Jim McMahon/Mapman®

What’s the hardest thing about school? For students in a small village in southern China, it may be just getting there. Their village, Atule’er (ah-TOO-leer), sits atop a cliff in a remote area that has no roads. So the kids climb 2,600 feet down a steel ladder to get to a school in the valley below.

They attend classes for two weeks at a time and then head back up the cliff to return home. The climb takes about two hours.

The trip used to be even more difficult. Students had to go up and down unsteady bamboo ladders. But in 2016, the Chinese government replaced the old ladders with steel ones.