Long Bien Bridge (formerly Doumer Bridge)

The Long Bien Bridge, which spans the Red River, is one of the icons of bravery in wartime, one of 4 biggest bridge in the world in 1900s.

 

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“Hanoi” - the name means “surrounded by river” or "city inside river" ("Ha" is river and "Noi" is inside) is the city of ponds, lakes, rivers and bridges. If Hoan Kiem Lake with special green water and the red bridge named The Huc is the symbol of an elegant and charming ancient city, Red river and Long Bien bridge may be seen as the symbol of brave capital in wars.

The Long Bien Bridge was built during 3 years, from 1899 to 1902 during French’s occupation of the country. Though the bridge was designed by French, it was constructed directly by Vietnamese workers with original construction materials from all areas of the North, such as: woods from Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa province, cement from Hai Phong, Long Tho lime from Hue.

Paul Doumer was initial name of the bridge and named by the French, but then Vietnamese have called it Long Bien or Cai River Bridge for a long time, and Long Bien becomes the most popular name of the bridge. In the beginning, Long Bien was designed with 19 spans and it was the first steel bridge across Red river in Hanoi, and one of four greatest bridges in the world at the time it was built.

 

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Long Bien was considered the pride, symbol of architecture in the Far East. The bridge was a connection point and very important role in transporting tons of rice from Northern and Northern Central area of Vietnam to Dien Bien Phu battle, and contributed to the win of Vietnam army against French, 1954.

More than 100 years with decades of war, Long Bien Bridge was bombed many times by air attacks by American army in 1967, 1972; and many spans of the bridge were destroyed. The left spans are being still remained today remind us of an unforgettable pride past. The bridge, hence, is not only a traffic construction, a nice architecture, but also a living historical relic.

Nowadays, Long Bien is only one of five bridges crossing the Red river of Hanoi. However, it is surely the most special bridge with typical historic, architectural, and cultural value. It is the only bridge in Hanoi where all the riders have to move in the left hand side, where tourists can take a walk and taste mouthwatering desserts offered by vendors, where Hanoians can buy fresh vegetable or fish for the dinner from the small afternoon market on the bridge.

 

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Many people are living and visiting Hanoi say that Long Bien Bridge is the best place to look at the sunrise or the sunset and taking nice photos of alluvial patch. Many couples choose Long Bien Bridge as nice background in their wedding albums. A lot of travellers 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 every 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 miss taking a walk on Long Bien Bridge for sightseeing, feeling the daily life of Hanoians, and enjoying peaceful moments at the present but not forgetting proud past.

How to get to Long Bien Bridge

You can rent a motorbike and remember to go on the left hand side of the bridge, or stroll from the Hanoi center to here ( just more than 1 km from the Old Quarter to Long Bien bridge).

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