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The World's Most Dangerous Stairs

The Haiku Stairs

slide Also known as the ‘stairway to heaven’, ‘haiku ladder’, and ‘NOPE’, these are 3,922 stairs
that you don’t want to fool with. Once part of a top secret Naval facility, this precarious
trail runs across the top of the Ko’olau mountain range.

And they are illegal to climb, complete with a guard at the bottom to stop you. Not that
you would need the discouragement, seeing as how one look would send most sensible
people right back down the trail. However, not everyone is sensible.


Angor Wat In Cambodia

alienThe pitch of a staircase is important when it comes to usability. Cambodian monasteries however, seem beyond the reach of reasonable building codes. These stairs are very close
to completely vertical. They give a new meaning to the phrase “climb the stairs” as you
literally have to climb. Word of advice: don’t look down.


Machu Picchu

risersAnytime you come across a staircase known widely as “The Staircase Of Death” you know something about them just isn’t right. This Inca Staircase leading to the Moon Temple at the historical site is about 600 or so feet of rock, no rail, and, as a TripAdvisor reviewer states ‘breathtaking and certain death!’ It is steep, the steps are of varying uniformity, and there is
a half mile drop on one side. Did we mention that the altitude is also enough to slow down
even the fittest of athletes? Because it is.


Congress Hall In Biel, Switzerland

musicHeight of doom? Check. No Handrail? Check. Absolutely no reason for it to be there?
Double check. Fortunately this is not an actively used staircase and a simple art project
by a couple of local urban artists (Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann). However, those
doors actually lead to the inside of the building. This is one Congress Hall you do not
want to make a wrong turn in.


Mt. Huashan, China

sawdustAlso known as one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world, the stairs you will encounter on this journey are not to be trifled with. To be honest they are the stuff of nightmares. With some of them almost completely vertical it is more like rock climbing
than stair climbing. Expert advice: Anytime you have to use a rope to get up stairs you
can be sure they weren’t built by an SMA Stairbuilder.


Spiral Staircase at Taihang Mountain

fishtankNot many stairs make you sign a waiver before you attempt them, but this 300 foot
spiral staircase in China does. While most of the staircases on this list are old and
might be forgiven for being extreme, these were fabricated only a few years ago.
They were built to ‘increase tourism’ and give visitors a more natural experience as
the wind blows, the birds fly past, it is likely you will notice the thumping of
your heart as well.

Kalavantan Durg, India

fishtankAlso known as the world’s most dangerous fortress, it got that name because
of its stairs. No attacker in their right mind wants to go up these bad boys,
especially at an elevation of 2,300 feet. Named for a princess in around 500
BC, not much is known about the purpose for the fort other than it was and still is
formidably scary. Unlike some of the other stairs on this list, you can walk up them
anytime you want. All that is stopping you is a plane ticket and common sense.

Stairs Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Dresden, Germany

fishtankThese stairs weren’t built, they were carved. Dating back to the thirteenth century,
and despite the fact that they have been eroded by weather and centuries of use,
these stairs are still traversed daily by tourists and locals alike. They are located in
the heart of the German Mountains and one of the most beautiful national parks in the
world. Some of the steps were restored in the 18th century to make them safer.
‘Safer’ being a relative term in this case.

Chand Baori, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

fishtankBuilt between 800 and 900 AD by a king named Chanda to address a problem with
water, these stairs are actually the largest step well in the world. Clocking in at 13
stories with absolutely no handrails and a long bumpy ride into the water below
they were built to last and are some of the most beautiful stairs in the world. But beauty
does not forsake safety. One slip and the water below will become a welcome respite
from the countless stone steps greeting you on the way down.

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