- Huyen Tran Cultural CenterSample Title
- Hue Citadel
- Perfume River
- Ngu Binh Mountain
- Thien Mu Pagoda
- Tu Duc Tomb
- Khai Dinh Tomb
- Minh Mang Tomb
- Bach Ma Moutain
- Lang Co Beach
Huyen Tran Cultural Center
Huyen Tran Cultural Center
On the occasion of commemorating 700 years of Thuan Hoa - Thua Thien Hue (1306 - 2006), Huong Giang Tourist Company built the Huyen Tran Culture Center with the agreement of the Provincial People's Committee. This is a cultural-tourism construction with historic and spiritual significances, those origins from affection and the moral philosophy "When drinking water, remember its source" of our people - a people is always grateful to and honors ones having deserved well of our country, including Princess Huyen Tran. Princess Huyen Tran is a beloved and beautiful daughter of a king of Dai Viet - king Tran Nhan Tong. She sacrifices her own love and happiness and left for the cause of bringing Dai Viet a sacred and immense Chau O, Chau Ly areas - from the south of Hieu River (current Dong Ha - Quang Tri Province) to the north of Thu Bon River (current Quang Nam Province).
The Huyen Tran Cultural Center is located to the southeast of Hue City, 3 kilometers far from Nam Giao Esplanade, on the foot of Ngu Phong Mount, on a over 28-hectare area. This facilitates tourists' traveling by road means (entering from Nam Giao Esplanade or Khai Dinh Tomb). In this Center, a Temple to Huyen Tran Princess was set up on the foot of Ngu Phong Mount, Temple of king Tran Nhan Tong and on the top of the Mount, at the elevation of 108 meter above the sea level, a Peace Bell-Tower was constructed with a pure bronze bell, 1.6 ton weigh, 2.16 meters high. The Bell's sound vibrates and pervades in quite space to pray for Peaceful World - Happy Mankind.
Besides, some of constructions are being built at Huyen Tran Culture Center such as Zen monastery of king Tran Nhan Tong, Orchid house, Calligraphy Garden... and some houses for composing music, art, literature, a library for preserving and studying documents on kings Tran Nhan Tong and Tran Anh Tong, Huyen Tran Princess, Doan Nhu Hai, Truong Han Sieu... and other heroes and heroines under the reign of Tran Dynasty, Truc Lam Zen through Dynasties, Hue Culture, History of Cham Pa Culture and Architecture.
From now, Thua Thien Hue Province has one more Spirit-Culture tourism place for tourists to enjoy, worship and express their gratefulness to early pioneer who migrated from Red River and Ma River Deltas to claim the land down South.
Hue has chosen to be the capital city of the Southern Kingdom by all Nguyen Lords and officially became the capital under Tay Son'reign. For approximately 400 years, Hue has become a great landscape and architectural site. Hue' royal complex has been officially recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Situated on the Northern bank of the Perfume River, with an area of 500 ha and a system of three circles of ramparts, namely from outside to inside: Kinh Thanh (Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel) and Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Citadel).
The Ngu Binh Mountain in the South is used as a front screening elevation. The Con Hen and Con Da Vien (both are sand dunes) on the Perfume River are chosen as geomancy condition "dragon on the left, tiger on the right" to protect the capital city.
Kinh Thanh Hue (Hue Capital Citadel):
This construction stared in 1805 under the reign of Emperor Gia Long and completed in 1832 under the reign of Emperor Ming Mang. Under Nguyen' reign, Kings have ordered to build ramparts, palaces and constructional works of royal. Over 200 years to now, it is still original with nearly 140 small and large constructions.
The Citadel, square in shape and almost 10 km in circumference, 6 m high, 21 m thick and 10 entrances. On the top of the walls that surround it, 24 bastions are established for defensive purposes. Besides, the Citadel has an ancillary gate connecting the Tran Binh Bastion called the Thai Binh Mon (Peace Gate).
Hoang Thanh (Royal Citadel):
The Imperial City is located in the centre of the Citadel where established highest offices of Viet Nam's feudalism and sanctums honouring the cult of decreased Emperors. The Citadel, also has a nearly square form, with more than 600m long for each side, built of brick 4m high, 1m thick, around which is ditched a system of protection trench. Access to the Imperial City can be made by four entrance gates. Noon Gate is only used for the King. Royal Palace consists of more 100 beautiful constructional works divided many sectors.
