Da Nang’s Bridges – From the Dragon Bridge to the Golden Hand Bridge and More
Da Nang has developed from a small port town into an impressive metropolis of modern urban design. The bridges of Da Nang are a central part of the city’s world-famous architecture. The Han River runs through the heart of the city, with various striking bridges attaching the coastal region of the city with the bustling business district.
From the fire-breathing Dragon Bridge to the viral phenomenon of the Golden Hand Bridge, the bridge design of Da Nang truly sets it apart from any other city. The city is also the proud home to the iconic Han River Bridge, Tran Thi Ly Bridge, Nguyen Van Troi Bridge and the recently completed Thuan Phuoc Bridge. In order to truly appreciate such feats of engineering, understanding the history and surrounding area of each bridge is very useful. So Hidden’s pulled together this guide to Da Nang’s phenomenal bridges.
History of Da Nang Bridges
Up until the mid 16th Century Da Nang was a small port town deployed for ship repairs for its bustling neighbour, Hoi An. In the following decades, engineering and shipbuilding improvements led to larger and more robust ships. Thus making these vessels suitable to enter Da Nang Bay.
Da Nang then prospered as a bustling port city, the central region’s largest commercial port, and there was an influx of European lead investment. The devastation of the American War in 1969 halted this development. Production was limited and emergence of extreme poverty and urban slums developed. Following the devastation of the war Da Nang evolved, with the construction of large bridges connecting the city across the Han River.
The bridges of Da Nang not only contributed to this industrial development but also enabled the city to establish itself as a world-renowned tourist hub. Many people travel to Da Nang to view the bridges scattered over seven kilometres around the city. Traces of the ruinous history of the city are still found in all corners of Da Nang. However, Da Nang city has since evolved to become the globalised metropolis we know today as: Da Nang, the City of Bridges.
Fire-Breathing Dragon Bridge
The Dragon Bridge is an imperious 666-metre long bridge comprising of a golden fire-breathing dragon crossing the Han River. Built to commemorate the occupation of Da Nang port by North Vietnam, with the dragon symbolising power and prosperity. The bridge is truly one of a kind, with the dragon erupting with fire during an impressive fire show every Saturday and Sunday from 9.p.m. Connecting the bustling streets of Tran Hung Dao and Bach Dang through a six-lane roadway, the bridge is also a vital component of Da Nang’s infrastructure. For many, this is one of the defining entry points into Da Nang city with the bridge, formally known as Cau Rong, the fastest way from Da Nang International Airport to the heart of the city.
Hidden Quick Facts – Dragon Bridge Fire Show
Location: Phước Ninh, Hải Châu District, Da Nang
Timings: Every Saturday and Sunday at 9.p.m
Duration: Approximately 15 minutes
Where to Watch the Dragon Bridge Fire Show
All of the bridges in Da Nang are impressive structures, but none match the Dragon Bridge’s inventiveness. The Dragon Bridge Fire Show attracts huge crowds every Saturday and Sunday, with the imperious golden dragon erupting with fire from 9.p.m with an impressive light show to match. The only uncertainty regarding seeing this attraction is deciding where to witness the show, with various coffee shops and bars looking over crowds surrounding the bridge. To feel the warmth of the dragon’s flames watch the show-up close, with the option of buying drinks and snacks from the bustling boardwalk beneath the bridge. The fire show attracts large crowds so if you want to get close, arrive around 15 to 30 minutes early.
To avoid crowds try watching from one of the many riverside coffee shops or bars. Here you still get a good view of the show whilst equipped with a sweet Vietnamese coffee or a cold beer. For a spot with great views of the fire show try out Euro Village’s Draft Beer Bar less than 100 metres from the bridge. This three-storey bar has a comfortable beer garden with a menu to match its impressive views of the show. Alternatively, head to 7 Bridges Brewery, which has a top floor balcony where you can try one of their sustainably brewed craft beers and gaze over the crowds. For more information on the wonders of the Fire Breathing Dragon Bridge read Hidden’s article.
Da Nang’s Golden Hand Bridge
Following its opening in June 2018, the Golden Hand Bridge of Da Nang has attracted worldwide attention. Quickly becoming a viral phenomenon, you have no doubt found on your newsfeed whilst travelling in Vietnam.
Hidden Hint: The Guardian ranks the Golden Bridge as one of the world’s most striking pedestrian bridges.
