Travel - November 15, 2018 | 10:20 am GMT+7

Modern constructions enhance Vietnam’s natural appeal

Several modern constructions have added to Vietnam’s long list of attractions, winning international awards and public acclaim.

In fact, some of them have acquired such high profiles in a short time they are playing as important a role in attracting tourists to Vietnam as historical monuments like old forts, citadels, villages, pagodas, etc.

Perhaps the most recent such construction that has achieved worldwide renown in the shortest time is the Golden Bridge in Da Nang.

Hands of the Gods

The spectacular bridge held up by two giant hands that reach to the sky from the ground was an immediate hit when it opened in June at the Ba Na Hills in the central city of Da Nang.

In August, a Google search with key words "Golden Bridge Ba Na Hills" produced 160 million results in 0.95 seconds, while the "Eiffel Tower" in France came up with half that number in 0.65 seconds.

It was named one of the world’s most striking pedestrian bridges by UK newspaper The Guardian. Another UK newspaper, The Independent also listed the Golden Bridge in their top 10 list of the world’s most incredible bridges. Other major publications like the BBC, AFP, Reuters and CNN have also complimented the bridge.

The bridge is designed to make visitors feel like they are taking a walk across the hands of gods.

According to Indian Times, the government of India is planning a similar construction after being impressed by tourism mileage that Vietnam has extracted from the Golden Bridge.

A panorama view of the Golden Bridge

‘Flying’ bamboo complex, Vinh Phuc

This unique complex won the gold medal for "Building of the Year" from the Architects Regional Council Asia at the Arcasia Awards for Architecture in 2014, making it one of the first constructions in Vietnam to win an international award.

Located in a resort in Vinh Phuc, a northern province neighboring Hanoi, this complex was built in 2009 to host big events.

Famous Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia and colleagues designed the whole complex.

The World Architecture website describes the Bamboo Dailai Complex as a pure bamboo cantilever structure "flying over the sky." This 12-meter-wide structure balances itself on one leg and realizes free space without any columns on its edge, meeting the function of the cultural center to hold fashion shows, music concerts as well as conferences. 

The openness of the building, thanks to its structure, helps people inside feel as if they are living in nature.

"Bamboo and stone are abundant natural resources near the area. The hall achieves its originality and special atmosphere by using these local materials in plenty. Consequently, the building becomes a friendly accompaniment to nature," architect Vo Trong Nghia said about his work.

Photo by Shutterstock

Consistent top pick

The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula is the only resort that has received Asia’s Leading Luxury Resort prize at the World Travel Awards for five consecutive years, from 2014 to 2018. The resort has continued to win prizes in other categories this year, most notably Asia’s Leading Green Resort 2018, Asia’s Leading Luxury Hotel Villa 2018 and Vietnam’s Leading Luxury Resort 2018.

"Scattered from the lush hills of the Son Tra Peninsula nature reserve down to the sandy shores of the East Sea, the resort – which opened in 2012 – has become one of the top picks in the country for relaxing getaways, " wrote US travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler while naming it one of the best resorts in the world.

The resort, which has attracted many celebrities and international VIPs among other guests, combines modern architecture and traditional cultural values.

Photo by Shutterstock

Cool skyscraper

Located in the heart of the Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, Bitexco Financial Tower was chosen as one of most famous 25 skyscrapers by CNN in 2013.

Thrillist.com called the Bitexco Financial Tower the #2 Coolest Skyscraper in the World in 2015.

The 262 meter-tall tower has 68 floors and is the third-highest construction in Vietnam. With its design inspired by the lotus, Vietnam's national flower, the tower has a smooth curved shape and is covered by 6,000 glass panels. There’s a heliport that thrusts out on the 52nd floor, made with 250 tons of steel. On the 47th floor, visitors can get a 360-degree view of the city from the building’s Saigon Skydeck.

"It's ambitious and in your face, much like its host city. No surprise, given it was designed by award-winning Ecuadorian architect Carlos Zapata," CNN wrote.

Fire breathing Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge spans the Han River in Da Nang. It won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Engineering Excellence Award in the U.S. The bridge opened to traffic on March 29, 2013, marking the 38th liberation anniversary of Da Nang and cost VND1.5 trillion ($88 million) to build. It is 666 meters long, 37.5 meters wide and has six lines for traffic.

This modern bridge provides the shortest road link from Da Nang International Airport to other main roads in Da Nang City, and a more direct route to beautiful beaches like My Khe and Non Nuoc on the eastern edge of the city. The bridge was designed and built in the shape of a dragon.

It breathes fire and water every Saturday and Sunday night at 9 p.m., and makes the city shine in the night with 15,000 LED lights.

CNN commented: "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." 

Photo by Shutterstock

World's longest cable car

With a total length of almost 8000 meters, the Hon Thom cable car on Phu Quoc Island was recognized as the longest non-stop three-rope cable car by Guinness World Records when it opened on February 14, 2018. The cable car connects An Thoi Town and three islands - Hon Loi, Hon Dua, and Hon Thom. 

Phu Quoc is Vietnam's largest island in the southern province of Kien Giang. An Thoi is a small town at the southernmost end of Phu Quoc Island.

The entire cable car system has two terminals and six cable posts, of which the largest has a height of 174 meters. The car runs at a maximum speed of 8.5 meters per second. It has 69 cabins, each of which can accommodate up to 30 people. It has helped reduce the amount of time for tourists traveling from An Thoi Town to Hon Thom Island to 15 minutes. The cabins have Wi-Fi and night lighting systems.

The cable care also uses the latest technology that is also considered the safest. Passengers can hardly feel any shaking while in the cabin. In bad weather, the system will automatically shut down and inform all the tourists.

The cabins offer great views of the ocean, islands, beaches and forests clusters in Phu Quoc.

Photo by Shutterstock

Story by Tuan Hoang