- From the Ngo Mon to the Thai Hoa Palace: This is the place for setting up various grand ceremonies.
- Sector for worship shrines of the King of the Nguyen dynasty: Trieu Mieu, Thai Mieu, Hung Mieu, The Mieu and Phung Tien place.
- Sector for internal affairs office: Storehouse for precious objects, workshop for manufacturing various useful articles.
- Sectors for the Kham Van palace and the Co Ha garden: place where the princes are studying or enjoying.
Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden citadel):
Located inside the Imperial City, behind the Throne Palace, the Forbidden Purple City is reserved for Emperor and his family. Constructed early in Emperor Gia Long'reign in 1804 with brick walls 3.72m high, 0,72 m thick, about 1,230 m in circumference. Its front and back sides are 324 m each while either left and right side is more than 290 m including 50 architectural constructions of different sizes and 7 gates for facilities of entrance and exit. Dai Cung Mon (the Great Place Gate) is in the front side for Kings. Can Chanh Palace (the place for every day working of Emperors). Can Thanh (Emperor's Private Palace), Khon Thai Residence (Queen's Private Apartment) reserved for the Queen. Duyet Thi Duong house (Royal Theatre), Thuong Thien (the kitchen for the King' food), Thai Binh Lau (King's reading room)... Besides, Hue is also famous for royal tombs and temples of Nguyen Kings. Seven tombs with different aspect are not not only a wonderful arch but also combining beautiful, imposing nature and poetic of Hue.
Ancient Hue including Perfume River and Ngu Mountain, palaces and citadels, tombs and temples with hundred of historic years are being embellished and recovered by material contribution of Vietnamese and International community in order to keep Hue City as cultural heritage of World.
The Perfume River has two sources. They come from the Truong Son range: the Ta Trach (Left Tributary) from Truong Dong mounts toward north-west through 55 impressive waterfalls, and then slowly to Bang Lang fork; the shorter Huu Trach (Right Tributary) flowing through 14 dangerous waterfalls and Tuan ferry landing to Bang Lang fork where the two tributaries join to form the poetic Perfume river.
From Bang Lang to Thuan An estuary, the Perfume river is 30 km long (The river level is not much above that of the sea) so that the river runs very slowly. The colour of the Perfume River is darker when it winds along the foot of Ngoc Tran mount - the Jade Cup Temple - where there is a very deep abyss.
The PERFUME RIVER is beautiful sight from its source, and winds among mountains, forest trees, plants, etc. bringing with it fragrances of tropical flora. The river runs slowly through the verdant and shady villages of Kim Long, Nguyet Bieu, Vy Da, Dong Ba, Gia Hoi, Dinh market, Nam Pho, Bao Vinh, mingling with the odours of flowers of Hue... The river with the shimmer blue limpid colour is like a pearl in the sun. Hue boats rowing up and down with remote, meditative and deep folk melodies at deep night. It is an eternal pleasure for many generations of tourists who go boating to behold the poetic landscape, to listen to the folk melodies of Hue in tranquil nights.
The views on both sides of the river with the citadel, town, gardens, pagodas, towers and temples, etc. and their reflections in the waters make the already loveable river even more poetic and musical. Many people think that Hue city has peaceful, gentle and tranquil landscapes mostly thanks to the Perfume River. This river brings to the city a meditative poetic characteristics and the harmonious limpidity exhaling from a land of age-old culture.
The 105m Ngu Binh has a striking and symmetric figure. On both sides of the Even Mount (Bang Son) are 2 small mounts called Ta Bat Son (Left Mount) and Huu Bat Son (Right Mount). The Nguyen dynasty was established and decided to build up the Hue Capital. When seeing that Bang Son look like a front screen. Gia Long Emperor approved the design of geo-mancers: to choose this mount as a front altar of the imposing and solid defending wall system, and renamed it Ngu Binh.
Together with the Perfume river, Ngu Binh Mount is the second invaluable gift endowed by Nature to Hue. These two mingle with each other creating the romantic mountain and river beauty of Hue. For a long time, this beautiful mount and the blue limpid Perfume River have become the symbol of Hue city. Therefore, people often call Hue "The land of the Perfume River and Ngu Binh mount" or "Huong-Ngu Land".
