We all know about The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, but what about the scary bridges?
1. U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
This 1.2km bridge near Amarapura in Myanmar is the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. It has no handrails and during the dry season, the bridge is a substantial height above the water. Most interesting is that it was built from the remains of a palace. Sunsets and sunrises are glorious and we’d suggest making sure you catch the beauty of Myanmar at these times.
2. Bamboo Bridge, Cambodia
Located in Kampong Cham in east Cambodia, this bridge is rebuilt every single year in the dry season. Yes, every year. It is built upon a frame of bamboo sticks with a base made of several canes cut in halves and laid out side by side. Words can’t describe how scary this crossing can be, especially if you’re making your way across during peak hour traffic, alongside scooters, cars and lots of people.
3. Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia
The Langkawi Sky Bridge is a 125m pedestrian bridge that stands nearly 700m above sea level at the peak of Gunung Mat Chingchang. The bridge has to be accessed by first taking a cable car up the mountain, after which you have to take an inclined lift to get to the pedestrian bridge. If that’s not petrifying enough, the bridge was closed in 2012 for maintenance and upgrades, which included putting in large sections of glass flooring so that one is actually walking with a clear view of the heights directly below your feet. Talk about spine-chilling.
4. Sidu River Bridge, China
Wuhan is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world. Rising around 500m above the Sidu River, it is so tall that the Petronas Towers of Malaysia could fit underneath it. It was so difficult to construct that it required rockets to lay the pilot cables down. If you think you’re brave, you can even base jump off the bridge.
5. Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China
Located just south of Shanghai, this is one of the longest transoceanic bridges in the world. It stretches over 36km and is so long that there is a service centre in the middle of the bridge which includes a hotel, restaurant, gas station and conference centre. Oh, and a lookout tower that rises 145m above the bridge will give you majestic views and a surprising glimpse at the birdlife in the area.
6. Millau Viaduct, France
The Millau Viaduct in southern France is one the tallest bridges in the world, with one of its masts extending 343m above its base. This road has several steep climbs and descents and is frequently blocked in the winter when sudden, heavy snowfall occur. The bridge is ranked as one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time and if you’re a lover of adrenaline, you have to drive over it at least once.
7. Trift Suspension Bridge, Switzerland
This 100m long bridge had to be built in 2004 due to the Trift glacier retreating in the Alps, making a rest spot for hikers inaccessible. It then had to be rebuilt in 2009 with higher handrails and more stabilising cables to prevent it from swinging too much. It’s a bumpy (and scary) walk but it has turned out to be a massive tourist attraction in the area. With that view and endless Instagram-worthy snaps, you can see why.
– TEXT BY JESSICA FARAH
PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM, 123RF.COM
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.