Anyone who has been to Đà Nẵng in the last decade will instantly recognize this distinctive bridge. It’s the centerpiece of the tourism industry in Vietnam’s sixth largest city, and features in the background of countless pictures. Though the bridge doesn’t boast much in terms of span and height, its combination of functional importance — being a main thoroughfare in the downtown – and spectacular design makes this a bridge you’ll never forget, especially if you’re around when it spits fire.
With the Hòa Bình Dam, Vietnam boasts the largest hydroelectric dam in all of Southeast Asia. This incredible feat of engineering is located on the Black River (a two-hour drive from Hanoi), and took 10 years to complete. In addition to generating vital electricity for millions, the dam also plays a crucial role in controlling floods along the Black River.
The name of this railway signifies the struggle to reunify the country during and after the American War. When Saigon fell in 1975, the railway tracks, bridges and tunnels throughout Vietnam were in dire need of repairs. Amazingly, it took less than two years before trains were up and running between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Today, the reunification express is a popular way for tourists and locals to enjoy this beautiful country.
Named after the city in the Mekong Delta where it’s located, this eye-catching bridge stretches an impressive 2.75km over the largest distributary on the Mekong. In the past, people had to use a network of ferries if they wanted to travel through the region. With this bridge – one of 17 planned for the area – the people and products from this rich agricultural region have a much easier route to Ho Chi Minh City and beyond.
This tunnel shares its name with one of the best motorbike routes in the country and has completely changed how people move between Huế and Đà Nẵng. Trucks were once forced to traverse the hairpin turns and terrifying drops of the Hải Vân Pass, but now they can cruise through the modern Hải Vân Tunnel, which at 6.28km is also the longest in Southeast Asia.
This colossal building is the focal point of Vinhomes Central Park, a massive housing complex along the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City. This area is essentially a new city within a mega-city, and will eventually be home to tens of thousands of people, drawn to live in the shadow of the tallest building in Vietnam.
The Long Biên Bridge is symbolic of Hanoi’s turbulent history. It was originally designed by the French and built by Vietnamese workers at the turn of the 20th century, using Vietnamese materials. Since then, this bridge has been a vital connection between the capital city and the surrounding farmlands. Though the bridge was destroyed several times by American bombers, it has been repaired and now represents Hanoi’s resilience.
This highways runs from the north to the south and roughly follows the route used to ship personnel and supplies to the fight against the French and then the American-backed regime in Saigon. The government has big plans for the road, but as of now, it runs from Hanoi to Kon Tum Province in the central highlands.
If you fly into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, then you’ll drive over this bridge on your way into the city. Its five towers represent the five gates of old Hanoi, and though this bridge is neither the longest nor the tallest in Vietnam, it makes it onto this list because of its importance to Hanoi.
The last item on our list hasn’t even been completed yet, but we have to include it because of the scope of this monumental undertaking. The stations loom all over the city, and large portions of District 1 have been taken over by construction. This rapid transit system is set to revolutionize how commuters move around this congested city.