2011 Eric Sakowski

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Events of 2011


China 2011 High Bridge Trip


The following images were all taken during the "2011 High Over China Bridge Trip" that took place during the month of August in several Western China Provinces. Bridge fans Roger Perrin of Great Britain and Georges of France joined me on HighestBridges.com's first ever 3 week tour to experience 50 of the world's highest bridge spans that included walks across half of the world's 10 highest road bridges. The adventurous journey took us over more then 3,000 miles / 5,000 kilometers of roads and highways in Mr. Chen's Wuling mini-van.


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Liantuo Bridge south of the 3 Gorges Dam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our first high bridge of the trip may have been "only" 80 meters from deck to creek but the location of Gangouzi Bridge above the Yangtze River Gorge made it one of the most beautiful and classical looking spans of the trip. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Georges of France frames up the view! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just north of Yichang is the Xialaoxi Gorge Bridge. The creek empties into the Yangtze River just a couple of kilometers downstream of the bridge. This last stretch has become a popular tourist magnet with several suspension footbridges, cliff walks, boat tours and a bungy drop. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Ian looks out from the lower beam bridge which serves the local road alongside the Yangtze River while the high bridge carries a 4-lane expressway to the 3 Gorges Dam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Also in Yichang is the Gezhou Dam, the first one to be built across the lower Yangtze River. The 3 Gorges Dam is located approximately 40 kilometers upstream. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Yiling Bridge is the only crossing of the Yangtze River located directly across from the city of Yichang. At the time of its construction in 2001 Yiling was one of the world's longest 3-tower cable stayed bridges with two central spans of 346 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The new Yichang Yangtze Railway Bridge has the 2 longest railway beam bridge spans in the world at 270 meters apiece albeit with the assistance of two tied arches. The new line continues on from Yichang to Wanzhou crossing 5 bridges more then 100 meters high. There is no other rail line in the world outside of China that has more then one bridge over 100 meters high! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yichang Bridge was completed in 1998 and was one of the earliest long span suspension bridges to be built across the Yangtze River. There are now over a dozen suspension bridge crossings with more to come. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of the first of many stops at a Chinese Sinopec gas station. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Opened in 2009, the G50 is one of the world's greatest high bridges highways. This was the most impressive of several large Western-style rest stops. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The first super high bridge of the trip finally arrives on the G50 in the form of the 220 meter high Weijiazhou Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Georges enjoys a smoke on the towering Weijizhou Bridge while an officer captures the action on video. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Houhe Bridge was another large beam bridge on the eastern end of the mountainous part of the G50. The bridge deck is 107 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We had a beautiful day for taking photos of Longtanhe, the largest beam bridge viaduct in the world with 3 main spans of 200 meters and a pier 178 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking down the 178 meter tall super pier. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yexihe Railway Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Another look at the map of the 3 week bridge journey that took us along 3,000 miles / 5,000 kilometers of road from Wuhan to Kunming. You can click in for a closer look. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Tieluoping Bridge is the next monster along the G50 with a main span of 322 meters and towers 190 meters tall. The deck is 209 meters above the creek. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Georges got some spectacular views from the tower top. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wanzhou Railway line parallels the G50 for over 100 kilometers at a lower elevation with many more miles of tunnels. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just East of Tieluoping Bridge is Guankouya Bridge, another 100+ meter high beam span. Image by Georges.


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Traveling further east we encountered Shuanghekou, another huge beam bridge more then 200 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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After rising several hundred meters in elevation, the G50 finally leads travelers to Siduhe, the highest bridge on earth at 1,627 feet or 496 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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I was finally able to confirm the bridge height with my laser rangefinder. Image by Roger Perrin.


