Originally known as the “Paul-Doumer Bridge” prior to 1954, the Long Bien Bridge is one of the most famous in Vietnam and one of five that crosses the Red River. Made of cast iron steel, its unique appearance resembles the Eiffel Tower, which is not a coincidence as the two structures were both designed by Gustav Eiffel.
Long Bien is also one of Hanoi’s busiest bridges, with trains, vehicles, and pedestrian traffic constantly crossing the river on it. Locals and visitors walk the bridge to enjoy the beautiful scenery, especially during sunset.
It’s also a popular spot for wedding photos and capturing great views of the city and some natural landscapes. At certain times, vendors are on the bridge selling goods and creating a small open-air market.
History of Cau Long Bien
Long Bien Bridge began construction in 1899 and was completed in 1902 but didn’t open to the public until 1903. Even though a French man designed it, it was built by over 3,000 Vietnamese residents. Once it was completed, Long Bien was one of the longest bridges in Asia at 2.4km/1.5 miles and the first steel one in Hanoi.
This bridge has also seen its fair share of battles, starting with the war with the French in 1954, when it was used to transport rice from Northern Central Vietnam further north. Long Bien Bridge was also bombed at least twice in 1967 and 1972 during the American-Vietnam War.
Over the years, portions of the bridge had to be replaced, leaving only a few sections of the original structure. Current renovations are in progress, partially funded with a loan from the French government.
Address: 32 Ng. 97 Thái Thịnh, Ngọc Thụy, Long Biên, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Hours: 24 hours
River: Red River