Listen to Article
Vietnam’s Bà Nà Hills, which attracts over 2.7 million visitors annually, is home to many popular tourist attractions. These include the world’s longest non-stop single track cable car, a replica French medieval village complete with a faux castle, and the perfectly manicured Thien Thai gardens. However, none are as exquisite as the newly-built Cau Vang (Golden Bridge in Vietnamese) pedestrian bridge, which opened to the public in June 2018.
Designed to evoke the feeling of treading on a shimmering thread, the 490-foot-long, eight-section pedestrian walkway sits 4,600 feet above sea level, offering visitors stunning views of the surrounding mountainscape and the resort town below. However, what makes the Cau Vang bridge, which took a year to build, unique is the two massive hands holding the structure. Though they appear to be crafted from ancient weathered stone, the palms are made using steel meshes and fiberglass.
“It creates a walkway in the sky, among the foggy and fairy-like lands of Bà Nà mountain,” said Vu Viet Anh, the head designer at TA Landscape Architecture who constructed the bridge. The architect told Dezeen.com the design was inspired by the "world of gods, giant things and living things."
While Anh had hoped his vision would resonate with visitors, even he is surprised at the amount of attention the golden bridge is garnering worldwide. Not one to rest on his laurels, the architect is already busy designing a “sister” bridge – meant to resemble a silver strand of God’s hair that will connect to the sparkling gold strand.
The Cau Vang bridge follows a recent trend of unusual footbridges that have been sprouting up across the world. Among them is London’s Fan Bridge, a hydraulic structure that resembles a traditional Japanese fan. Unveiled in 2014, the artistic installation is only open to the public for limited hours on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Also intriguing is the Lucky Knot Bridge in Changsha, China. The 606-foot-long loop of three interconnected red pedestrian walkways was inspired by ancient Chinese knotting folk art and the infinite structure of the Möbius band — a nonorientable surface with one side and one boundary.