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Baziling tunnel at the east end of Siduhe Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A large rock monument is located on both ends of the bridge with an image of the famous rocket launch that pulled the first pilot line across the gorge in late 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Roger, Georges and I made the scary but exhilarating walk on the world's highest catwalk nearly 1,600 feet / 490 meters above the Sidu River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Ian, Roger and Mr. Chen enjoy a late afternoon view from the center of the span. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Mr. Chen threatens to make a BASE jump without a parachute! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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As our driver for the first half of the trip, Mr. Chen logged more then 1,000 miles behind the wheel of the Wu Ling mini-van. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This view will look very different in 2013 when a reservoir will fill up the lower 20% of the valley from the completion of a downstream dam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Roger contemplates China's own version of the London Underground! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Located just after Siduhe, the giant Shuinan Viaduct crosses a section of valley 110 meters high before plunging into a tunnel. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Zhijinghe Bridge is the highest arch bridge in the world at 965 feet / 294 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We all enjoyed lunch at restaurant run by a family that was surprised to see a bunch of foreigners and could not get enough photos of us with their cell phones. They also run a mobile phone store next to the restaurant. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yesanhe Bridge along the G50 is one of 5 high spans that cross the Yesan River in a stretch of just a few kilometers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A reservoir recently formed beneath the Yesanhe arch bridge reducing the height somewhat. Completed in 1977 the span was the highest in China for almost 2 decades. By the year 2020 it will not even be among China's 100 highest bridges! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 1977 arch bridge was given a major rehab in 2009 that should keep it around for at least a few more decades. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just downstream of the arch is an unusual pipeline bridge with hillside anchorages. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just upstream of the arch is a new pipeline bridge with an amazing color scheme of red and blue! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yesanhe Railway Bridge is one of the 20 highest railway bridges on earth and is the 3rd of 5 bridges on the Wanzhou line that exceed 100 meters in height. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view from our hotel in Yesanguanzhen. Like so many Chinese towns, there is always construction going on. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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An early morning breakfast of eggs and dumplings. Image by Georges.


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Roger, Ian and Mr. Chen fill up before another long day of calorie burning bridge hikes. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Located right along the G50, Yesanguanzhen is just a few kilometers from both Siduhe and Zhijinghe Bridges. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of the larger Western-style rest stops on the G50 is located near Enshi. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our colorful hotel in Enshi. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We were all hungry for a midnight meal in an Enshi back alley restaurant. Image by Georges.


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Just outside the Enshi city center there are many wide new boulevards that are designed and built to handle the rapid growth of car ownership, manufacturing businesses and housing with less congestion and more room. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The huge Mashui River Viaduct with 3 main spans of 200 meters. A new reservoir below the bridge reduced the height by 150 feet / 46 meters since the bridge first opened in 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The main piers are impressive with heights of 133 and 139 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just 2 kilometers downstream of the Mashuihe Viaduct is the Nanlidu arch bridge with a gorgeous red span of 220 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The west end of Nanlidu bridge is home to a stone cutting factory. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The beautiful white lines of the Qingjiang River Bridge, the second highest single tower cable stayed bridge in the world. The Qing River is one of the largest in Western China with white water rafting and a flow that looks comparable to the Colorado River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Qinglong required another careful hang over the edge to get a height measurement. Image by Georges.


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Just 1 kilometer east of the Qingjiang Bridge is another big G50 rest stop with vacuum packed chicken legs to appease your bridge climbing hunger! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Several rafters make their way towards the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A smaller version of the nearby Zhijinghe arch bridge, the Xiaohe crossing is nearly as spectacular with a main span of 338 meters and a deck height of 208 meters. Image by Georges.


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We discovered a temporary encampment beneath the Xiaohe arch bridge where workers were in the early stages of painting the entire structure despite the span opening to traffic in 2010. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Georges is welcomed by a worker to check out the odd assortment of bridge construction equipment and supplies. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The dull look of the temporary paint that was applied to the original truss sections when they were on the ground will be covered over by a bright new red finish similar to the Zhijinghe Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The foundations of the original bridge worker's living quarters is all that exists directly beneath the span. The local 2-lane road that leads into the valley was completely rebuilt with a concrete layer 1.5 meters thick. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A new railway line from Yichang to Chongqing crosses this 100+ meter high viaduct. The new twin tracked bridge is just a few kilometers from the Chongqing border. The G50 travels right under it. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We finally made it to the Yangtze River city of Zhongxian where our hotel room gave us a peek at the Zhongxian suspension bridge completed in 2001 with a main span of 460 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of some Zhongxian City apartment buildings from our "4 star" hotel. The Zhongxian hotel was one of just 2 "fancy" hotels we stayed at on the entire 3 week trip. The other one was in Liupanshui City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The large lobby even had an "Assistant Manager" who offers guests a convenient ash tray even if the sign says "No Smoking". Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A city creek that leads into the Yangtze had some interesting walkways for the locals to reach their riverfront apartments. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yangjialing beam bridge is the last high bridge along the G50 with a deck to creek height of 145 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Unusual sights beneath Chinese bridges are commonplace. This lone tent was located below Yangjialing with a bug curtain. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There is no air conditioning but at least you are safe from the mosquitoes! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We drove more then an hour south of Zhongxian before crossing the Yangtze on the Fengdu suspension bridge which has a span of 450 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The suspenders angle slightly inwards which is unusual on large scale suspension bridges. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This is the only known pipeline bridge across the Yangtze River. The long main span is unusual for being cable stayed. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The spectacular new Han Tangjiatuo cable stayed bridge will carry the new high speed railway line from eastern China to Chongqing City when it opens in 2012 just north of Fuling. Could this be the world's longest span high speed railway bridge? Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Shibangou Bridge is yet another new Fuling cable stayed bridge. This one was built for locals in 2009 and has a main span of 450 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The original Fuling Bridge that opened in 1997 with a span of 330 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Fuling City is growing rapidly since the completion of the 3 Gorges dam created easy access for large ships headed to nearby Chongqing City. A female worker heads up a construction crane tower with little more then sneakers and a tool belt. Image by Georges.


