Lóngténg Broken Bridge (龍騰斷橋) is a historic roadside attraction in the rolling hills of Sanyi in southern Miaoli, Taiwan. More formally known as Yúténgpíng Broken Bridge (魚藤坪斷橋), it was originally constructed in 1907 during the Japanese colonial era, connecting Zhunan and Taichung along what is now known as the Old Mountain Line (舊山線). The bridge collapsed during the devastating 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung Earthquake but the ruins were never cleared away. Further damage was done in the 921 Earthquake in 1999. Several years later, in 2003, it was designated a historic site by the county government and subsequently developed for tourism along with the former Shèngxìng Railway Station (勝興車站).
The original bridge had a hybrid design, combining brick archways at both ends with a central steel truss for a total length of 165 meters. After suffering damage in the 1935 quake the steel truss was dismantled, leaving behind only the cracked piers and crumbling archways. A new iron bridge with a span of 200 meters was completed in 1938 immediately to the north, and while it hasn’t been in regular service since around 1998, the TRA still runs special trains down this line on occasion.
Tourist brochures and online promotions typically focus on the more exposed ruins of the bridge on the northeastern side, close to the souvenir stalls, snack vendors, and parking lots, but it is worth taking the time to see the far side of the bridge too. The most iconic segment of the bridge consists of three piers and partial archways still standing and a fourth that collapsed in the 921 Earthquake. A short trail descends into the valley from this point, and after a few minutes one will reach the shadowy side of the valley, which is home to several more piers colonized by banyan trees.
This post was originally published in May 2014 with a small number of photos captured around that time. It has since been expanded with more photos taken in 2018, and additional text in 2023. For more photos and information about Longteng Broken Bridge try Josh Ellis Photography, Andre In Taiwan, The Daily Bubble Tea, and Taiwan Adventures.
This is one of those opportunities where I get to spout off like the old geezer that I am: back in 2000, my then-Taiwanese girlfriend (now wife) took me to see the Longteng Broken Bridge. At that time it wasn’t on any tourist radars – there was no parking lot, no souvenir stands and, best of all, no other visitors. The same with Shengxing Station at that time (no stands selling tourist tat, and only one restaurant open). Those were the days!