Ben Hai River, also known as Rao Thanh River, starts from Truong Son Mountains and runs 100km through it to meet the Vietnam East sea at Cua Tung (Tung River Mouth). The widest part of the river is about 200m. The portion covered by Hien Luong Bridge is approximately 170m wide.
Prior to the construction of the steel bridge, supervised by a French army engineer in 1950, the only way to cross the river was by boat. The bridge whose northern bank in Hien Luong Village, Vinh Thanh Commune, Vinh Linh District, southern bank in Xuan Hoa Village, Trung Hai Commune, Gio Linh District is 178m long and has seven girders. Its surface was made of wooden planks.
Under the Geneva Accord on Vietnam signed in 1954, the Ben Hai River was selected as a temporary demarcation line separating the country into two parts for military regrouping purposes. Hien Luong Bridge was then divided into two parts, each part serving as a border gate.
Today, Hien Luong Bridge has become a historic landmark. It is very pleasant to go on a boat downstream on the Ben Hai River and view the beautiful landscape. From Hien Luong Bridge, the boat brings visitors along the river where rice and maize fields, green bamboo belts, rows of casuarinas trees, and villages are visible far off into the distance.