The annals "Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi" by the History Department of the Nguyen Dynasty wrote about Ngu Binh Mount as follows: "In the north-east of Huong Thuy emerges an even surface serving as a screen, a first bar in front of the citadel.
Ngu Binh Mountain
It was called Nui Bang (Even Mount) and renamed Ngu Binh in Gia Long's reign. Its top is flat with pine trees every where".
The 105m Ngu Binh has a striking and symmetric figure. On both sides of the Even Mount (Bang Son) are 2 small mounts called Ta Bat Son (Left Mount) and Huu Bat Son (Right Mount). The Nguyen dynasty was established and decided to build up the Hue Capital. When seeing that Bang Son look like a front screen. Gia Long Emperor approved the design of geo-mancers: To choose this mount as a front altar of the imposing and solid defending wall system, and renamed it Ngu Binh.
Together with the Perfume river, Ngu Binh Mount is the second invaluable gift endowed by Nature to Hue. These two mingle with each other creating the romantic mountain and river beauty of Hue. For a long time, this beautiful mount and the blue limpid Perfume river have become the symbol of Hue city. Therefore, people often call Hue "The land of the Perfume river and Ngu Binh mount" or "Huong-Ngu Land".
For many centuries, many generations of poets and travellers have recognized it a wonderful place to admire nature. On fine days, from the top of Ngu Binh mount, people can view all the sights of Hue city with magnificent palaces, ancient pagoda roofs and the blue limpid Perfume river winding in and out... Right in front of people's eyesight stretch boundless pine forests on the hills and large plains of Huong Thuy, Phu Vang, Huong Tra districts with green plants and trees. In the distance is the endless dark purple Truong Son range hidden behind silver clouds... Towards the east is a dim white sand strip and Thuan An estuary in the distance with the deep blue Eastern Sea.
Some kilometres away from Ngu Binh mount is Vong Canh hill, another beautiful spot of Hue which reflects itself charmingly in the Perfume river, opposite to Ngoc Tran Mount. From the Vong Canh Hill, people can behold green fruit gardens with areca palm, longan, orange, mandarin, grape fruit shades, etc. Mingling with pine trees, grey roofs of pagodas and temples, as well as the ancient and meditative tombs,... The Perfume river looks like a soft silk strip winding at the foot of the hill. Once tourists come here at mist fading dawn or in sunset, they will understanding and be heartfelt the romantic beauty of a hill, a river, a corner of Hue's sky...
The name of the pagoda comes from a legend: a long ago, an old woman appeared on the hill where the pagoda stands today. She told local people that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist pagoda for the country's prosperity. Lord Nguyen Hoang, on hearing that, ordered the construction of the pagoda of the "Heavenly Lady".
Thien Mu Pagoda
The pagoda is situated on Ha Khe hill, on the left bank of the Perfume River, in Huong Long village, 5km from Hue city.
It was built in 1601, and then Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan had it renovated in 1665. In 1710, Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu had a great bell cast (2.5m high, 3.285kg) and in 1715, he had a stele (2.58 m high) erected on the back of a marble tortoise.
Several kings of the Nguyen Dynasty such as Gia Long, Minh Mang, Thieu Tri and Thanh Thai, all had the pagoda restored. Phuoc Duyen tower (at first called Tu Nhan tower) was erected in 1884 by King Thieu Tri. This octagonal tower has seven storeys (2m high). Dai Hung shrine, the main-hall, presents a magnificent architecture. As well as bronze cast statues, it shelters some precious antiques: the bronze gong cast in 1677, the wooden gilded board with Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu's inscriptions (1714). On both sides of the pagoda are a room for the bonzes and a guest-room for visitors.
The pagoda is surrounded by flowers and ornamental plants. At the far end of the garden stretches a calm and romantic pine-tree forest.
The pagoda was heavily damaged in 1943. Bonze Thich Don Hau hence organised a great renovation of the pagoda, that lasted for more than 30 years.
Nowadays the pagoda is very well-maintained and very welcoming to all visitors.
Tu Duc's tomb is located in a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong village (currently Thuong Ba village, Thuy Xuan Commune, Hue City). It is one of the most beautiful works of royal architecture of the Nguyen dynasty. The tomb lies in a boundless pine forest, 8 km from Hue.
