The 24-Zig Road is one of the most spectacular roads in China. This winding mountain road is located near Qinglong town in Guizhou Province, in the southwest of the country. It’s one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. The road was built by the Chinese during WWII to transport supplies to help resist the Japanese invasion.
24-Zig Road is the name of the sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a steep and narrow zig-zag road. It’s also known as 24-zig and 24 Zigzags, and witnessed more than 2000 trucks fully loaded with military supplies passed by daily in World War II. The winding mountain road was finished on 1935. At present the road is no longer in active use but is still used as a shortcut by motorbikes and three-wheelers. It was so notorious that during the war, drivers often prayed for their safety before they embarked on it.
This short mountain road is 4km long. It was built in the shape of “S” on a 60 degrees slope. The road is named after the 24 bends ascending from the valley bottom to the Qinglong town. It’s 5 meters wide. Contrary to popular belief this stretch is not part of the Burma Road, Ledo Road or Stilwell Road but part of the road that connected Kunming (the end of the Burma Road) to Chongqing (the capital of China during WW-II). The road climbs 264 metres from 1.296 meters at bend one to 1.560 metres at bend twenty-four (866 feet climb from 4,252 feet at bend one to 5,118 feet at bend twenty-four). The average gradient is around 8% and the distance between bend one and bend twenty-four is about 3.5 Km (2.2 Mile). Opposite the road, on a mountain, there is a platform for sightseeing. The road is unpaved. History tells us that the road was so dangerous that many trucks overturned on it.