Long Bien Bridge – A Symbol of Courageousness of Hanoian During War Time

Duc - November 01, 2018

You want to visit a historic attraction with the whole view of Hanoi from the top? You want to see another aspects of the world of Hanoi? Pick a trip reaching to Long Bien bridge and all your demands will be satisfied.

Long Bien Bridge (also known as Paul Doumer Bridge) was constructed between 1899 and 1902 and designed by Gustave Eiffiel, the father of Eiffel Tower in Paris. Because of the strategic position in connecting Hanoi Capital to the coastal Hai Phong city, Long Bien Bridge had to be severely bombed during the American war of Vietnamese people against invaders.

A drawing of Long Bien bridge

Nowadays, this bridge is still alive and used for trains, mopeds and pedestrians crossing romantic Red River. Enduring the grim wars, this bridge has some small holes and the Vietnamese government is making a tremendous attempt to restore its original appearance. The unique architecture with the festive life of locals here makes Long Bien Bridge Hanoi become a symbol of desire for peach of Hanoians. A visit to Long Bien bridge definitely marks good impressive in your minds.

Meaning to locals and tourists

To locals, Long Bien Bridge is a place not only helping people to across the Red River but also preserving historical memories. To tourists, the construction is a historic place which could remind them the crime of American army during Vietnam War.

Walking across Long Bien bridge- A must-try experience

Unlike the fast speed of motorbikes, walking across Long Bien Bridge is a worth-trying choice of many visitors who want to escape from the bustle and hustle of Hanoi City. As its over a hundred- year- old history, the bridge seems to be perilous with small holes in the sidewalk. So be careful with every step when you walk across the bridge. With the impressive 1.6 kilometers in length, most of the concrete slabs appear to shatter at any time.

The spectacular but dangerous charm of Long Bien Bridge

On the one-hour way walking across Long Bien Bridge, tourists will be immersed in a variety of entertaining activities. At the beginning of the bridge, cool fresh winds from the Red river will welcome you. You can stop for awhile to see a huge quantity of trucks of pineapples which are uploaded by farmers.

The farmers are unloading pineapples on trucks

In the midway over Long Bien river, tourists can catch sights of Vietnamese guys swimming in the fresh water of Red river. With smiles on their faces, these boys dip into the cool river and play together in the hot summers. At first time, we may feel perplexed when observing these totally naked boys, but afterwards, we definitely feel curious.

Afterwards, tourists can walk along the banks of the river, pass by some fish restaurants located near the river and try mouthwatering local dishes of this area. Sitting in a nearby restaurant, you can observe the magnificent scenery of the ancient bridge. Don’t miss this wonderful chance!

Enjoying the mysterious charm of Long Bien bridge in a motorbike

For those who want to explore more intriguing landmarks of Hanoi in a short day, a motorbike trip will be obviously your priority. From Hanoi Old Quarter with 36 hustle streets, tourists can continue their trip to Long Bien bridge. The best time to visit Long Bien bridge is the spectacular sunset when tourists ride their motorbikes across the romantic Red river.

Crossing across Long Bien bridge at sunset

To many locals, it’s a wonderful time to hear the whisper of the winds, feel the cool fresh air of the sunset and observe the daily lifestyle of locals. When the night is getting darker and darker, tourists can involve in the crowd who are eager to come back home after a hard-working day.

One highlight that most tourists fancy when travelling Long Bien bridge is passing by vendors along two sides of Long Bien bridge. These vendors sell fried corns and sweet potatoes, which appeals lots of the young, especially in the winter. It sounds fabulous to sit together, sipping a cup of green tea and enjoying the cold atmosphere of the winter.

The vendors displaying fried corns

You also catch sights of locals floating in their boat to go fishing along Red River. If lucky, you can buy some fresh fish caught from locals with a reasonable price and high quality. How amazing, right?

Boats floating on the tranquil atmosphere of Long Bien bridge

The significant history of Long Bien bridge

Constructed in 1899 – 1902, Long Bien Bridge was opened in 1903, which was known as “the bridge connects two centuries”.

From 1899 to 1902, there were more than 3,000 Vietnamese taking part in the construction due to the complicated design and technical deprivation at that time.

Its original name is “Paul – Doumer Bridge”, which was named after Paul Doumer  – The Governor – General of French Indochina and French president.

Long Bien Bridge in the past

The bridge was of strategic importance in securing control of northern Vietnam as the only bridge across the Red River connecting Hanoi to the main port of Haiphong at that time.

  • The critical placement was the reason why this bridge was severely bombarded during Vietnam War. The first attack of the invaders took place in 1967.
  • It was unusable for a year then due to serious damage of 7 spans and 4 large pillars after 10 bombs.

In May 1972, it fell victim to one of the first coordinated attacks using laser-guided “smart bombs”. Long Bien bridge was bombed four times, 1,500m of bridge were damaged and 2 piers were destroyed

Long Bien Bridge during French colonial period

Most sections appeared the holes whereas some part of the original structure still maintain its intact beauty. Despite lots of restoration and preservation, only half of the bridge retain its original shape until now.

Unique architecture of Long Bien bridge

Designed by the architects Daydé & Pillé, Long Bien Bridge was one of the longest bridges in Asia at that time.

The construction design is resembles the design of the Tolbiac Bridge in District 13, Paris on the Paris – Orleans railway.

Sunset on Long Bien Bridge

30,000 m3 of stone and metal were used with the amount of money was up to 6,200,000 French francs.

The bridge is 2290 across the river and 896m in bridges, including 19 steel beams spanning over 20m tall and including a stone path.

The bridge for the railroads runs in the middle. Both sides are roads for motor vehicles and walkways.

Road for vehicles is 2.6m and pedestrian walkway is 0.4m.

The special of the bridge is the traffic flow of the bridge in the direction of the swing is on the left side of the bridge, not on the right as other conventional bridges.

The traffic flow is on the left side of the bridge