Crossing Travel
DESTINATIONS Hue Monday, 28 September 2015

Thanh Toan Tile – Roofed Bridge in Hue

The tile-roofed Thanh Toan bridge is not only an ancient architectural remain with highly historic and cultural values but also a tourist attraction.

The Thanh Toan tile-roofed Bridge crosses a canal flowing from the beginning to the end of Thanh Toan village, Thuy Thanh Commune, Huong Thuy district at present. The village is about 8 km from Hue city on the eastward.

Thanh Toan Tile - roofed bridge
Thanh Toan Tile - roofed bridge

Thanh Thuy village was established in the 16th century. Among the emigrants from Thanh Hoa following Lord Nguyen Hoang to Thuan Hoa, there were 12 family heads who settled down there to be the 12 initial families of the village. One niece of the sixth generation of the Tran family - Mrs Tran Thi Dao - offered the fund to the village to build a wooden bridge so that the villagers on both sides of the canal could transport conveniently and benighted travellers could rest on their way. Mrs Tran Thi Dao was a childless wife of a high-rank mandarin in Le Hien Tong reign. She wanted to used her money for charity. In Canh Hung 37th year, Emperor Le Hien Tong granted the village a document to praise Mrs Tran Thi Dao and exempted the villagers from many taxes for them to remember her and to live after her example. In 1925, Emperor Khai Dinh also granted a document to bestow her "Duc Bao, Trung Hung Linh Pho" and to order the villagers to set up an altar on the bridge to worship her.

Thanh Toan Tile – Roofed Bridge in Hue

The tile-roofed Thanh Toan is an arched wooden bridge, 17m long and 4m wide. On  both sides of the bridge length are 2 rows of wooden flatforms and parapets for people to lean their backs. The bridge is roofed with tubes. A researcher into Vietnamese ancient aesthetics - Louis Bezacier - classified Thanh Toan a rare and the most aesthetically valuable bridge among those of Vietnam.  

The tile-roofed Thanh Toan bridge is not only an ancient architectural remain with highly historic and cultural values but also a tourist attraction. The bridge was built over 2 centuries ago and damaged many times by storms, floods and wars. However, after the bridge was destroyed, the villagers always contributed to repair, renovate and preserve it. The Thanh Toan bridge with its tile-roof has entered into the moods and aspirations of many generations as well as inspired the poetic souls of the local people and travellers, their contents are still handed down among the people or engraved right on the bridge.

Thanh Toan Bridge
Thanh Toan Bridge

In September 1991, the bridge was greatly renovated according to the old design and  officially accepted by the Cultural Ministry as a national remains, a rare and appreciated beauty-spot of the whole country.

More information:
Add: it’s about 11km from Hue
How to get there: Head east on Le Loi towards the Dap Da bridge, but take the last right just before it on Nguyen Cong Tru. Continue straight down. The street changes name to Nguyen Lo Trach after it crosses Ba Trieu. About two kilometres later, look for a sidestreet, Kiet 163, where you'll take a left. If you miss it, don't worry. You want to head towards the bamboo-lined road closer to the river and any left thereafter will lead there, including the last where the road ends. Take a right on the river road and just keep going -- no matter what! The road does some crazy turns through beautiful rice fields and around a fish farm before hooking up with the main road. Take a left there and the bridge is about four kilometres further on; you'll see a market where you can park your bike for 5,000 VND. From here it's about a 50-metre walk through the stalls out to the bridge. The locals know it as Cau Nguoi if you get lost -- that's also what the mile-markers say. You can't take a vehicle over Thanh Toan, but there's a regular bridge just to the left. If you cross that, and take the right fork when you hit the rice fields, the road eventually leads about six kilometres back into the outskirts of Hue.
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