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.
1. Long Bien bridge- A witness of Hanoians’ tenacity and resilience
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.
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.
2. 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.
2.1 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.
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.
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!
2.2 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.
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.
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?
3. How to get there?
The distance from Old Quarter to Long Bien Bridge is quite close so we recommend you to walk to the bridge to enjoy the atmosphere and have chance to watch the streets.
Otherwise, you can rent a motorbike to travel here. Watch the bike while enjoying the site or taking pictures.
4. 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.
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
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.
5. 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.
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.
6. Local tips
- Opening hours:This is a Public place, everyone can go here anytime in day.
- Recommended time:
6 – 8 am: you can get a fresh air and nice view of Red River in the beginning of the day.
5.30pm: the temperature is not too hot and you can get a perfect pictures with good volume of sunlight.
7 – 9.30pm: a good place for hanging out with chance of experience BBQ corn with friends or family.
There is no dresscode for this site. You can wear any suitable clothes.
- If you visiting in summer, remember to use sun screen and anti-bugs spray.
- Hat is the must-thing to bring along. You can also bring a small umbrella in case raining.
- You can bring some food and drink but littering is avoided.
- Camera or smartphone is necessary because the site are perfect to take pictures with various beautiful angles.
- If possible, you should come here with locals to explain the history of Long Bien bridge or even of Hanoi.
- Try to deal the price of local food with the sellers here if possible
AZ Local trip now are having tours that go around the Old Quarter and French Quarter with some feature destination such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Ma May ancient house, some out-standing old streets, and Dong Xuan market…
These trips are provided a tour guide to explain the information of all the destination in the route.
8. Attraction nearby
What’s around you can visit besides Long Bien Bridge?
- Dong Xuan market: A must go market in Hanoi.
Address: Hang Dao street, Hoan Kiem district.
Address: No 25 Tong Dan street, Hoan Kiem district.
If you want to have real experience in this bridge, the alive witness of Vietnamese history, don’t hesitate to take a journey to Long Bien Bridge. I believe that everyone will have their own unforgettable memories with this historical bridge.
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