Long Bien Bridge

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

Posted By : Hoàng Lê/ 153 1

I. Overview

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

Long Bien Bridge
A drawing of Long Bien bridge

II. Introduction of Long Bien Bridge

II.1. History

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
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.

  • It was heavily bombarded during Vietnam War due to its critical position, which the first attack was 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
Long Bien Bridge during French colonial period

Some parts of the original structure remain intact, while large sections have been built later to repair the holes. Only half of the bridge retain its original shape until now.

II.2. Architecture

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.

Long Bien Bridge
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.

Long Bien Bridge
Railroads of Long Bien Bridge

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.

Long Bien Bridge
The traffic flow is on the left side of the bridge

II.3. 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.

Long Bien Bridge
A place that is a chosen for many photoshoot

To tourists, the construction is a historic place which could remind them the crime of American army during Vietnam War.

III. Tourist Information for Long Bien Bridge

III.1. Basic Information

III.1.1. Maps

III.1.2. Opening hours:

This is a Public place, everyone can go here anytime in day.

III.2. Local tips

  • 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.

  • Dresscode:

There is no dresscode for this site. You can wear any suitable clothes.

  • Preparation
    • 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.

IV. Transportation

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.

V. Related tour

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.

VI. 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.

Long Bien Bridge
A must-go market in Hanoi

Address: No 25 Tong Dan street, Hoan Kiem district.

Vietnam Museum of Revolution in the past
An interesting museum in Hanoi attracting many tourists.
Vietnam Women's Museum
Vietnam Women’s Museum
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