For some people, the ideal vacation revolves around luxury hotels, posh restaurants, full service spas and exotic resorts – the finest that money can buy. For others, travel is more about adventure. They don’t want to pampered. They want to leave comforts behind them and go where most people never dare to go, and see the sights most people will never see.
For the adventurers and the thrill seekers out there, this list is for you! Here are 10 of the most breath-taking bridges, from remote places around the world – guaranteed to get your heart racing.
10. Aiguille du Midi Bridge
Located in the French Alps, this bridge can only be reached by cable car. In fact, it’s the longest vertical cable car in the world: a 9,000 foot climb from Chamonix to the summit above. Those who can stomach this 20 minute ride are rewarded with the most spectacular view of the mountains of southern France – and a chance to look fear in the face.
9. Capilano Suspension Bridge
Located north of Vancouver, British Columbia, this cable suspension bridge is 140 meters (460 ft) long, and hangs 70 meters above the Capilano River. First erected in 1889 with hemp rope and cedar planks, the bridge was rebuilt in 1956 using much stronger wire cable. Since then, the park has added a new walkway suspended from the side of a cliff overlooking the river, and series of treetop bridges and viewing platforms. Tourists flock to this park for the beautiful scenery and the thrill of walking among the gigantic, old growth fir trees.
8. Puente de Ojuela
Also known as the Mapimi Bridge, this ancient suspension bridge is located in the state of Durango, Mexico. This pedestrian bridge was originally built 1898 in order to reach the Ojuela gold mine, long since abandoned. But the bridge was restored in 1991, and now serves as tourist attraction.
7. Geumgang Gureumdari Bridge
Located in Daedunsan Provincial Park in Korea, the bridge is part of a five hour hiking trail around Daedunsan mountain. The bridge is 50 meters long (164 ft) and is suspended 80 meters (260 ft) above a treacherous gorge. The trail also features an incredibly steep suspended staircase – not for the faint of heart.
6. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
Located in Northern Ireland, this narrow rope bridge connects the mainland with the tiny island of Carrick-a-Rede. It is 20 meters (66 ft) long and 30 meters (98 ft) above the rocky sea below. It was once a dangerous and dilapidated bridge used by salmon fisherman out of necessity, but it has been improved and rebuilt many times through the years, most recently in 2008. Although no longer used by fishermen, it remains a popular tourist attraction – although many who come to see it lack the courage to cross.
5. Mount Titlis Cliff Walk
This suspension foot bridge is located in the Swiss Alps, more than 10,000 feet above sea level. It is 98 meters (320 feet) long, and hangs 457 meters (1500 feet) above a glacier. It cost more than £1 million, and is built to withstand 120 mph winds and 450 tons of snow. On clear day, hikers can see all the way to Italy.
4. Hanging Bridge of Ghasa
Located near the remote village of Ghasa in Nepal, this frightening rope bridge hangs high above a mountain valley. How long is it? How high? As far as I can tell, no one knows. It was built to alleviate congested traffic on the narrow mountain paths, and is used every day by both people and pack animals. Look out for yak droppings.
3. Trift Suspension Bridge
The longest suspension foot bridge in Switzerland is located near the town of Gadmen, and can only be reached by cable car. The bridge is 170 meters (560 ft) long, and is suspended above the Triftsee lake 100 meters (330 ft) below. It is part of a scenic alpine trail that leads hikers up to a picturesque view of the Trift valley and a nearby glacier. Beautiful, no doubt. Just don’t look down.
2. Hussaini Hanging Rope Bridge
Located in Northern Pakistan, the Hussaini hanging bridge stretches across Borit Lake in the upper Hunza valley. The bridge looks terrifying: thin cables supporting weathered old boards, with substantial gaps between them. It looks as though one wrong step could plunge you into the lake below. Also unnerving are the crumbling remains of a second, older bridge that still hangs alongside it. All of which contributes to it’s reputation as “the scariest bridge in the world.” It even has it’s own Facebook page. Thrill seekers come from far and wide to see if they have the guts to complete this treacherous crossing.
But to the locals, it’s actually no big deal. They routinely cross the bridge to travel from one village to another – even little children. Despite it’s frightening appearance, it seems the bridge is actually quite safe.
1. Musou Tsuribashi Suspension Bridge
Deep in the Akaishi mountain range of Japan hangs a dilapidated, 60 year old bridge known as Musou Tsuribashi, which means “matchless suspension bridge.” This thing is an acrophobe’s nightmare: no handrails, old rotting boards, many of which have fallen away, leaving yawning gaps which open onto the treetops below. Long stretches of the bridge have only one thin board to stand on, running straight down the middle; one needs the poise and balance of a tightrope walker to reach the other side. The bridge is so old, and the region so remote, that little is known about the bridge, or why it was built. But I know one thing: this is the scariest and most dangerous bridge in the world – hands down.