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COMPLEX OF HUE MONUMENTS:

Location 
 
Complex of Hue Monuments lies along the Perfume River in Hue City and some adjacent areas of Thua Thien Hue Province. Hue City constitutes the cultural, political and economic centre of the province, and was the old imperial city of Viet Nam under the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. 
 
History
Since 1306, after the wedding of the princess Huyen Tran of the Tran Dynasty with Che Man, the Cham King, the territories of Chau O and Chau Ly (comprised of Quang Tri, Thua Thien - Hue and part of Northern Quang Nam today) took the name of Thuan Hoa. In the second half of the 15th century, under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong, the name of "Hue" appeared for the first time. In 1636, the residence of the Nguyen Lords was settled at Kim Long (Hue). In 1687, it was transferred to Phu Xuan – where is the Citadel today. Early in the 18th century, Phu Xuan became the political, economic and cultural centre of the southern part of Viet Nam. Then, from 1788 to 1801, it became the capital of the Tay Son Dynasty.
 
From 1802 to 1945, Hue was the capital of unified Viet Nam under the reign of the 13 Nguyen Kings. During these years, architectural works of a high cultural and historic value were built: the Citadel, especially the Imperial City (including 253 constructions), 7 Royal tomb compound of 9 kings of the Nguyen Dynasty, the Esplanade of Nam Giao, the Ho Quyen arena and the Hon Chen Temple.
 
Cultural values  
Located in the centre of Hue, along the Perfume (Huong) River’s northern bank, the complex of royal architecture represents and demonstrates the power of the Nguyen Dynasty's centralism. Contained in this complex are Kinh Thanh Hue (the Hue Capital Citadel), Hoang Thanh (the Royal Citadel or Imperial City) and Tu Cam Thanh (the Forbidden Citadel) clustered together, symmetrically placed along the longitudinal axis and facing to the south. 
 
The system of walls combines sophisticatedly both eastern and western architectural styles placed in natural harmony with Ngu Binh Mount, Perfume River, Gia Vien and Boc Thanh islets. Even people implicitly consider these natural landscapes as a part of the complex. 
Surrounded by a square wall, almost 600 metres in length on each side, the Imperial City has four gates, of which the south gate (Ngo Mon) is most typical in construction and is widely seen and recognized as the symbol of Hue Citadel. It served not only as the main entrance but was also the place where important events of the dynasty took place. Within the area of the Imperial City, the Forbidden Citadel was the area reserved for daily activities of the royal family.
 
The main north-south axis, called Than dao (miraculous road), runs through the three walls of the Hue Capital Citadel, Imperial City and Forbidden Citadel and was marked with the important constructions of Hue Citadel. Hundred of small and large buildings were built symmetrically along this axis in harmony with their natural surroundings gives one a feeling of gentle and serenity.  These buildings include Nghinh Luong Pavilion (Pavilion for Fresh Air), Phu Van Lau (or the Pavilion of Edicts was the building where Emperor's edicts and lists of successful candidates of Thi Hoi (National Examination) and Thi Dinh (Court Examinations) were publicised), Ky Dai (Flag Tower), Ngo Mon Gate (the main entrance), Thai Hoa Palace (The Throne Palace, or Palace of the Supreme Harmony, was the building for great court's meetings), Can Chanh Palace (the place for every day working of Emperors), Can Thanh Palace (Emperor's Private Palace), Khon Thai Residence (Queen's Private Apartment), Kien Trung Pavilion (the place for daily activities of Emperors)...
 
In the distance, to the west of the Capital Citadel, along the Perfume River, are the famous royal tombs and temples, masterpieces in landscape architecture built by the Nguyen Dynasty. Each royal tomb aimed at creating a living place for royal pleasure before becoming an eternal resting place after the king’s death. This resulted in the architecture of royal tombs in Hue being distinguished by unique characteristics.
 
Each tomb reflects its owner’s life and character: the magnificence of Gia Long’s tomb in the immense landscape of mountains and jungles represents the spirit of a general in war; the symmetry and majesty of Minh Mang’s tomb combiners both man-made and natural mountains and lakes and reveals the powerful will and solemn nature of a talented politician who was also an orderly poet; the peaceful and sombre qualities of Thieu Tri’s tomb reflects the innermost feelings of an outstanding poet who made few achievements in political life; the romance and poetic atmosphere of Tu Duc’s tomb  evoke the elegant and subtle tendency of a poet rather than the strong characteristic of a politician.
 
