May 2018. Yay, it’s another covered, wooden bridge! And it’s been what, four posts since my last covered, wooden bridge? It’s not even like this time around I was actively seeking it out. This one literally just appeared in front of me during my investigations of Hoi An’s gorgeous ancient quarter. Dating back to 1590 it was built by the town’s Japanese community and today stands as a popular meeting point and a place for romantic proposals and wedding photos.
May 2018. The bridge is known as Lai Vien Kieu in Vietnamese, although this name has become all but extinct, with everyone simply referring to it as Japanese Bridge. It’s a lot longer than it looks from the outside, about twenty meters, connecting Nguyen Thi Minh Street and Tran Phu Street.
May 2018. This is the view from the bridge interior, overlooking a pretty section of the Thu Bon River.
May 2018. The bridge includes a little temple dedicated to the god of weather, Tran Vo Bac De. Apparently this dude is in charge of weather calamities, so if you’re worried about Uncle Bob getting killed in a storm this is where you come to beg for mercy. You’ll need to give up one of your precious ticket stubs to enter this modest shrine. But there seemed to be a lot of confusion over this, with the bridge attendants asking visitors for their tickets just for crossing the interior. In most cases these demands were dropped once it was explained they had no interest in entering the shrine.
May 2018. Check out the four statue guards at each end of the bridge. On one side you’ve got a pair of dogs (construction was started in the year of the dog), on the other a pair of monkeys (yup, construction was finished in the year of the monkey). Apparently the bridge is open for 24 hours, though I can’t imagine the shrine is attended to around the clock.
Hoi An’s old town is a mesmerizing open-air museum of historical buildings. There are numerous booths selling tickets. The minimum purchase is a five-ticket stub priced at 120.000VND (£4/€4.45/$5.20).This allows you to pick and choose the buildings you want to enter. Do your research and choose well, your stub can be stretched out over several days. If you use all five and want to see more, just grab another stub!
For more on the sights of this beautiful city, dive into my other articles on Hoi An.
Like these? Take a look at more of my pieces from all over Vietnam.
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