Roads connect one place to another. They make travel faster, more convenient, and safer. However, some roads need to be built around or along the roughest terrain in order to provide people with these privileges and keep the adrenaline pumping while traversing these wild routes.

Fasten your seatbelt and take a virtual ride in the most dangerous and scariest roads in Asia:

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan

The Karakoram Highway (KKH) links Pakistan and China. This 810-mile highway stretches along the rugged Karakoram Mountain Range and culminating at the Khunjerab Pass, the world’s highest border crossing to reach China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
Karakoram Highway, Pakistan | Photo by David Stanley under creative commons

With numerous twists and turns, only the bravest and most skilled drivers can conquer this road which is beset with dangers such as avalanches, rock falls, landslides, heavy snowfalls, floods, herds of wandering animals, and reckless drivers. The rock walls with jutting sharp rocks, vertical drops, and unguarded rails are surely heart-stopping factors that must be considered before deciding to take this route.

Leh-Manali Road, India

This 300-mile long highway in India crosses the planet’s steepest mountain passes, including the Himalaya mountain range. Due to unpredictable weather, extreme cold, high altitude, and absence of civilization, this route poses a lot of dangers. It is open to the public for 4 ½ months only, between May or June and mid-October when the snow is cleared, allowing travelers to view the stunning rock and sand formations. 

Leh-Manali Highway in India
Leh-Manali Highway in India | Photo by Simon Matzinger under creative commons

Tianmen Mountain Road, China

This 6.8-mile winding mountain road gives a stellar view of the Tianmen Mountain from the bottom to the peak via Tongtian Avenue. This spiraling road is popularly known as the “Avenue Toward Heaven” with 99 bends that symbolize the 9 palaces in Heaven.  Be mindful though, because these bends are treacherous sharp turns along the cliffsides, giving its reputation as one of the most dangerous and scariest roads in Asia. 

Tianmen Mountain Road, China
Tianmen Mountain Road, China | Photo by Pablo Fernández under creative commons

Guoliang Tunnel Road, China

With the desire to connect Guoliang to other villages of Henan province, 13 people carved a 1.2-kilometer tunnel along the mountainside using conventional chisels and hammers in 1972. Some of them died during the construction, not fortunate enough to see how the 13 feet wide and 16 feet high tunnel came into completion in 1977.  The Guoliang Tunnel Road is regarded as the “road that doesn’t tolerate mistakes” because of its treacherous curves that include rocky precipice with open edges. 

Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
Guoliang Tunnel Road, China | Photo by FANG Chen under creative commons

Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan

Taroko Gorge Road is one of the most dangerous and scariest roads in Asia with the record of taking 450 lives during its construction. This narrow road is carved through the rocky mountain and joined the East and West Coast areas. It is full of sharp turns, winding paths, and blind curves, which are both challenging and fearsome. Typhoons and heavy rainfalls can cause rockslides and landslides that make it impassable. But, despite the dangers, it is one of the most frequented roads in Taiwan because of the incredible views of the surroundings. 

Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan
Taroko Gorge Road, Taiwan | Photo by Tom Cheng under creative commons

Halsema Highway, Philippines

It is a 93.2-mile circuitous highway that crosses the Cordillera Central mountain range in Luzon connects Benguet and Baguio to the rest of Northern Luzon. The dangers come from falling rocks, mudslides, and landslides that may occur during and after the rainfall. The narrow path and foggy conditions add challenge to driving, along with reckless drivers. 

Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China

From Chengdu, Sichuan in the East to Lhasa, Tibet in the West, this precipitous highway crosses high mountains, rivers, forests, and a lot of dangerous curves. It winds among the high peaks down to the mountainside. It is unpaved, so beware of mud traps and landslides during the rainy season. The real danger comes from unscrupulous people who threaten, harass, rob, or kidnap travelers whose vehicles are stuck in the mud for days.

Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China
Sichuan-Tibet Highway, China | Photo by 张骐 under creative commons

Are you on for a challenge? These highly dangerous and scariest roads in Asia will definitely put you on the edge of your seat!