Hue city is a special tourist destination located in the Central Vietnam and it is dubbed the ancient city of Vietnam. Firstly, if you come to Hue, you will be quickly overwhelmed by its beauty and nice landscapes. Especially, if you have a chance to visit peaceful villages in Hue and enjoy the fresh air there, you will no longer want to come back the busy city. One of the most villages in Hue that attracts to many tourists is Thanh Toan village, which is famous for the tile roofed bridge called Thanh Toan birdge.
Listed in the program of many tours in Hue such as Hue city tour, bike tour and cycling tour, Thanh Toan bridge in particular is really an interesting place for tourist to visit besides Citadel, Bach Ma national park or Tam Giang lagoon. They are reasons why we chose this place to be our first destination when we were in Hue. Thanks to this trip to Thanh Toan village, we had a lot of sweet memories that we will never forget.
New experiences when discovering Thanh Toan village by bike
It was a nice morning in November, with hats on our heads, we gathered in front of Muong Thanh hotel on Le Loi street in Hue city and started the trip to Thanh Toan bridge by bike. We chose bicycle because the distance from Thanh Toan bridge to Hue center is only 7kms and it will be easy for us to have a chance to contemplate the beautiful rural landscapes, watch the daily life of local people as well as enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the countryside when we ride a bicycle.
The road to Thanh Toan village is quite small, but really nice with many green paddy fields, trees, fruit gardens, small rivers two roadsides. It is considered one of the most beautiful village roads in Hue. On the way, we also saw some stocks flying in the sky, buffaloes grazing in the fields and local boats drifting in the middle of the river. Those scenes made us comfortable and interested. ExploringHue by bike is really a wonderful idea. Cycling on village streets made us forget the blazing sun and tiredness by the aroma of new rice as well as the fragrance of the ripe fruits. After 45 mins, we arrived Thanh Toan bridge. My first impression about it was that it looked like The Japanese covered Bridge in Hoi an. However, I quickly recognized that it’s quite different. Thanh Toan bridge crossing a canal in the countryside is a wooden bridge with 17 meters in length and 4 meters in width. Both sides of this bridge have two rows of wooden platforms with handrails to sit. On the bridge, there is a tiled roof, which is divided into seven parts. Now, this bridge is one of the most valuable and ancient bridges in Vietnam.
Thanh Toan bridge is a special bridge also because the idea of building it came from a woman, not a man. 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, 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.
Thanh Toan Tile roofed Bridge, which is an ancient architectural monument, has historical and cultural value. For over two centuries with many big storms, floods and devastation of the war, the bridge was sometimes damaged. However, people here remodeled, restored and preserved it.
Besides Thanh Toan bridge, we noticed Thanh Toan museum. In the museum, one can see many agricultural tools and a lot of pictures telling about farming scenes of Vietnamese people. You also can see some women making sticky rice cakes, the mother lulling her child, some farmers fishing,.. through exhibited artifacts .
Next to Thanh Toan bridge is a local market with many products. Thanh Toan market is not crowed and gives tourists sense of an idyllic Vietnam village. Inside the market, you can see some women making conical hats, enjoy many rustic dishes which the local people cook with Hue flavor.
After visiting Thanh Toan bridge, we rode our bikes to visit the house of a local woman. At her house, many tourists often come to join a cooking class or experience to be a farmer by planting vegetables or fishing. Then we continued to cycle to Eco restaurant near her house to have lunch. We were taught to make a Hue dish called ” Bánh Khoái” by the mistress. It was very fun and really a new experience in my life. Peaceful view and the rustic dishes severed by the restaurant were so attractive that we did not even want to return to our stress daily life.
Finishing the tour with fun and new experiences, we rode back to Hue city. If you are traveling in Hue, do not forget to take a trip to Thanh Toan village. It will bring the beautiful moments and save the sweet memories for you.