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The new Fuling city bridge over the mouth of the mighty Wujing River. The cable stayed span is an unusual asymmetrical design with one tower about a third higher then the other. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just a few kilometers upstream is a huge new crossing of the Wujiang that will carry a new 4-lane highway along the Yangtze River from Fuling to Wanxian. The design is unknown but will likely be cable stayed. A design for the longest span extradosed bridge in the world was also considered. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wujiang arch bridge was the first in China to be built by constructing the two halves of the arch on either river embankment and then swinging them out over the river and connecting them at the crown in one large move. This method of arch construction is only done in China. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Behold the Caijiagou Viaduct, the largest railway bridge on earth with the largest and tallest bridge piers ever built for a railway line. Constructed for the new high speed line from eastern China to Chongqing City, the huge structure is more then 2 kilometers long. The tallest pier is 139 meters from the foundation to the underside of the beam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Caijiagou is easy to see from the highway that connects Fuling to Chongqing City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The towers will support twin tracks with 3 main spans of 144 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The city of Chongqing where the mighty Jialing River meets the Yangtze River. The city is the largest in all of Western China with more then 30 million people. The low level viaduct you see in the upper right is temporary for the construction of a new cable stayed metro line bridge that will head south across the Jialing River before turning east in a tunnel and then across another cable stayed bridge over the Yangtze River. The design is by Man-Chung Tang and the U.S. and Chinese firm of T.Y. Lin International. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A new Chongqing City hotel rises more then 300 meters high on the right while the gold spired roof of the new Sheraton Hotel can be seen on the left. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The next morning we visited the mighty Shibanpo bridge with a world record breaking span of 330 meters. The central third of the beam is made entirely of steel and was lifted into place. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Caiyuanba is the second longest span double decker arch bridge in the world with a rare monorail metro on the lower level. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The two "mono" rails can be seen with an access hole beneath each. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Nearby Egongyan Bridge was the first of what is now at least 4 major Yangtze River suspension bridge crossings in the vicinity of Chongqing City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The mother of all arch bridges - the record breaking Chaotianmen arch with a span of 552 meters. This length is just 2 meters longer then Shanghai's Lupu Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our next big high bridge expressway to tackle was the G65 which goes from Chongqing City to Hunan Province and other points east. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our first bridge stop was at this beam bridge crossing of the Wujiang River. The G65 highway parallels a new rail line and made for a nice location to do some train spotting. The railway goes from Chongqing City to Qian Jiang city and probably opened around 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Roger checks out the carriages as they cross the new concrete beam span. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The third highest bridge on the G65 is the spectacular Wushan Bridge with a height of 190 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges Alban.


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Image by Georges.


