Nearly 500 school children in Fugong, Yunnan Province, China have to cross the often raging Nujiang River each day to get to school. The only problem is that there is no bridge.

In order to cross the river, the children have to take the journey via a single steel cable stretched across the canyon. Children as young as 4 years old have to transverse the river by themselves each day.


The children fasten themselves to the cable with a carabiner and a rope to slide over the 200 meter wide canyon. Occasionally children get stuck in the middle of the cable and have to wait up to half an hour in order to be rescued.

Five year-old A Pu, who got stuck in the middle for nearly 20 minutes once, said: “I used to dream of having a bridge, but then I learned that my dream was too expensive.”

Officials finally agreed to spend the $35 000 to build a bridge after a TV program drew attention to the dangerous situation.

Example of how it is to cross this river on a steel cable:


Edit: Students no longer have to cross the river on this cable. A bridge was built through donations.