Feature: China-Bangladesh friendship bridge becomes tourist hotspot with Islamic, Chinese characteristics

DHAKA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The architectural heritage across the Islamic world is impressively rich and Bangladesh, as a Muslim-majority country, is no exception.

There are many iconic Islamic structures including mosques, palaces, tombs and fortresses in Bangladesh. A more recent addition to the heritage of Bangladesh is the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, built with Chinese government funds.

Weng Changmin, deputy manager of the project, told Xinhua recently that it had taken over four years to build the bridge, which officially opened to traffic on Sept. 4.

The structure is a testament to the friendship between China and Bangladesh. The bridge design incorporates an Islamic-style dome and a Chinese knot, reflecting the bonds between China and Bangladesh and the cultures of the two places, he said.

The 2.96-km bridge, formally known as the Bangmata Begum Fazilatun Necha Mujib 8th Bangladesh China-Friendship Bridge, crosses the Kocha River in Pirojpur district, 185 km southwest of the capital Dhaka. It has become an unexpected tourist hotspot in the region.

"I've come to see the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge," visitor Nasreen Jahan Mukta told Xinhua. "It is incredibly beautiful. People in southern Bangladesh regions have benefited a lot from the bridge. China has always been a friend and hopefully will remain a friend of Bangladesh. Many thanks to them."

Another visitor, Shahnewaz Khan, said the gate and railings on both sides of the bridge are made in a pattern similar to Muslim mosque design and are very beautiful.

"Many thanks to the Bangladesh government and the Chinese government for this," he said, noting that the bridge had put an end to another dangerous ferry service in the region.

Another tourist, Saiful Islam, spoke of how difficult it had been to cross the river before.

"We had a lot of trouble while going to the other side. Now that there is a bridge, we can come and go from Pirojpur to Kaukhali without any difficulty. And we don't have to wait for the ferry."

Eight Bangladesh-China friendship bridges have been built with Chinese aid across Bangladesh since the 1980s. 

Editor: Yu Huichen