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A new warren truss concrete arch bridge dominates the view looking north. The 2-lane bridge carries the old National road 202 along the general route of the new G65 expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of Wulingshan Bridge from the National Road 202. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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New apartment high rises dominate the east end of the city where the G65 is just a few kilometers away. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We finally found a shop on the main boulevard that would wash our laundry by the next morning. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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While traveling along the old route 319 we passed directly under the G65 and the Wayyaobao Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Back on the G65 we encountered the impressive 150 meter deep gorge of the Yanxigou Bridge. Local government officials touted the span as being higher then the Millau Viaduct despite the French bridge being almost twice the height of Yanxigou. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yanxigou creek flows through an underground tunnel just a few hundred meters downstream from the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Apengjiang Bridge carries the G65 more then 100 meters above a large reservoir. A new highway in the planning stages will likely require a crossing of the Apeng River more then 300 meters high. Stay tuned to HighestBridges.com for more information. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A section of Youyang City is crossed by the G65 on the Hejiaba viaduct some 90 meters high. The Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The G65 has more miles of tunnel then any other highway on earth with at least 120 kilometers of underground 4-lane tunnels. Here we are about to enter an 8,665 meter / 5.4 mile long tunnel which in itself is longer then all the combined tunnels of the Pennsylvania Turnpike - the most tunneled highway in the U.S. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Xisha Bridge is another spectacular gorge buster along the G65 with the world's highest through arch span some 217 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A temporary Tibet-style hanging footbridge was located beneath the arch span during construction and ranks among the 10 highest footbridges ever built. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Someone had fun turning the wall of a cinder block building into the "Xisha Shark". Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our first major bridge in Hunan Province was the Mengdong River Bridge at the city of Yongshun with a deck 420 feet / 128 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We ran into a traffic jam on the way to the Mengdong arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The amazing temporary footbridge set up for the construction of the new Mengdong arch bridge. This span was 570 feet above the reservoir and was more then 300 meters long.


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We all appreciated the special tour construction manager Michael Wu gave us which included a walk across the footbridge. Our movement across the bridge created some unusual oscillations and other odd motions that made it one of the most unique bridge crossings I have ever taken. The feeling is similar to the experience of walking over a tourist bridge like Canada's Capilano Bridge but with much longer and more sustained up and down "wave" motions. Image by Michael Wu.


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Image by Michael Wu.


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Image by Michael Wu.


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Image by Michael Wu.


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Image by Michael Wu.


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Image by Michael Wu.


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The stunning Aizhai Bridge with a main span nearly as long as the Golden Gate Bridge and a deck height of 1,102 feet! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The green safety net gave the span a great glow in the midday sun. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Dehang Canyon road dead ends in 4 kilometers where a special minority village is located. As an invited guest you can see a spectacular show with music, colorful costumes, dragons, a fire walker and more! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The spectacular canyon where the road continues on to the small village and theater.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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They always pluck a guest from the crowd to sing. I was quite embarrassed but managed to "sing" a few lines of Jingle Bells. Image by Ms. Xu.


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Georges and Roger get a special walk with one of the lead performers. Image by Ms. Xu.


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Our visit to Aizhai Bridge was made even more special by Ms. Xu of the Hunan government who put us up in a local hotel and treated us all to several wonderful meals. Image by Ms. Xu.


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Our hotel was perfectly located within the small town of Aizhai. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our hotel served a varied dinner that included every food group imaginable. The black bees at the top of the image were especially tasty with a nice crunch and no worries about getting stung! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our trek along the G76 included a visit to the Shimenkan Bridge east of Guiyang City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Like so many high gorge bridge locations in China, the tight Shimenkan canyon is also home to a dam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The giant Xiaoguanshuiku Bridge is the highest of many new bridges in the immediate vicinity of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province and ground zero for those looking to venture to the region's incredible collection of high bridges. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Looking north from Xiaoguanshuiku there is a bridge and reservoir as well as the construction of a new expressway tunnel that will lead onto a new viaduct alongside the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The last span of Xiaoguanshuiku is asymmetric. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Xiaoguanshuiku Bridge looking north. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This unusual skyscraper on the western edge of the city looks spectacular at night with lasers and lights shooting off the top in all directions. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The lake is actually a man-made reservoir with at least 2 other bridge crossings. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We finally reached Balinghe, the second longest mountain bridge of the entire trip with a tower to tower span of 1,088 meters and a deck to river drop of 1,215 feet. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Georges begins to form a plan on how we might photograph the mighty span. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Roger Perrin.


