Photo: Hanoi's iconic Long Bien Bridge.

Long Bien Bridge

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Impressive Long Bien Bridge, which spans Hanoi's Red River to connect Hoan Kiem and Long Bien districts, was built by the French colonists at the turn of the 20th century.

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Considered one of the most stunning bridges in the world when it opened in 1903, the cantilever bridge originally had 19 spans and was designed by Gustav Eiffel, the engineer best known for his eponymous landmark in Paris. The approximately 2.5-kilometre (some say 1.7-kilometre) bridge, built by thousands of Vietnamese workers, was first 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. Ironically perhaps, the Vietnamese say the bridge allowed for the easy transport of rice to Dien Bien Phu, helping them win independence against the French there in their battle of 1954. The last contingent of French soldiers retreated across the bridge on 9 October 1954, after withdrawing from the Citadel; a day later victory over the French was declared. The bridge was then renamed Long Bien.

Long Bien as seen from Chuong Dong. Photo taken in or around Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi, Vietnam by Samantha Brown.

Long Bien as seen from Chuong Dong. Photo: Samantha Brown

The majestic old bridge, its ironwork now slowly and evocatively rusting and making for some great photos, suffered at the hands of war over the years, thanks to its strategic location—it was once the only bridge that connected Hanoi to the port of Haiphong. It was bombed by the Americans in 1966-7 and 1972, eviscerating seven of the original spans; the latter attack caused it to shut for a year. In 1983, the nearby Chuong Duong Bridge opened, and this became the main thoroughfare for traffic to the north, though since then four other bridges have also opened as the city has boomed. As of 2015, only $150,000 was reportedly being spent annually on around 80 workers to scrape rust, repaint, clean and replace sleepers and ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Long Bien Bridge
Eastern Hanoi
Admission: Free

Location map for Long Bien Bridge

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