Thanh Toan (The Japanese Bridge)
The trip here is great
What we say:
This is a small, covered, Japanese-style bridge about 11km from Hue. There isn't a whole lot to look at, but it's pretty, and there's a story behind it: a Japanese woman who lived in the village left money upon her death for the construction. There's a small shrine to the woman in the centre of the bridge -- she had no children, and in a culture of ancestor-worship, this meant there was no one to pray for her after she died. So the villagers took up the slack and offer up prayers at the shrine to this day. But you'll probably find that the ride out there is actually more interesting than the bridge itself. It's a great place to head for a bicycle or motorbike trip.
More details11km from Hue
How to get there: There are many ways to get to the bridge, but this is our favourite. Head east on Le Loi towards the Dap Da bridge, but take the last right just before it on Nguyen Cong Tru. Continue straight down. The street changes name to Nguyen Lo Trach after it crosses Ba Trieu. About 2 km later, look for a side-street, Kiet 163, where you'll take a left. If you miss it, don't worry. You want to head towards the bamboo-lined road closer to the river, and any left thereafter will lead there, including the last where the road ends. Take a right on the river road and just keep going -- no matter what! The road does some crazy turns through beautiful rice fields and around a fish farm before hooking up with the main road. Take a left there and the bridge is about 4 km further on. The locals know it as Cau Nguoi if you get lost -- that's also what the mile-markers say.
You can't take a vehicle over Thanh Toan, but there's a regular bridge just to the left. If you cross that, and take the right fork when you hit the rice fields, the road eventually leads about 6 km back into the outskirts of Hue.
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