of colours

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may ann December 12, 2012 at 11:05 pm

nice photos..amazing!

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harinath December 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

awesome beautiful….what a man/women devoloped the briges as convinient… great man/women in the world

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A. Shakoor Uppal January 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

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.

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San Diego Temple June 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Ha! These look straight out of the movies!

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Siraj Alvi March 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

I really liked it and would try to visit these places

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