Tu Duc Tomb
Its construction started in December 1864 and finished in 1867.
Inside the surrounding wall about 12 hectares wide,hue_tuduc2.gif (18936 bytes) nearly 50 constructions were built on terraces of various levels (about 10m difference). All constructions include the word Khiem (Modesty) in their names.
The tomb is divided into two main parts:
The temple area:
Entering Vu Khiem entrance, there is Luu Khiem lake. On the lake are Xung Khiem Pavilion and Du Khiem Pavilion where the Emperor used to come to admire flowers, compose poems, read books, etc.
Then, three Thanh stone steps to Khiem Cung gate lead to Hoa Khiem Palace, which used to be the Emperor's working place, and is now the altar devoted to the Emperor and the Queen. On both sides are Phap Khiem House and Le Khiem House for the military and civil mandarins.
Behind Hoa Khiem Palace is Luong Khiem Palace, which was also the Emperor's resting place, and was later used to worship Mrs. Tu Du (Tu Duc's Mother). On the right of Luong Khiem Palace stand On Khiem Palace, where the royal utensils are kept. On the left of Luong Khiem Palace is Minh Khiem theatre. Then, comes Chi Khiem, the altar to worship the Emperor's wives, Tri Khiem Palace and Y Khiem Palace were the accommodations of the Emperor's concubines.
The tomb area:
On the left of the temple is the necropolis itself slopping upward with the Honour Courtyard, the Stele Pavilion, and the seplucre. Rightbehind Bai Dinh (Honour Courtyard), with two rows of magnificent military and civil mandarins, is Bi Dinh (Stele Pavilion) with the biggest stone stele in Vietnam. It is inscribed with Khiem Cung narrative, composed by the Emperor himself, writing about his life and imperial cause as well as his misadventures and diseases, etc. On the hill, opposite the semi-circular Tieu Khiem Tri lake, is the Buu Thanh brick wall, in the middle is a stone house, where the Emperor was buried.
Tu Duc’s tomb is not only one of the most beautiful works of the Nguyen dynasty, but it is also a romantic scenery of mounts and lakes.
Emperor Khai Dinh came to the throne in 1916 and he chose the slope of Chau Chu mountain (also called Chau E), 10 km from Hue, as the location to build his tomb. The construction of the tomb was started on September 4th 1920 and lasted for 11 years.
Khai Dinh Tomb
In comparison with those of the preceding emperors, Khai Dinh’s tomb is much smaller in surface (117m x 48.5m) but it is very elaborate. It is the result of the interminglement of many architectural trends: European and Asian, as well as ancient and modern.
The overall construction of the tomb is an emerging rectangular structure with 127 steps, leaning against the mountain.- Entering the tomb area, one should climb a 37 steps gate with the biggest dragons in the country forming the side walls. In the courtyard, line two rows of left and right altar built according to traditional configuration of "double storeys with eight roofs", but all the rafters are made of reinforced concrete.
Climbing 29 further steps, one is reaching the imperial audience court, in the centre of which stands the octagonal stele monument also made of reinforced concrete. On both sides of the courtyard, two rows of statues are facing towards the court center. In addition to these statues, similar to those of the other tombs, there are six more couples representing bodyguard soldiers. These statues are made of stone, a material very rare in Khai Dinh's tomb. The courtyard is flanked on both sides by two high and imposing pillars.
You have to go up three more levels in order to reach the altar monument. The Khai Thanh Palace is the main room of the Thien Dinh palace, which contains many connecting rooms. The walls are densely decorated and inlaid with elaborate glass and porcelain designs. The floor is covered with enameled flowers bricks and the ceiling is painted with nine dragons, appearing in fine fleeting clouds.
The rear room of the Khai Thanh palace constitutes the main temple, which contains the statue of Khai Dinh, his grave and his altar. The tomb of Khai is one of the most surprising among the royal tombs of Hue.
The Tomb is 12km form Hue, on Cam Ke mount, near Bang Lang fork, on the west bank of the Perfume River. In September 1840, the construction of the tomb began. In January 1841, while the work was implemented Minh Mang was sick and passed away.
