Long Bien Bridge is a massive iron structure built by the French in the late 1800s and designed by Gustav Eiffel, the engineer best known for his eponymous landmark in Paris.
The bridge has suffered at the hands of war and neglect over the years. It was once known as Doumer Bridge, after the French governor-general Paul Doumer, who was responsible for setting up the French administration and implementing huge public works projects. In 1983 Chuong Duong Bridge was opened, becoming the main thoroughfare for traffic to the north.
Long Bien Bridge is still used, but only for trains, pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles. The bridge is quite a sight in the mornings and afternoons as people from outlying areas queue up to cross it, carrying their produce to and from the markets. It is easy to walk across and the views down onto passing boat traffic and of Hanoi's riverfront stretch are very pleasing.
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