‘I dared not look down’: Vietnam glass-bottomed bridge targets thrill-seekers

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A mountain resort in Vietnam has opened a bridge with a bottom made of glass over a gorge 150 metres  below to attract thrill-seeking tourists, the third such bridge in the Southeast Asian country.

The Bach Long suspension bridge, which translates as “White Dragon,” is in Son La province, northwest of the capital, Hanoi, and is the “world’s longest glass-bottomed bridge”, according to the Official World Record Association (OWR), at 632 metres.

“I dared not look down as I am afraid of heights,” said one visitor, Vi Thi Thu, 22, who ventured onto the bridge after attending Saturday’s opening ceremony, which included dragon dancing and ribbon cutting.

The reinforced glass used for the bridge has three layers, each 40mm thick, and can hold up to 450 people at a time, according to a statement from the facility’s owner.

The bridge is 290 metres long between two peaks on either side of a gorge, plus a 342-metre pathway on the cliffside. Guinness World Records, a different record-certifying body from OWR, certified the structure as the “World’s Longest Glass-Bottomed Cliffside Pathway”.

“The engineering required to build that into the side of a cliff but maintain all the features of nature, the greenery, the rock, its been an amazing project,” said Glen Pollard, a representative from Guinness World Records, who attended the opening ceremony.

However, Guinness lists a 562-metre glass-bottomed bridge in Qingyuan, in China’s Guangdong province, as the world’s longest glass bridge.

Another visitor at the opening ceremony said he quickly overcame initial nerves when walking on the bridge.

“At first it makes you panic, but then if you walk over around 10 glass panels, that feeling is gone,” said Tran Xuan Tinh, 72.