Perched upon the mountains of the Ba Na Hills Resort, this 150-metre bridge’s design makes you feel like you are strolling through clouds. It is this unique architecture which has caught worldwide attention. Located 25 kilometres from Da Nang city centre, nestled within the stunning scenery of Ba Na Hills. You have to take a journey on the world’s longest cable car to reach the Golden Hand Bridge, which connects the cable car station with Ba Na Hills Resort.
Visiting Ba Na Hills to See the Golden Hand Bridge
Price for Cable Cars: Price: 750,000 VND (33 USD) for adults and 600,000 VND (23 USD) for children (1m – 1.4m in height). Children over 1.4m considered adults. Children below 1m are free.
Han River Bridge – Vietnam’s Only Swing Bridge
This 487-metre long swing bridge is a striking and imposing figure spanning across the Han River. An iconic connection between Da Nang’s business hub and coastal regions.
The bridge plays a vital role in connecting Le Duan Street and Pham Van Dong Street. In addition, it is a tourist attraction as the bridge is designed to swing on its axis. Thus creating space for boats to pass each side of the river and into the port city of Da Nang.
Hidden Hint: The Han River Bridge is the first bridge designed by Vietnamese architects. Built by the people of Da Nang, it’s no wonder that it is the pride of the city today.
The swing bridge is no longer required to function to aid shipping. However, it is still in operation allowing tourists to witness what is quite the spectacle. All traffic halts prior to the opening of the bridge, leaving the empty bridge to swivel. Onlookers can then witness the incredible spinning lights of Vietnam’s only swing bridge.
When to Watch the Swing Bridge
The Swing Bridge operates from 1.a.m daily, with the bridge closing at 3.a.m. If that is too early (or late!) for you, the bridge also swings from 11.p.m on Saturdays and Sundays from April to September. Outside of this period, the operation of the bridge is dependent upon weather and traffic flows.
Da Nang Bridges: Tran Thi Ly Bridge
The oldest bridge crossing the Han River is Tran Thi Ly. Inaugurated on Da Nang Liberation Day in March 2013 alongside the Dragon Bridge. Replacing the historical Nguyễn Văn Trỗi and Tran Thị Ly bridges, the 731 metres Tran Thi Ly imposes itself upon the Han River with bold lighting upon its extending cables. The bridge is shaped in the shape of a sail, a reference to Da Nang’s port trading history. This feature led to Tran Thi Ly becoming one of Da Nang’s prominent landmarks. Earning international recognition in its design, Tran Thi Ly is quite literally a glowing reference of Da Nang’s history. In addition it is a representation of the now buzzing and globalised city.
Hidden Hint: To make the most out of the bridge visit at sunset. You’ll see its fanning cables, large pylon and deck change colour over the Han River.
Da Nang Bridges: Thuan Phuoc Bridge
Vietnam’s longest suspension bridge, the Thuan Phuoc Bridge was constructed in 2003. It took nearly six years to complete, finally in 2009. Spanning an impressive 1.8 kilometres at a height of 92 metres, this bridge was built on the concept of channelling the wind heading towards the sea. It consists of three large spans, occupying a special position at the edge of the Han, where the river flows into the East Sea. Take the chance to get some breathtaking photographs of this modern bridge’s changing colours reflecting in the river water.
The Other Da Nang Bridges
Da Nang has many other bridges on offer too. Not as famous but definitely worth mentioning are the Tien Son and Nguyen Van Troi Bridges. The Tien Son Bridge is a great spot to get a view of the magnificent Ngu Hanh Son Bridge. Especially as the sun sets at its heels. The Nguyen Van Troi Bridge once served as transportation for those living on either side of the Han River. But today it is a traffic-free pedestrian bridge. So head there in the morning and embrace the tranquility. Activities including yoga and meditation often including the older Vietnamese community.
The City of Bridges truly lives up to its name. In other words, the incredible bridges stretching across the Han River have become an iconic landmark of the city. Each bridge can tell a story of the culture and history of the city. They also post a timely reminder that you are in a city which is continuously growing and expanding. The bridges of Da Nang are no doubt a must-see. However, the city itself is brimming with other charms from the tranquil Linh Ung Pagoda to the dramatic Marble Mountains. Therefore be sure not to miss out on everything Da Nang has to offer. Hidden’s Da Nang City Guide helps you catch all the must-see spots.