Hue ancient capital - the quintessence of royal culture
The most striking attraction of the Ancient Capital of Hue is the Imperial City, representing the stature and vitality of the whole nation. With a hundred-year deep culture and national ingenuity, the Nguyen Emperors created a magnificent royal court. Apart from a living place for the people to settle down, this Imperial Palace also played an extremely important role which was shaping the leadership standard for all descendants of the Nguyen Dynasty by utilizing the power of Feng Shui and inheriting the Confucian tradition It's time for the tour to discover the life of the emperors, and relive the powerful Vietnamese feudal dynasty, Hue Imperial City.
Hue Imperial architecture - A wonder of Feng Shui
The Imperial Citadel of Hue (or Thuan Hoa) is a citadel in the ancient capital of Hue. It was the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty in 143 years (1802 - 1945). Hue citadel was designed by King Gia Long in 1803, commenced in 1805, and completed in 1832 under the reign of King Minh Mang.
The art of decorating the palace
Pháp Lam - luxurious and solemn
Phap Lam is the name of a type of art product made of copper, which is painted one or several enamel layers and then baked. Aesthetically, Pháp Lam is richly varied in form, color, and application such as furniture, offerings, and ornaments which all are precious royal antiquities
Khảm Sành Sứ - Porcelain mosaic
When decorating the palaces, artisans must look for very special porcelain pieces. Sotisphicating cutting technique helps porcelain pieces fit tightly and perfectly together, without exposing the mortar circuit. Porcelain mosaic enamel usually has bright and vibrant colors like magenta, lotus flower color
Prominent in Hue imperial palace is the royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. It would be a big mistake not to visit these most famous places to see the unique architecture of each tomb
Tomb of Minh Mạng
Minh Mạng's tomb is the resting place of the second king of the Nguyen Dynasty. The Tomb is about 12km West of Hue city, on the west bank of the Perfume River. The tomb is the best symbol of the harmonious combination of nature and architecture.
Tomb of Đồng Khánh
Đồng Khánh's Tomb is located in Thượng Hai hamlet and was built for 35 years in 4 kings. Built during the transitional period of Vietnamese history, the tomb of Đồng Khánh possesses classical folk feudal architecture intertwined with the influence of newly introduced Western European architecture.
Tomb of Khải Định
The tomb of Emperor Khải Định took 11 years to complete. Inside, guests will find a riotous battle between Eastern and Western design elements, colorfully decorated with pieces of broken glass and porcelain.
Tomb of Tự Đức
The opulence of Tự Đức’s tomb stands in contrast to the tragic length of his life. Tự Đức reigned longest among the Nguyen Dynasty, dying childless after 35 years on the throne and afflicted with the French for their growing influence.
Tomb of Thiệu Trị
Also known as Xương Lăng and lying on the back of Thuận Đạo Mountain, this tomb is the resting place of the Emperor Thiệu Trị. Of the 7 tombs in Hue, Thieu Tri Tomb was built in the shortest time of only 10 months.
Tomb of Dục Đức
Tomb of Dục Đức is located in An Pole Ward. The tomb was constructed several times after the Emperor’s death as a result of the Nguyen Dynasty’s decadence.
Tomb of Gia Long
Gia Long was the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam. Gia Long Tomb is a complex of several royal tombs including the tomb of his mother, the tomb of himself and his wives, and tombs of other royal family members. These constructions were mainly built in 6 years, from 1814 to 1820.
Fine features in Hue
The Nguyen Dynasty had different rules for costumes for all strata of society, based on the criteria: fabric, colors, sewing styles, decorative motifs, even the number of costumes for each level also has very strict rules. High-qualify silk used to make costumes and crowns for the king and the royal family were ordered by the court in China. In terms of decoration, the hierarchy by one’s title is strictly followed. For instance, dragons are embroidery on the king's shirts while the prince's coat can only be decorated with the Qilin. Similarly, the queen's dress is embroidered with flowers and a three-stripped tail phoenix while a princess's shirt can only be a one-stripped tail phoenix. But that’s not everything: a dragon on the king's coat has 5 claws while the embroidery on crown prince's can only be a 4-claw dragon mask, not flying dragons or “hồi long triều nhật” – dragons turning heads to the sun (to wordship).
