Nowadays, Hanoi has modern bridges such as the Thang Long Bridge, the Chuong Duong Bridge, the Nhat Tan Bridge,...However, for more than 100 years, Long Bien is a bridge that still has a special meaning in Hanoians’ hearts. Day after day, the bridge is a moving place with different means of transport to make life more vibrant on both sides of the Red River.
I - An overview about Long Bien Bridge Hanoi
1 - History of the bridge
This bridge, designed by Daydé & Pillé, then built by the French from 1898 to 1902, is the first bridge across the Red River connecting the Hoan Kiem district with the Long Bien district in Hanoi. It was formerly named Doumer Bridge after Governor - General Paul Doumer of Indochina, then until July 1945, the mayor of Hanoi - Dr. Tran Van Lai, changed its name to Long Bien.
There were 3,000 indigenous employees, 40 French directors, engineers, and experts during the construction process, using 30,000m3 of stone and metal. Inspired by the Tolbiac Bridge linking the Seine River and Paris Railways, Long Bien Bridge spans the Red River with a length of 2290m and 896m with 19 more steel beams, two sides of the road for motor vehicles and walking, in the middle a single railway is convenient for travel. Therefore, this unique structured bridge is also a symbol of culture, preserving French architecture’s essence.
2 - Role and historical significance
From the French side, the ferries were demolished, and the bridge was formed to help connect the Northern provinces easily and facilitate the colonial exploitation plan. For Hanoi at that time, people no longer had difficulty getting around, especially during the rain and flood season when crossing the Red River.
Today, when Vietnam is entirely independent and on the road to economic development, Long Bien Bridge Hanoi always plays the role of artery traffic, connecting vehicles and transport, such as trains, motorbikes, and bicycles.
Along the bridge’s body, look at the dark rusty time and look back to the past to see that the bridge has marked many majestic historical events that few people know about. During the 1st sabotage war of North Vietnam in 1965-1968, this bridge was bombed ten times by American aircraft. As a result, seven spans and four large pillars failed. Therefore, Vietnamese people proudly say: "Long Bien Bridge - witnesses of history.
II - Destination for Tourism
The journey from Hoan Kiem Lake to the bridge takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You truly see the capital Hanoi on the bridge of ancient beauty intersecting between French and Vietnamese cultures. Therefore, the bridge is a tourist attraction, with several exciting things to experience.
1 - Tourism activities
Ideal shooting spot
Each country has its attractive architecture. If France has the Eiffel Tower or Italy has the Rialto Bridge, Vietnam has Long Bien Bridge, the ideal shooting location. Every person comes here looking for a different purpose. While someone simply wants to create a memory, others intend to look for romance in the frame or some people, through the lens, see the historical values from the horizontal steel bars printed with traces of time. Whatever the reason is, the bridge's space and structure will become a subject of memory in each frame, a picture, a memory that is full of meanings in your journey.
Visit the remaining French historical buildings.
It took years to develop the design. Time has responded to the initial challenges that the French set in constructing a bridge that was never obsolete.
As a fortified building containing the beauty of Western architecture while bringing a warm feeling in East Asia, the bridge exists in the land of spirituality like Hanoi, which thickens its inherent values. Each span of the bridge has been stained over the past two centuries, so visitors should not miss an art masterpiece in the heart of Hanoi's remains today.
Enjoy the view of Hanoi from Long Bien Bridge at night
When the night falls in Hanoi, the sunset gives way to the lights. The bridge has a very different appearance. Watching the Red River rippling, zooming in the distance, you can see the Chuong Duong Bridge bustling with traffic lights. The ideal place to choose is the middle of the bridge, from which we can see how beautiful the two banks of Hanoi are. Chatting about the trip after a day, the smell of coffee faintly wafting, the romantic space dissolves all fatigue. Those are incredibly precious simple things.
2 - Cuisine near Long Bien Bridge
Ngoc Lam Food Market
- Address: 219 Long Bien, Ngoc Lam, Long Bien, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 10:00 - 23:00
This is considered a new destination of the fresh culinary paradise for the people here. Crossing this bridge, going up the dyke a few hundred meters back, you'll see restaurants sprouting up close together. The food is plentiful at affordable prices. Coming here, visitors can enjoy the breeze of the river blowing in, then overlook the two bridges of Long Bien and Chuong Duong shimmering, giving a sense of full taste.
Old Town Restaurant & Pub
- Address: 87 Hung Dao, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 15:30 - 23:59
It takes about ten minutes to walk from Long Bien Bridge Hanoi to Old Town Restaurant & Pub. This is a perfect destination for visiting both the old town and the bridge. Here, guests will be served a fusion of Asian dishes, seafood with unique drinks. Received a 5/5 rating on Tripadvisor system, the special cuisine here combines with friendly staff attitude and good English communication, this restaurant is such a great place to recommend to visitors.
Serein Café & Lounge
- Address: 16, Long Bien Station, Tran Nhat Duat Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
- Opening hours: 8am- 11pm
Serein Café & Lounge is a suitable stop for visitors after a long hike to Long Bien Bridge. The space is cozy inside, the outside is airy, from here you can admire the beauty of the bridge and enjoy a diverse drink menu. Besides, visitors can enjoy a large number of unique "Live Jazz Music" music nights when coming here.
Other locations recommended
Ziu Gánh Noodles, Mrs.Yen:
- Address: 18 Hang Khoai Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem - 0.2 km from Long Bien Market
- Opening hours: 4pm - 11:30pm
MK Rooftop Bar & Restaurant:
- Address: 72 -74 Hang Buom Hoan Kiem District - 0.6 km from Long Bien Market
- Opening hours: 4pm - 0am
- Address: 15 Dao Duy Tu - 0.6 km away from Long Bien Market
- Opening hours: 11:30am - 11:45pm
Additional suggestion: Many of Vietnam’s idyllic street foods are sold at the bridge’s foot like grilled sweet potato and grilled corn.
3 - Note
Although very close to the old town, going to Long Bien Bridge, people may have to face up with difficulty because of traffic congestion in the morning from 6 A.M to 9 A.M, afternoon from 4 P.M to 7:30 P.M. Also, visitors should pay attention to the following thing: When driving to this bridge, go to the left instead of the right side like other bridges. If you drive any kind of vehicle, you should park inside the city.
Bus: Bus routes with stops near the bridge are: 01, 18, 34, 36CT, 41, 50, 55B
Popular motorbike taxi technology app: Grab, Be, Gojek.
Long Bien Bridge is a key feature of Hanoi's attractions. This bridge has played an intense role and meaning in the daily lives of the people here. It is one of the most friendly tourist destinations with inherent beauty and cultural significance.