Lonely Planet Writer

Check out this road in southwest China with its amazing 24 zigzag bends

You’d need to have a steady nerve to drive on the the 24 Zig Road, located near Qinglong town in Guizhou province in China, because it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.

A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina
A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina

Part of the old Dian Qian Road, the winding mountain road with its dramatic hairpin bends is one of the most famous roads in the world and among the most spectacular in China.

A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina
A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina

The 8.9km road was completed in 1935 by the Chinese. It was heavily used during World War II to help resist the Japanese invasion by transporting supplies from the Burma Road to Chongqing, the capital of China at the time.

With its dramatic hairpin bends, 24 Zig Road was a treacherous road to travel on, but it helped bring about a final victory in the war against the Japanese.

A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina
A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina

History tells us that the road was so dangerous that many trucks overturned on it. It was so notorious that during the war, drivers often prayed for their safety before they embarked on it.

A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina
A road with 24 zigzag bends in southwest China. Image: ImagineChina

While the historic road is no longer in active use, those who travel on it these days tend to be curious drivers who are driving on it for fun, or those on motorbikes seeking a shortcut.