According to the book "Khâm Định Đại Nam hội điển sự lệ", during the reign, the king wore a crow with 31 golden dragons, 30 square flowers inlaid with pearls, 140 diamonds and pearls. The queen's hat has 9 dragons, 9 gold phoenixes, 9 pieces of silver drill, 4 silver brooches with 198 pearls and 231 crystal beads.
Royal Cuisine - Philosophical conception in enjoying food
Hue delicacies are not only about food consuming. First of all, the dish must look stunning in your eyes, smelt great by your nose, and make you feel your cravings while your ears listen to charming sounds of the food. And, that is, to eat with your five senses. Most royal dishes are not much different from the normal dishes in terms of ingredients. The differences here lie in the cooking process and meticulous decoration, turning cuisine into an art
This is the name for a set of 8 rare and precious dishes in the past, reserved only for the kings. Bat Tran is also a kind of tonic, bringing health and longevity to the monarchs.
Peacock rolls have detoxifying properties, thus eating peacock rolls helps to increase the ability to detoxify any toxins that the body accidentally absorbs. This dish is considered the king’s "guardian god", protecting the king from any assassination attempts.
Cha Phuong is made from the pheasant meat, a beautiful long-tailed bird, quite similar to the phoenix on ancient sculptures. Like peacock meat, the pheasant has high medicinal properties and is good for health.
Da Tây Ngưu
The rhino has quite a thick skin, and to make this valuable dish, the chefs only take the skin inside the armpits. After being cut, the skin will be dried in the sun for 100 days, then soaked in alcohol for a month, then dried andstored in silver or gold boxes.
Bàn Tay Gấu
Legend has it that Ban Tay Gau (Bear hands) must be dipped to the boiling oil 100 times to be soft and clean, before being stewed with many other herbs to create a dish for the king.
Deer rib is a very rare and precious ingredient to make ancient royal dishes. This dish’s recipe is quite sophisticated.
Môi Đười Ươi
The most valuable part of an orangutan is the lips. Delicious orangutan lips were used to prepare specialties for the king.
Thịt Chân Voi
Besides ivory, the tender tendon meat at the foot of an elephant is the most valuable material to cook a delicious dish for a king.
Yến sào or Edible bird's nest created by the white-nest swiftlets is among the top-notch dishes of Vietnamese Imperial cuisine. With a long, hard, and meticulous cooking process, this dish can only be completed by top-tier Royal cooks.
Hue Royal Court Music -
UNESCO’s Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
Hue Royal Court Music is considered the National Music of Vietnam, a type of official music used in the solemn sacrifice programs of the Nguyen Dynasty such as the Coronation, Funeral Ceremony, the Nam Giao Sacrifice... Being the Statue of royalty and the longevity and prosperity of the Dynasty, Hue Royal Court Music is highly regarded and focused on development.
History books of the Nguyen dynasty record up to 12 ceremonies, each ceremony has a full record of chapter songs and 126chapters record full of original lyrics and translations. Instrumental is provided with 6 types of the orchestra. These are orchestras: Nhã Nhạc, Nhạc Huyền, Đại Nhac, Tiểu Nhac, Ty Chung, and Ty Khánh, Quân Nhạc. The above orchestras have specific instruments and no less than 30 categories with the number on hundreds of instruments. Particularly percussion type vibration membrane has 20 drums.
Âm nhạc tịnh trần, hòa kỳ tâm dĩ dưỡng kỳ chí Nghiên xuy tề hiến, thủ kỳ thị nhi giới kỳ phi— Emperor Minh Mang
It means that the music harmonizes the inner soul, nourishes (or motivates) our will, encourages the right and left out the evil
Discover Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda is a famous destination that every tourist want to travel to when coming to the beautiful, gentle, and peaceful Hue City
Lang Co Beach, Hue
With smooth white sand-dunes under the shadow rows of coconut trees and the comfortable weather, Lang Co Beach is a wonderful place to relax
Places to visit in Hue
Some typical festivals you shouldn’t miss out are Hue Festival, Nam Giao Ceremony, New Calendar Delivering Ceremony…