The village, 8km east of Hue, is famous for its beautiful roads, peaceful rural landscape and particularly the tile-roofed bridge, which has become a popular destination for tourists.
Many tourists choose to visit Thanh Toan village by bike because it’s not far from Hue city. Riding around the village and enjoying its tranquility inspires a lot of tourists.
Nguyen Thanh Trung, a local tour guide, says the village attracts visitors because of its beautiful rural landscapes, its unique bridge and communal houses, clan worshiping houses, traditional festivals, farming practices and local people’s daily activities.
“The village is not far from Hue city so it’s easy for tourists. It’s a peaceful village with beautiful scenery. It’s also possible for tourists to cross the rice fields and find yourself in the middle of the field harvesting rice and herding ducks in rice fields. These are the great outdoors! Thanh Toan village still retains all the characteristics of a traditional Vietnamese village against urbanization,” Trung noted.
The 17m long and 4m wide wooden bridge in the village surprises most visitors when they arrive. It is an arch bridge with both sides being protected by railings with balconies. The bridge crosses an irrigation canal extending from the entrance to the end of the village.
On each side are benches inviting you to take a rest. 18 wooden pillars and iron-work support the bridge. The bridge is unique because of its tiled-roof- a rarity that makes it a model among the bridges built at that time in Vietnam.
Nguyen Van Thanh, who lives in Hue, noted, “The tile-roofed bridge was built in 1776 by Mrs. Tran Thi Dao who was the wife of a great mandarin during the reign of King Le Hien Tong. Its purpose was to facilitate the movement of local inhabitants.”
“King Le Hien Tong issued a decree to honor her. During the reign of King Khai Dinh in 1920, an altar was installed on the bridge to maintain a permanent monument in honor of Ms. Tran Thi Dao. This bridge has great artistic and architectural value,” he added.
Next to the bridge is the village market which is small but offers everything, especially culinary specialties like Hen rice, fish-pancakes, and a wide variety of rice noodles.
On the other side of the bridge is a showroom displaying agricultural tools: plows, harrows, sickles, scoops, and rice mills. There are also bamboo and ratan souvenirs.
Nguyen Thanh Trung said again,”Here, tourists can follow all the steps of rice production. Children are very interested in this activity. Visiting this showroom, adults and children can both experience the daily activities of local people as well as sample local food”.