In addition, place-names that embellish for the beauty of the Complex of Hue Monuments can be named as: Huong River, Ngu Binh Mountain, Thien Mu Pagoda, Bach Ma Mountain, the Thuan An and Lang Co Beaches...
 
At the meeting of the 17th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Columbia, from the 6th to the 11th of December 1993, UNESCO has come to the decision of recognising the architectural ensemble of Hue as a world cultural heritage. This was a noteworthy event in the cultural history. For the reason that Hue is the first site in Vietnam ever listed in the World Heritage list. 
 
As to the cultural value, a World Cultural Heritage Site, like the Complex of Hue Monuments, has to: 
  • Be representative of an original artistic achievement, a masterpiece created by Man’s hands;
  • Have a great value for its building technique or its architecture in a general development plan for a city or in a program for the embellishment of the sight of a world cultural zone;
  • Be representative of an architectural ensemble of an important historical period; Be closely related to important events, to ideas or beliefs having a great influence or to famous historical personalities.
In the closing report of the above-mentioned meeting, the WHC has briefly assessed the value of Hue as follows: "The architecture of Hue, which has been the Capital of a unified Viet Nam, built at about the beginning of the 19th century, combines the oriental philosophy with the traditions of Vietnam. Intimately mingled with the natural environment, the beauty and special richness of the architecture and decorative art of the building are an original image of the Vietnamese monarchy at its most prosperous period".
 
 
HOI AN ANCIENT TOWN
 
Hoi An is an old town down the Thu Bon River, on the coastal plain of Quang Nam Province, about 30 km south of Da Nang City. Hoi An used to be known on the international market with many different names such as Lam Ap, Faifo, Hoai Pho and Hoi An. 
 
What is so special about Hoi An is that this little port town is in an incredible state of preservation. It offers some of the most densely-concentrated sights in Viet Nam with its old streets bordered with ancient houses and assembly halls, its pagodas, temples, ancient wells and tombs. In total, more than a thousand places of interest. The architecture of Hoi An is characterised by a harmonious blend of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences. After many centuries, Hoi An is still respectful of its traditions, folk festivals, beliefs and of its sophisticated culinary art. Set in a quiet environment, Hoi An is surrounded by peaceful villages that have crafts such as carpentry, bronze making, ceramic... 
Researchers said most of the buildings in Hoi An underwent restoration at the beginning of the 19th century, even if they might be constructed long time ago. The ancient architecture shown most clearly in the Ancient Town that located in Minh An Ward. It covers about 2 square kilometres and almost of all famous relics in Hoi An are gathered here. The streets are very short and narrow, having a winding, crossing as the chessboard style. The topography of the ancient town tilt gradually from north to south. The buildings in the old town is built mostly with traditional materials such as: brick, wood and no more than two floors. The traces of time is able to find not only on the architectural design of each building but also everywhere like: on the yin-yang roof tiles covered with moss and plants; the old gray mold walls; the pictures carved on a strange animal, or describing a old story… Having inherited a multi-cultural architecture so varied and sophisticated, Hoi An must have attracted numerous and talented workers in carpentry, ceramics, and woodcarving from China, Japan and other regions of Viet Nam. 
 
For centuries, Hoi An had developed into a melting pot of various nationalities who came to the area, bringing along their own cultures. Accordingly, Hoi An features the co-existence of indigenous customs and habits and those imported by foreign settlers. 
 
There are animist cults, of the Genie-Whale and worship of deities of natural phenomena (such as rain, wind, thunder), but also the worship of Holy Protectors like Thien Hau, Quan Cong, Bao Sinh Dai De, Avalokitesvara, especially among the Chinese community. They hold regular festivals or cultural and religious activities on the occasion of Tet Nguyen Tieu (the 16th day of the 1st lunar month), Thanh Minh (3rd lunar month), Doan Ngo (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month), Trung Thu (the 15th day of the 8th lunar month), Trung Cuu (the 9th day of the 9th lunar month), and Ha Nguyen (the 15th day of the 10th lunar month). 
 
The social and cultural diversity adds up to the uniqueness of Hoi An’s inhabitants. Rich in traditions and early exposed to the outside world, the Hoi An people feature a unique cultural identity, which has been well preserved from generation to generation. Lives of people who stay here incline to be interior with subtle quiet. In the mind of the natives of Hoi An, this town constitutes a large ancient home that shelters a big family of many descendants including hospitable dwellers, friendly hosts and hostesses, kind-hearted women, obedient children and so on. They together form a harmonious community who has lived peacefully side by side through successive generations.
 
