Danang – one of 15 ranked-one cities of Vietnam has recently emerged as a resurgent city in every aspect: economy, technology, education as well as culture and tourism. The most well-known spotlight of the city, which is recently not only known by Vietnamese but also foreign visitors, is a 666-meter-long (2185 feet) dragon shaped bridge that breathes fire and spouts plumes of water.
Opened last year in Vietnam’s central coast city of Da Nang, the Rong Cao (Dragon Bridge) is an award-winning, U.S.-designed marvel of engineering that’s become a favorite of residents and visitors, and an icon of the prosperous future this once sleepy town has its eye set on.
Each weekend, after sunset, residents and visitors are treated to a pyrotechnic show that adds flair to what could have easily been a routine civil engineering project.The road is closed just before 9 p.m., with crowds thronging the six-lane bridge. An expectant hush descends, and then, with a roar, the dragon’s head spits fearsome plumes of fire, followed by hissing clouds of water vapor.
In the Asian culture, the dragon is considered a symbol of prosperity, and in no doubt is chosen to be an ideal image for a rising city, and has been taken to heart by the people who live here.
It is easy to find Dragon-themed trinkets sold along the banks of the Han River, which the bridge spans, and nearby hotels take their name from the structure. Boat tours make the most of it — prows are painted with the dragon’s likeness.
The dragon itself is modeled after one of the symbols of the Ly Dynasty, which ruled Vietnam a thousand years ago. In 1010, King Ly Thai To decided to choose Hanoi as the new capital of Vietnam at that time. According to legend, upon arriving in Hanoi by boat, he saw a golden dragon rise into the sky from the Red River. Seeing this as a good omen, he named the city Thang Long (soaring dragon). Since then, the dragon in many Vietnamese generations’ mind is one of the most important symbols in the culture of this land.
Therefore,it is believed that the Dragon Bridge can become a symbol for Danang’s growth and development as an important transportation, educational and cultural center in central Vietnam
In addition to the weekend shows of fire breathing, which take place at 9 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, the bridge is illuminated each night with thousands of LED lights, which flow through the color spectrum, giving dynamic, dazzling views that reflect off the surface of the river.
The bridge was inaugurated on March 29, 2013, to commemorate the country’s rich history — both ancient and recent. The date was chosen to mark the 38th anniversary of the liberation of the city, and the end of the Vietnam War.
Its creators, the firms Louis Berger and Ammann & Whitney, were recipients of the 2014 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) National Engineering Excellence Award.
The opening of the bridge not only gives Da Nang an instantly recognizable landmark, it’s done much for the city’s development in a remarkably short time. Da Nang is a nice place, and the bridge adds identity to the city, helping it become more popular to foreign visitors when it was chosen to be on the list of 20 most beautiful bridges in the world. The award has contributed to the growing of tourism in Danang and also in Vietnam generally.
Besides the new fame of the bridge, Danang has many other advantages which make the city a new tourist attraction. It only takes 1 hour drive to Hoi An – one of the World Heritages, 2 hour to Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam, hence Danang is a good hub to other travelling hot spots in the Central region. Danang also has the amazing beach – My Khe, which is called China beach by American GIs. Cheap hotel with high quality and delicious seafood are two other pluses.
So Danang with the new iconic Dragon Bridge and a series of attractive places is for sure a recommendation from Indochina Pioneer. It is worthy to visit the city once in a life time.
Collected from CNN and Internet