Not as bustling and hustling as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Hue has a different beauty – a harmonious combination of deliberate lifestyle of Hue people and poetic nature, charming scenery. Almost tourists coming Hue just know famous destinations such as the Citadel Complex of Hue, Thien Mu Pagoda, Khai Dinh Tomb, Minh Mang Tomb or beautiful natural landscapes such as Huong River, Lang Co Beach and Bach Ma Mountain. However, Hue also has some tranquil villages which have been still untouched by mass tourism like Thanh Toan Village. And one of the most attractive things in the Thanh Toan Village is Thanh Toan Title-Roofed Bridge.
Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge, an idyllic beauty inside poetic Hue
Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge crosses a canal flowing from the beginning to the end of Thanh Toan Village, which is located about 7 kilometers from Hue city to the west. It takes only 15 minutes on motorbike and 30 minutes on cycle to reach the bridge from the city.
Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge was established during the reign of Emperor Le Hien Tong (1740-1786). The idea of construction of the bridge was initiated by Tran Thi Dao, the childless wife of a high-rank mandarin in le Hien Tong’s court. Mrs. Tran offered the fund to the village to build a wooden bridge so that the locals on both sides of canal transport conveniently and benighted travelers could rest on their way. After having heard of her charitable act, the Emperor exempted Thanh Toan Village from taxation as a reminder for the villagers to live after her example. Till 1925, Emperor Khai Dinh granted her a posthumous title “Duc Bao, Trung Hung Linh Pho” and ordered the villagers to build an altar on the bridge to worship her.
Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge was established during the reign of Emperor Le Hien Tong
The Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge is an arched wooden bridge with a length of 17 meters and a width of 4 meters. It looks like a house constructed above the bridge, which is roofed with plat tiles in the north and tube tiles in the center. On both sides along the bridge length, there are two rows wooden platforms and parapets for people to lean their back.
There are two rows wooden platforms and parapets along the bridge length for people to lean their back
After a long time of history, Thanh Toan Bridge has been damaged by storms, floods and wars. Although it has been repaired and renovated many times, the bridge has still remained ancient architecture as the origin. Until now, the bridge is not only a tourist attraction but also shows highly historic and cultural values of Vietnamese people. The Thanh Toan Bridge with its tile roof has become an indispensable part of the moods and aspirations of many generations and inspired the poetic souls of the locals as well as tourists.
After visiting the Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge, visitors should take a walk around the village to admire rustic and tranquil beauty and explore tradition and daily activities of the locals in Thanh Toan Village. The tourists can also visit communal houses and clan worshiping houses in the village.
A corner of village market next to the bridge
Next to the bridge is a small village market which offers everything, especially Hue’s culinary specialties such as Hen rice, fish pancakes and a vast diversity of rice noodles. You should visit here and enjoy these specialties to have an insight into Hue culinary culture. On the other side of Thanh Toan Bridge, there is also a showroom displaying agricultural tools like plows, harrows, sickles, scoops, rice mills and souvenirs made from bamboo and rattan.
If you visit the Thanh Toan Tile-Roofed Bridge in harvest time, you can participate in many activities of the locals such as paddy threshing and rice husking as well as hear folk songs sung by the country girls while pounding rice. These rustic activities will bring you many interesting experiences in your lifetime.