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Why Long Bien Bridge is special ?
The bridge was built in 1903 by the architects of Daydé & Pillé, a French company. Before North Vietnam's independence in 1954, it was called Paul-Doumer Bridge, named after Paul Doumer - The Governor-General of French Indochina and then French president. It was, at that time, one of the longest bridges in Asia with the length of 2,500 m. For the French colonial government, the construction was of strategic importance in securing control of northern Vietnam. From 1899 to 1902, more than 3,000 Vietnamese took part in the construction. It was heavily bombarded during Vietnam War due to its critical position (the only bridge at that time across the Red River and connect Hanoi to the main port Haiphong). The first attack took place in 1967, and the center span of the bridge was felled by an attack by 20 USAF F-105 fighter-bombers. The defence of Long Bien Bridge continues to play a large role in Hanoi’s self-image and is often extolled in poetry and song. It was rendered unusable for a year when, in May 1972, it fell victim to one of the first co-ordinated attacks using laser-guided "smart bombs". Some parts of the original structure remain intact, while large sections have been built later to repair the holes. Only half of the bridge retains its original shape. A project with support and loan from the French government is currently in progress to restore the bridge to its original appearance. Today trains, mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians use the dilapidated bridge, while all other traffic is diverted to the nearby Chuong Duong Bridge and some newly built bridges: Thanh Tri Bridge, Thang Long Bridge, Vinh Tuy Bridge, and Nhat Tan Bridge. Under the bridge, around forty extremely poor families live in boats on the Red River, coming from many poor rural areas of Vietnam.
What to explore at Long Bien Bridge?
Today, Long Bien is only one of the five bridges crossing the Red river of Hanoi. However, it may be the most special bridge with unique historic, architectural, and cultural value. It is the only bridge in Hanoi where all the riders have to go in the left hand side, where tourists can take a walk and taste mouthwatering desserts offered by vendors (see 5 street vendors you should not miss out in Hanoi), where Hanoians can buy fresh vegetable or fish for the dinner from thesmall afternoon market on the bridge.
Many people living and visiting Hanoi said that Long Bien Bridge is the best place to look at the sunrise or the sunset and taking nice photos of alluvial patch. Many brides and grooms choose Long Bien Bridge as nice background in their wedding albums. Many tourists come here to visit a historical construction and view nice scenery. Many youngsters, teenagers take nice photos to keep memories of youth on the bridge or in the middle of alluvial patch with full of green tree. Many vendors and housewives still come here every afternoon for an open air market.
And many trains pass the bridge each day.
That way, Long Bien – the oldest bridge in Hanoi is still living and sharing the daily life with Hanoians silently. If you have a chance to visit Hanoi, do not forget to take a walk on Long Bien Bridge for sight seeing, feeling the daily life of Hanoians, and enjoying peaceful moments at the present but not forgetting memorable past.
- Found entrance to bridge on random walk
- The symbol of courageous capital
- A beautiful old bridge
- Feel great when you make a walk along the bridge
- A bridge but also a piece of history
Tips for you
Early morning we came up the bridge to take the photo. Lovely scenery and so romantic point to seat. The wind blows slowly and people bustle moving 2 sites of the bridge. The foot of the bridge there is local house look so fun but I guess it's just for doing the farm works. It's also very worth to see for my opinion.
One of most beautiful old bridge in Hanoi, Vietnam