Photo: Small canal, big solution.

Thanh Toan (The Japanese Bridge)

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Firmly in the category of half the attraction is getting here, the Thanh Toan bridge is set roughly 7km from Hue and makes for an interesting and somewhat historic stop during a ramble through countryside.

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While it doesn’t look like that troublesome a body of water, before the construction of the bridge, local villagers had no way of crossing the canal other than by boat. That all changed when, in 1776, Tran Thai Dao, the childless wife of a court mandarin, decided to put her savings to good use and have the bridge constructed. The wood structured and tile roofed bridge had dual purposes—the obvious one being to facilitate travel from one bank of the river to the other (duh!) but secondly, on each side of the bridge seating was incorporated into the series of chambers that form the bridge’s construction. This seating allowed for locals to rest and escape the midday heat, shaded by the tiled roof overhead and the cool air above the waters which flowed below ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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