There’s probably a good chance you’ve hit a traffic jam on your commute to work or school and complained at what a ‘nightmare’ journey you’ve had to endure. We’ve all done it! but you’ll think yourself very lucky once you see what some people have to go through every day just to arrive at work/school safely. Whether it’s climbing a mountain with no safety ropes or crossing a rickety bridge with a fierce river running below it, the following are 10 of the most incredibly dangerous commutes to school and work in the world.
Zhang Jiawan Village
The children of Zhang Jiawan Village in Southern China must really enjoy going to school, especially if they’re willing to put their lives at risk every day just to get there. The school is located at the top of a steep mountain and the only way to make it to the top is to climb the unsecured wooden ladders that are propped up against the cliff face. Talk about being dedicated to your schoolwork!
Java – Indonesia
A huge amount of children ride their bikes to school, but few will have to cross as treacherous a bridge as the one found in Java, Indonesia. The rickety structure only has a tiny wooden plank for children to cycle along and a small railing to stop them plunging hundreds of feet to their death. Judging by the photos above, that doesn’t seem to slow the children down though!
Steel Zip Wire – Colombia
Riding a zip wire to school or work might sound like fun, but this zip wire in Colombia would test the nerves of even the bravest commuter. The 800m long and 400m high wire is the only way for the remote villagers who live in the Colombian rainforest to reach the nearest town. Terrified passengers must hold on for dear life as they zip along the wire and across the raging Rio Negro River below them.
Zanskar Boarding School – Indian Himalayas
Being shipped off to a boarding school is a frightening enough prospect for most children, but spare a thought for the poor pupils of the Zanskar boarding school, who have to undertake a dangerous journey across the mountains and frozen lakes of the Himalayas before they’ve even arrived for their first day of classes!
Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous – China
If prizes were given out for the most dedicated pupils in the world, then the children of this boarding school in Pili, China would surely win hands down. They have to undertake a 125 mile journey every term that takes two full days to complete and sees them trekking across dangerous cliffs, four rivers, four single-plank bridges and a 650ft long chain bridge!
Tower Climbers – Worldwide
While most of us commute to the office or a shop for work, spare a thought for tower engineers, who have to climb to the top of structures often thousands of feet in the air. If climbing up the side of a tower wasn’t scary enough, the engineers also have to carry a heavy bag of tools and equipment in order to fix the problem at the top. But the scariest fact of all? These engineers are on the clock, so they have to get to the top as quickly as possible, sometimes with no safety equipment at all! Talk about having nerves of steel.
Gulu School – China
If any of the pupils at Gulu School in China suffer from vertigo, they may find the daily commute a little hard to bear. The schoolchildren have to take a 5 hour journey up mountain paths that are often only 12 inches wide in places. It certainly doesn’t seem to bother some of the pupils though, who even make the journey on donkey back!
Sulphur Mining in Mount Ijen – Indonesia
If you feel you have a tough commute to work, you might change your mind after hearing what the workers at the Mount Ijen mine have to go through every day. Around 300 miners make a daily commute to the top of the sulphur mine before scrambling down a dangerous and rocky path into the heart of the volcano. They then break up large blocks of sulphur and transport them (on their backs) back up the steep volcano and to a pay station 3km away…, before repeating the process all over again!
Padang, Sumatra – Indonesia
The photos above could easily be mistaken for an army obstacle course, but it is actually the schoolchildren of Padang, rather than trained soldiers, who have to tackle this terrifying bridge every day just to get to school. The pupils also have to face the tightrope walk knowing that one slip could send them plunging into the powerful river some 30ft below!
The Galle Fort – Sri Lanka
In an age when health and safety concerns seem to be stopping many teachers from even taking their pupils out of the classroom, the above photo really does emphasise the contrasts in different cultures. These pupils at The Galle Fort in Sri Lanka are not only taken across the top of a steep wall by their teacher but he even expects them to walk over a narrow plank of wood (with a steep drop below) while he calmly watches on!