Treacherous road to school

| November 14th, 2011

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In Taxkorgan County of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, a rural village called Pili Village(皮里村) recently became famous when the above photo showing how children travel to school was posted on weibo by a CCTV journalist and retweeted over 16,000 times.

According to the journalist, there are 416 villagers scattering among the mountains, over 80 of them are children eligible for school. However, the school is more than 200 km away, 80 km of which consists of narrow mountain trails, dangerous cliffs and turbulent rivers.

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Every year when school season starts, village officials and teachers from the county will come down to the village collecting school kids and escorting them to the boarding school, then send them back at the end of every semester.

To enter Pili village, you must wade through 4 freezing cold rivers, slide across a 200 m chain bridge and 4 Single-plank bridges made of just 2 pieces of wood.  Because they can not wade through the turbulent Yarkand River, they must go around to bypass numerous mountain cliffs, gravel and rapids.  Rocks might be falling above their heads at any time, and beneath the cliff trail which is only a few inches wide can only fit half of a foot, is the steady stream of flood. From dusk till down, It takes 2 days and one night to complete the journey .

The most difficult part of the journey is lack of drinking water. Looking at the river rushing by, they have to resist the urge to drink from it, but when they get too thirsty, they drink a gulp of flood.

More photos from tianya:

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CCTV-1 covers the story:

13 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Savages Censor Me says:

    This is awesome. This is what school should be all about. Beats the crap they’re learning *at* school anyway.

  2. markmackinnon says:

    Why can’t they drink the water? You didn’t really explain, what does “drink a gulp of flood” mean? It makes no sense. You can’t just say “they must resist the urge to drink it” then not explain why.

    • Jason says:

      the water’s dirty. the video said something about the funny taste and it’s too salty.
      but its the only place with water on a 40 km route so some of the kids took some.
      and one kid decided to drink the water because he wanted to give the water he brought along to the adults.

      the “flood” is probably refering to the water as flood water?

  3. Huzhang says:

    >An ethnic Han uncle grabbed you yes?
    lul

  4. Augis says:

    The pictures look awesome!
    I wouldn’t mind to travel that route myself.

  5. Jen says:

    I wouldn’t have minded travelling to school that way. Would it not be better though for the government in the area to organise special plane trips at the beginning and end of each semester?

  6. NATO>ASIA says:

    Disgusting! Why are these Han’s torturing and immoliating Uighers? These pictures clearly show that the Han majority are a bunch of savage yellow niggers.

  7. Mark says:

    Long dangerous journey to have your kids head filled with a lot of Han CCP propaganda.

  8. Xiongmao says:

    Something doesn’t add up here. 200 km to the school, 80 of which are “narrow mountain trails, dangerous cliffs and turbulent rivers.” yet the primary school kids can make it in 2 days? I’m impressed, even in my hiking form (20 kilos and 5 years ago) it would have taken me at least a week. Anyway, if this is a twice-a-year event why not splash out on 2 army ‘copters doing the job? If China really is so hip on holding on to these remote, godforsaken areas they should make an effort at least.

    • HR says:

      lets see, 200km or about 124 miles in 2 days and one night. My rough estimation is that those kids would have to be walking an average of 3 mph for 16 hours a day for 2 days and 9 hours on the last day. I do not envy them at all.

  9. David says:

    This makes me admire the Chinese people even more!

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