7 most fascinating bridges in Asia to visit
Asia is home to some of the most breath-taking bridges in the world. These magnificent structures not only serve the purpose of connecting two separate points but also capture the attention of anyone who can appreciate architectural ingenuity and innovation. In this article, we intend to explore some of the most exquisite bridges of our continent that exhibit the region's exceptional engineering and artistic skills.
Helix Bridge, Singapore
Inspired by the double helix design of human DNA, the Helix Bridge of Singapore is a true marvel of modern architecture. These 280-metre-long steel bridge was built exclusively for pedestrians and was officially opened on 18 July, 2010. Connecting the Mariana South with the Mariana Centre at the famous Mariana Bay, the bridge offers four platforms for visitors at locations that provide excellent views of the Singapore skyline.
As night falls, the bridge transforms into an enchanting sight, thanks to a sequence of lighting fixtures that illuminate the entire structure, showcasing its splendour in a completely different way. Featured in the third season of the HBO series 'Westworld,' an evening walk to this marvel can be a memory of a lifetime.
Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, Japan
Also known as the Trans-Tokyo Bay Expressway, the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line is a fascinating combination of bridges and underwater tunnels. This incredible feat of engineering comprises a 4.4km bridge and a 9.6km tunnel beneath the bay, making it the fourth longest subaquatic tunnel in the world.
The transition between the bridge and the tunnel is marked by an artificial island known as the Umi-hotaru (literally meaning the ''Sea firefly'') where travellers may stop for a snack at restaurants or spend some time in the observation deck. As a part of the National Route 409, this bridge maintains a connection between the cities of Kawasaki and Kisarazu, and can be visited through a number of bus services leaving from Tokyo, Yokohama, or Kawasaki station.
Khaju Bridge, Iran
Located in the city of Isfahan, the Khaju Bridge was built in the later part of the 17th century by the Safavid king Shah Abbas II. Widely regarded as one of the finest examples of mediaeval bridge construction, this 137-metre-long arch bridge was actually built for connecting the Hasanabad gate with the Shiraz Road and as a dam to control the flow of the Zayanderud River.
Famous for its enchanting reflection in the river, this two-storey bridge provides visitors with an opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea on the lower level — a pastime believed to be a personal favourite of Shah Abbas II himself!
Duge Bridge, China
The Duge or Beipanjiang Bridge on the Beipan River currently holds the title of the highest bridge in the world, with a height of 565 metres above the river. The construction of this remarkable example of modern engineering was completed in 2016 and forms a part of the G56 Hangzhou-Ruili Expressway.
Constructed over a rugged canyon adorned with limestone, this 1,341-metre-long bridge provides visitors with a breath-taking panoramic view of the surrounding area. To visit this destination and spend an evening on the observation deck of the bridge, travellers need to reach Liupanshui City by air or train and take a taxi to the bridge from there.
Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia
The Langkawi Sky Bridge is a unique piece of architecture that differs in its purpose from all the bridges listed here. Although bridges are typically constructed for the utilitarian purpose of linking two locations, the Langkawi Sky Bridge was uniquely designed with the primary aim of serving as a captivating tourist destination.
Built on a single pylon, this 125-metre-long bridge is situated at the peak of Gunung Mat Cincang Mountain and is only accessible with a cable car. Once at the top, the bridge offers a fascinating view of the whole Pulau Langkawi Island and features a stroll on the glass bottom walkway over the dense rainforest. However, this bridge is particularly famous for a stunning display of colours over the Andaman Sea during sunset.
Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Bangladesh
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is a grandiose and impressive feat of engineering, measuring over 6km in length as it spans across the Padma River to link Bangladesh's southern and northern regions. This monumental bridge comprises two distinct levels, making it the first of its kind in the country.
In addition to its impressive engineering design, the Padma Bridge also boasts scenic natural beauty of its surroundings. The views from the bridge offer panoramic vistas of the Padma River allowing visitors to marvel at the serene waters below and the lush green landscapes on either side of the river.
Dragon Bridge, Vietnam
The Dragon Bridge is the most famous landmark of the city of Da Nang and an important piece of commercial architecture connecting the city centre with the My Khe beach area. Shaped like a massive dragon spanning over the Han River, this wonderful bridge has gained popularity as a tourist attraction in recent years.
The bridge is adorned with a dazzling array of colourful lights during the night, offering a truly marvellous spectacle. Moreover, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9 PM, the dragon head of the bridge comes to life, exhaling bursts of fire and water, adding a delightful touch of wonder to the already unforgettable experience.