Da Lat man spends 500 hours shrinking iconic Long Bien Bridge

By Thuy Quynh   November 8, 2019 | 07:00 pm PT
Nguyen Thien Chuong got the idea of making a replica of Hanoi's Long Bien Bridge from a friend, but others told him it was impossible.

The 34-year-old man from Da Lat Town in the Central Highlands took up the challenge anyway, and within 20 days had succeeded in his quest.

Chuong got lots of positive feedback after images of his replica circulated on social media. Netizens said they were impressed with the intricate details of the miniature and complimented it on its uncanny resemblance to the original.

Nguyen Thien Chuong next to his replica of Hanois Long Bien Bridge. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Chuong.

Nguyen Thien Chuong with his replica of Hanoi's Long Bien Bridge. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Chuong.

The 2.29-kilometer Long Bien Bridge was built between 1899 and 1902 by the French during their colonial time, and was the first steel bridge over the Red River. The 120-year-old bridge has become an iconic historical relic site.

A close-up look of the replica. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Chuong.

A close-up of the replica. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Chuong.

Chuong said the miniature is a 64th of the real bridge in scale. He spent the first 10 days studying images and materials provided by a friend from Hanoi, and the next 10 searching for materials and the construction.

His biggest challenge was figuring out the proportions, calculating the measurements and putting the details of the bridge together so that it matched the original structure. The replica is made of plastic and wood.

Despite being showered with compliments and admiration, Chuong is not completely happy. He said he does not like the design of the railway track, which could have been done with more precision but for its size.

He also mentions the pedestrian walkways on both sides, which are evenly vertical lines at the moment, should be more winding to match the real one.

A close-up look of the track. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Chuong

A close-up of the track. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Thien Chuong.

He said after a few touch-ups he will exhibit his work, but does not say where or when.

Chuong studied IT major and worked in the field before quitting and turning to making handicrafts. He designs wooden works for children. He said he is happiest when making miniature versions of global icons.

The Long Bien Bridge was initially called the Doumer Bridge after Paul Doumer, the French governor-general of Indochina in 1897. At the time of construction, it was one of the world's largest bridges.

Designed by Gustave Eiffel, Long Bien Bridge boasts a unique shape. It is more than just a bridge; in fact, it is a charming piece of art that helps add to Hanoi's charisma.

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