Thanh Toan Bridge
The sister bridge to Hoi An’s famed Japanese bridge, this bridge is arguably more distinct. It has Chinese and Japanese features, with a rare squared timber arch speckled with ancient ceramics. Note the calligraphy inscription in ancient Vietnamese and Chinese script. The bridge is difficult to find but the countryside trek worth it.
The bridge spans a canal in the countryside about 7 km east of Hue City, in Thuy Thanh Commune, Huong Thuy District. You can get there by taxi or hire a bicycle or motorbike. Whatever way you choose to travel, your journey takes you through a beautiful rural landscape, where life has changed little, except, of course, for the ubiquitous motorbike!
The bridge is reputed to have been built in the time of Emperor Le Hien Tong in the mid 18th century. Tran Thi Dao, the wife of one of the emperor’s high ranking courtiers grew up in the area. She always believed that the village, which straddles the canal, needed a bridge to link the two halves. She arranged the building of the bridge, but not just any bridge, but an ornately decorated covered bridge. In recognition of Tran Thi Dao’s charity, the emperor exempted the village from Imperial taxes.