VIDEO: Record-Setting Glass-Bottomed Bridge Spans Across Vietnam Gorge
Wed June 01, 2022 - National Edition International Business Times & CNN
A mountain resort in Vietnam has opened a bridge featuring a walkway made of glass over a beautiful gorge to attract thrill-seeking tourists, the third such span in the Southeast Asian country.
The difference with this feat of engineering is that it has been certified by Guinness World Records as being the longest bridge of its kind in the world at 2,073 ft.
The Bach Long suspension bridge, which translates as "White Dragon," is in Son La province, northwest of Hanoi, the nation's capital, and bordering Laos. It offers stunning panoramic views of lush mountain rainforest in the region's rural highlands and connects visitors to the nearby mountain retreat, according to CNN.
International Business Times reported that the glass bridge was a collaboration between local tourism authorities and a French construction company to revive tourism, badly hit by the global pandemic when the country shut its borders to international visitors.
The Bach Long bridge is 951-ft.-long between two peaks on either side of a 492-ft.-deep gorge, plus a 1,122 ft. pathway on the cliffside.
Three layers of reinforced glass, each about 1.6-in.-thick, were used on the walkway, making it strong enough to hold up to 450 people at a time, according to a statement from the facility's owner. As a test of its strength, an SUV was driven over the bridge prior to its public opening.
"The engineering required to build that into the side of a cliff but maintain all the features of nature, the greenery, the rocks, it's been an amazing project," said Glen Pollard, a representative of Guinness World Record, who attended the opening ceremony.
Guinness World Records officials certified the bridge as being the longest of its kind, local media outlets reported.
The organization had listed an 1,876-ft.-long glass-walkway bridge in Qingyuan, in China's Guangdong province, as the world's longest prior to the Vietnam bridge's completion.
Bach Long Is Third Such Bridge in Vietnam
CNN reports noted that the Bach Long suspension bridge opened to great public fanfare in Vietnam.
"I dared not look down as I am afraid of heights," said one visitor, Vi Thi Thu, who ventured onto the bridge after attending May 28's opening ceremony, which included dragon dancing and ribbon cutting.
Another man said he quickly overcame initial nerves when walking on the bridge.
"At first it makes you panic, but then if you walked over around 10 glass panels, that feeling is gone," said Tran Xuan Tinh.
It is the third glass bridge to be built in Vietnam. In 2018, another spectacular mountain footbridge, held up by a pair of enormous stone hands, made global headlines after it opened in the Ba Na Hills area in Central Vietnam.
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