In Southwest China's Sichuan province there is a village perched on top of a mountain called Atule'er village, aka the "cliff village."
The routes leading to the outside world are 17 vine ladders made of rattan. The village has 72 families with 15 school-aged children. The children regularly use a rattan ladder to scale an 800-meter cliff on their way to and from boarding school every two weeks.
The villagers go to the nearest market several kilometers away once a week using the same ladders.
According to Chen Jigu, one of the villagers, the ladder is as old as the village, maybe hundreds of years.
"We replace a ladder with a new one when we find one of them is rotten," Chen said.
Jike Jinsong, an official at the Zhaojue county government, said, "It will cost about 60 million yuan to build a road connecting Atuler and two other remote villages. But the county government only has 200,000 yuan for the project."
In the meanwhile, however, Lin Shucheng, party chief of the region, has promised to build a makeshift steel ladder to replace the rattan ladder as soon as possible to ensure the safety of the villagers.