Minh Mang Tomb
Emperor Thieu Tri, his successor to the throne, continue this task according to his father’s plans. Emperor Minh Mang's corpse was buried in Buu Thanh on August 20th of 1841. The construction was fully completed in 1843.
Minh Mang's tomb is a standard architectural complex consisting of 40 constructions (palaces, temples, pavilions, etc.) designed on an symmetric axis running from Dai Hong gate to the foot of La Thanh (Surrounding Wall) behind the Emperor's tomb.
The constructions are distributed into three main parallel axis of which Than Dao path is the centre.
Dai Hong Mon: It is the main gate to enter the tomb. The gate presents three paths with 24 heaving roofs covered with beautiful decorations. The gate was opened only once to bring the Emperor's coffin to the tomb, and had been tightly closed since then. Visitors have to use the two side-gates Ta Hong Mon (Left Gate) and Huu Hong Mon (Right Gate).
Bi Dinh: Behind Dai Hong Mon (big gate) is the Honour Courtyard with its two rows of mandarins, elephants and horses’ statues. Bi Dinh (Stele Pavilion) is on Mount Phung Than. Inside is the stele "Thanh Duc Than Cong", inscribed with the Emperor's biography and merits written by his son Thieu Tri.
The temple area:
The Salutation Court is divided into four steps - The Hien Duc Mon (gate) leads to the worship place. In the centre is Sung An Temple surrounded by Ta, Huu Phoi Dien (Left, Right Temples) in the front and Ta, Huu Tung Phong (Left, Right Rooms) in the back. The Emperor and Queen Ta Thien Nhan are worshipped in Sung An Temple. Then, Hoang Trach Mon (gate) leads to the Bright Pavilion (Minh Lau), built on Tam Tai Mount. It is a square pavilion with two storeys and eight roofs. On both sides of Minh Lau, two obelisks stand on the hills. In the back of Minh Lau are two flower gardens designed as the character "Longevity".
Tan Nguyet (New Moon) crescent Lake embraces the circular Buu Thanh (The wall surrounding the grave). There are three bridges on Tan Nguyet Lake. Visitors have to climb 33 Thanh stone steps to reach the sepulchre of the Emperor.
Besides nearly 60 word boxes of carved poems in the Stele Pavilion, Hien Duc gate, Sung An Temple, and Minh Pavilion are also remarkable and constitute an anthology of chosen poems of Vietnam’s early 19th century.
Visiting Minh Mang’s tomb, one is impressed by the majesty and symmetry of the architectural constructions.
Bach Ma (White Horse) Mount is 60 km south of Hue city. It is still a famous resort. It is about 1,450m above sea level in a transition zone of the northern and southern climate, so it bears a temperate climate, similar to Sapa, Tam Dao, Da Lat, etc.
Bach Ma Moutain
There, the green vegetation is abundant all the year round. The animals are also rich with chirps and calls all days and nights which sound both wild and familiar...
Bach Ma Mount also has many limpid brooks and picturesque waterfalls. At the 16th kilometer on Cau Hai - Bach Ma road, turning left and walk for 20 to 30 minutes, tourists will also find 400m high, 20m wide Do Quyen waterfall which suddenly appears as if it were suspended in the sky... In the summer, rhododendron flowers are blooming on both sides of the fall like two huge flowery silk carpets. In the centre of the resort is Bac (Silver) waterfall, only 10m high and 40m wide and look like a spotless white curtain swayed by the wind.
More than half a century ago, the French recognized the beauty of Bach Ma and began to develop it. Within 5 years (1942-1946), 139 villas were continuously built under the foliage of old trees and by sheer cliffs.
From the top of Bach Ma, people can view landscapes of Hai Van Pass, Tuy Van mount, Cau Hai lagoon with heaving fishing boats and even the shimmering electrical lights of Hue city at night as well as the huge and boundless Eastern Sea.
With its 10 km in length, Lang Co beach bordered a section of the 1A National Highway, nearly Hai Van pass, and 24 km from Bach Ma area.
Lang Co Beach
With its gradually slopping, white sand beach, the average depth of under 1m and the average temperature in the bathing season of 25°C, Lang Co is an ideal beach for tourists.
In Lang Co sea, there are various kind of shrimps, lobster, sea shrimp, crab, butter-fish, mackerel fish, oysters...
Not far from the beach, there is Chan May scenery, Lang Co fishing village.