By Ken Hegan for MSN

Whoa, it’s a giant, fire snorting, sea serpent bridge!

Dragon-Bridge-lit-up

To celebrate the 38th anniversary of its liberation at the end of the Vietnam War (a.k.a. its capture by North Vietnamese communists), the city of Da Nang, Vietnam has unveiled Dragon Bridge which features a humongous dragon breathing great balls of fire.

Well, maybe they didn’t unveil the dragon…more like they unleashed it on a terrified public.

Dragon-Fire-Breating

Watch this short clip of this fire breathing dragon bridge. How fiercely awesome is that? It’s now my favourite bridge on the planet.

Dragon

Check out these stunning photos. The dragon looks like it’s winding across the bridge to get at you. It’s even more frightening at night because it’s lit up by 2,500 colorful LED bulbs.

Green-Dragon-Bridge

Fun facts:

  • Dragon Bridge is now the world’s largest dragon-shaped bridge
  • Da Nang is Vietnam’s fifth largest city by population (951,700)
  • If you choose, you can also spell it Đà Nẵng
  • Dragon Bridge crosses the Han River to connect Da Nang International Airport with the city’s beaches and downtown streets
  • The six-lane bridge is a devilish 666 meters long
  • Dragon Bridge sounds like a bad Nicolas Cage action flick
  • The bridge was designed by the New Jersey-based Louis Berger Group
  • It’s modelled on the dragon from the Lý Dynasty. According to VietnamNet, this dragon is known in Vietnamese folklore for flying to the sea and bringing good luck.
  • Dragon Bridge is the only bridge with a single steel arch in Southeast Asia
  • Construction started April 2009
  • Total cost is 1.7 trillion Vietnamese dong or $82,600,000 in cold, hard, non-dong Canadian cash

Bonus: Not only does the dragon head spit fire for festivals and special occasions, it also blasts water spouts into the air! And eats cars! And kidnaps virgin princesses!

Dragon-Bridge-at-night

You’ve been warned. Next time you wake up in a taxi after a red-eye flight into Da Nang, don’t be surprised if a fire-spewing dragon tries to flambé you. That’s just Vietnam’s way of saying Hi.

— Ken Hegan

Read more of Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan 

Photos: Louis Berger Group

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