Chongqing- In a remote village in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, 23 households spent over a decade constructing a road on a cliff to better connect to the outside world and improve their lives.
Located in Lanying grand canyon, southern slopes of the central Daba Mountains in Wuxi County, the Lanying Cliff Road is an awesome path carved out of the mountains. The road is steep compared to the flat ground, hitting 40 degrees through some sections. It’s the only transportation route connecting Lanying Village to the outside world. Previously, residents traveled almost an entire day to exit the mountainous area and get to the nearest road to sell and buy goods at the county’s markets. That was until the villagers took it upon themselves to dig a way out.
Jiang Dexing, a villager of Zhou Jiaping said, “You can see cliffs surrounding this place, and isolated. Many villagers moved to the nearby cities. In early 2002, we only had 23 households and around 80 people. So we discussed together and decided that we must dig out a cliff road by ourselves.” As big equipment could not get in, they used basic tools to build the road. The 1.2 kilometers cliff road was divided into 23 sections, with each family responsible for one. It took them nearly four years to finish the rough foundation. In 2017, the local government raised enough funds to reinforce the road, justifying its role in alleviating poverty.
Xiang Qing’an, secretary of Lanying Village Branch, said, “We planned to reinforce the road in 2016 and finish construction in 2017. The rich natural landscape here, though normal for us, has started to attract tourists. People here want to develop tourism, and we hope more tourists can come and bring us higher incomes.” With the support of the national poverty alleviation policy, old houses in the village have been rebuilt. And the village is covered by a 4G network and digital TV is also available. Some villagers who once moved out are now moving back. Officials say the whole village was out of poverty by the end of 2019.
Now the extremely narrow road, “Sky Road” has been widened and paved, which has greatly improved the travel convenience of the villagers in this area. In addition, the village has built a viewing platform, hiking trails, toilets, street lamps, and other infrastructure, the “Sky Road” has gradually become an instagramable point for rural tourism. The story of 23 families building this road will be remembered forever.
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