Japanese Covered Bridge
Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam 564010, Vietnam
Photo by John Newton
Japanese Covered BridgeHoi An's Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a collection of buildings from the 16th century onwards, is more about a general atmosphere than individual sights. For most visitors a day spent here will consist of wandering its streets lined with sunflower-yellow buildings, with lanterns draped between them, instead of seeking out any particular individual landmarks. But when it comes to those landmarks that are must-sees, the most iconic of them is the Japanese Covered Bridge. For Hoi An's most famous landmark, t's a surprisingly modest structure, believed to have been constructed at the end of the 16th century to connect what were once the Chinese and Japanese neighborhoods of Hoi An (the Japanese community was located to the west of the bridge while the Chinese residents lived to the east, the heart of old Hoi An).
The bridge is known for the shrine located on it, next to the pathway for pedestrians, while you should also look for the statues at each end of i5—dogs at the eastern end, monkeys at the western one. There are a number of different theories behind why these animals were chosen, but a likely explanation is that construction began in a year that corresponded to the dog on the Chinese zodiac and ended in a year of the monkey.