Long Bien Bridge is the only functional railway bridge across the Red River in Hanoi, and a landmark of major historical importance that attracts large numbers of tourists.
About Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge is 2.29 km long. It’s a steel cantilever bridge with 19 spans supported by 20 concrete pillars. In the centre of the bridge is a single track railway line, an on each side a vehicle lane which is 2.6 metres wide, and a raised pedestrian walkway which is 0.4 metres wide. At the time it was built, which was between 1899 and 1902, Long Bien Bridge was one of the longest bridges in the world and one of the foremost examples of French engineering expertise. It was also the only steel bridge over the Red River in Hanoi and therefore of strategic importance during the many decades of conflict in Vietnam during the 20th Century. American forces attacked the bridge 14 times between 1967 and 1972 with the bridge being rebuilt after each attack. Relatively little of the original bridge survived. Nonetheless, the successive demolitions and reconstructions makes Long Bien Bridge an important symbol of the city’s resilience and, despite having rusted to the point where the bridge is well beyond economic repair, the Vietnamese authorities have decided to attempt an expensive maintenance programme to keep the bridge in service precisely because of this symbolic importance.
A visit to the bridge is a popular activity for both foreign and domestic tourists. The structure is impressive in its own right, and a walk along the pedestrianised sections of the bridge offers stunning views across the Red River, which is a busy waterway frequently used for the commercial transportation of goods. The bridge is also only a kilometre walk away from Hanoi’s Old Quarter, with a busy food market located on route near the Western End of Bridge, which makes it easily accessible.
Train Travel over Long Bien Bridge
As well as walk over the bridge you can also travel across it train. The bridge is located between Long Bien Railway Station and Gia Lam Central Station to the north of Hanoi Railway Station. There are four train lines which pass over the bridge, each leading to an exciting destination:
- Hanoi to Lao Cai (for Sapa)
- Hanoi to Dong Dang (border crossing to China)
- Hanoi to Hai Phong (for boat tours around Ha Long Bay)
- Hanoi to Quan Trieu (for visits to Thai Nguyen)
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Location of Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien Bridge is located 3.4 km walking distance from Hanoi Railway Station.