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Georges climbs onto one of China's great walls to get the perfect shot! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The bridge is simply breathtaking from any vantage point. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A family moves some furniture across the long deck. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Mr. Chen takes a break in our minivan in front of the west side anchorage. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the span looking south from the 2-lane highway to Liupanshui. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking south with cliffs rising 2,000 feet above the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A new arch lies upstream of the suspension bridge and was constructed to span the deep reservoir that formed from a downstream dam. The road that descended into the valley was loaded with dozens of tight turns and switchbacks. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 2-lane highway rose another 1,000 feet in elevation before we finally began to descend 2,000 feet down to the low level arch bridge crossing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A motorcycle collision along the steep road that descends into the Bei Pan River gorge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Beipanjiang concrete arch bridge that was completed in 2009. The arch was constructed by swinging both halves of the arch out from the river slopes where they were built on top of forms just a few meters above the ground. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The beautiful location spawned a food vendor village on the Southeast side of the span sometime after 2008. The debris is piled up before being burned. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The first of two "twin" suspension bridges along the Guibi Road, the Xixi Bridge has an extremely thin concrete deck that seems to float across the 700 foot deep canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Georges even did some cablewalking! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The nearby Xixi Gangou arch bridge is another one of China's many truss arch spans. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Wuxi Bridge is the second big beam bridge on the Guibi Road after Liuguanghe. The road spans a deep crevasse 600 feet below the deck. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Luojiaohe Bridge is very similar to Xixi Bridge with steep cliffs on both sides and a man-made reservoir below. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Luojiaohe Bridge parking area has become a storage yard for the many cars that have been involved in head on collisions where the damage is always evident on the front left side of the car. The Gui-bi highway has become incredibly dangerous with only 2 lanes and no way to pass slow moving trucks without going into oncoming traffic. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Prior to the Wujiang viaduct’s opening, the highway descended into the valley and crossed the river on a one-of-a-kind suspension / cable stayed bridge hybrid. Opened in 1997, it was the first time in more than 50 years that a major bridge was constructed with cable stays supporting the deck on either side of the tower with a conventional suspended span in the middle. French engineers like Ferdinand Arnodin built many similar hybrid suspension / cable stayed bridges in the late eighteen and early 1900s. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Sometime after 2009 the Wujiang suspension bridge was closed to trucks whose overloaded cargo has damaged the deck surface. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just a few kilometers north of Wujiang is a closed arch that was probably built in 1997 when the suspension bridge was completed. The span was recently declared unsafe due to damage likely caused by overloaded trucks as well as construction flaws. A new viaduct bypasses the arch. A similar situation occurred in nearby Renhuai with the 1995 Yanjihe River arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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A local family was living in a room inside the north end arch approach and offered Georges and me some free soft drinks that were much appreciated. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Maotai is the highest and largest of the 3 bridges with a central span of 220 meters and a height above the old river level of 178 meters. Image by Georges.


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A drought left the deep reservoir almost empty during our late summer visit. Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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The Yanjinhe river dam that created the deep reservoir under all 3 bridge spans. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A large cup greets travelers along the Renhuai expressway. Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The cable covers got quite rusty since my first visit in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A lot of locals head down into the valley on a trail next to the north end of the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our hotel in Liupanshui was the nicest of the entire trip with well decorated rooms and a rare bathroom where the shower area was separate from the toilet. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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They even sold Viagra! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There are catwalks on 3 different levels of the arch including the top, bottom and inside the truss. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking 650 feet / 198 meters straight down! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A motorcycle shop along route 212 where we had a late dinner before an even later "midnight drive" to our hotel in Qinglong. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A westbound truck carries a load of giant wind blades. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Baishuichong Bridge is next in the G60 beam bridge lineup with 2 main spans of 150 meters and a height of 125 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Several graves hug the mountainside below the west end approach spans. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A local farmer set up a sign advertising fruit for sale to anyone who pulls over. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The fruit lady! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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I never did get the name of this 100+ meter high bridge just west of Zhuchanghe. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There are 3 suspension bridges that cross the river and allow easy access to trails on both sides of the canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The second suspension bridge crosses over to an "island" in the middle of the river channel. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The third suspension bridge that connects the mid-river island to the east side. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking north up the the Maling River gorge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of the largest plaza areas in the city center. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A small portion of the giant Cuihu Park lake in central Kunming. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view from the Daguan Park Ferris wheel shows a skyline with few really tall skyscrapers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Another view from the lakefront park shows how entire neighborhoods are destroyed to make room for more modern condominiums. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The monstrous wheel is at least 80 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Daguan Park also had musicians singing traditional Chinese songs. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Kite flying is very popular in China's large city parks. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There is an entire district in Kunming devoted to sign shops. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

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