Upon reaching Hoi An, visitors will immediately feel the hospitality and friendship the locals extend to them. One thing that has withstood the test of time, one thing that the Hoi An people today can be proud of and therefore, make every efforts to preserve is their popular ho (chants) and age-old cultural festivals. Among them, the "Nights of Hoi An" is held on the 14th night of every lunar month. Visitors can immerse themselves in a festive atmosphere imbued with the traditional identities of Hoi An.
 
The architectural significance of Hoi An has been recognized by UNESCO, during the 23rd Congress which took place in Marrakech (Morocco) from the 29th of November to the 4th of December 1999, since the town was officially listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
 
 
MY SON SANCTUARY:
 
Geographical position 
My Son Sanctuary is set in a small valley belonging to Duy Phu Commune, Duy Xuyen District, Quang Nam Province, about 70km southwest of Danang City and 40km from Hoi An City. Of the 225 Cham vestiges that are founded in Viet Nam, My Son possesses 71 monuments and 32 epitaphs, the content of which is still being studied.
 
History 
The Cham Kingdom had two sanctuaries belonging to two main opposing clans. My Son of the Dua Clan, ruled over the north of the kingdom and was the place for the worship of God Srisana Bhadresvara. The Cau Clan, who reigned over the south had Po Nagar Sanctuary, dedicated to Goddess Po Nagar. Nevertheless, My Son was considered as the sanctuary of the Cham Kingdom. 
 
The first constructions date back to the 4th century under the reign of Bhadravarman for the worship of God Shiva-Bhadresvara. But later on, the temple was destroyed. At the beginning of the 7th century, King Sambhuvarman had it rebuilt and rebaptized Sambhu-Bhadresvara. Each new monarch came to My Son after his accession to the throne, for the ceremony of purification and to present offerings and erect new monuments, which explains why My Son is the only place where Cham art flourished without interruption from the 7th to the 13th century. 
 
Architecture in My Son 
The temples in My Son were built into groups that basically followed the same model. Each group was comprised of a main sanctuary (kalan), surrounded by towers and auxiliary monuments. The kalan, which is a symbol of Meru Mountain (centre of the universe, where the gods live) is dedicated to Shiva. The small temples are devoted to the spirits of the eight compass points. In the towers, topped with tiled, curved roofs, were stocked the offerings and sacred objects of the pilgrims. Cham temples do not have windows, so they are very dark inside. Windows are only found on the towers. 
 
Cham towers and temples are built of bricks associated with sandstone decorations. It is quite noteworthy that no adhesive can be seen in between the bricks, which is amazing since some of the works have survived thousands of years. The structures were built, and only then did the sculptors carve the decorations of floral patterns, human figures or animals. This technique is unique in Asia.
 
Every kalan in My Son is comprised of three parts: the bhurloka (foundations), the bhurvaloka (body of the tower) and the svarloka (roof).
 
The bhurloka represents the terrestrial world. It is decorated all the way round by engravings of patterns, animals, human characters praying under small vaults, masks of Kala or Makara (monsters), dancers, musicians…
 
The bhurvaloka symbolises the spiritual world where, after being purified, men could meet the ancestors and the gods. It is built with very thick bricks (about 1m thick), but its height can vary from one monument to the next. The outside is decorated with pilasters, false doors or windows. 
The svarloka usually has three storeys in the same style as the base, and features a main door and other, false, ones. It is decorated with small sandstone or brick statues representing mythical animals, which are mounts ridden by gods in the Indian tradition: birds, swans, buffaloes, elephants or lions. There are small decorative towers at the corners of the 1st and 2nd storeys. This roof, made of sandstone or brick, can be either pyramidal or boat-shaped.
 
Methods used to identify and categories the style of the My Son Sanctuary
My Son was rediscovered in 1885 by a group of French soldiers. In 1895, C. Paris, a French scholar, was the first one to clear the My Son Sanctuary. Then, many scientists came to My Son to study Cham epitaph, sculpture and architecture such as Henri Parmentier, C. Carpeaux, P. Stern… 
 
Thanks to Henri Parmentier, the temples of My Son were classified into groups of letters (A, A’, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and K), and then numbered according to their functions. It starts with the main sanctuary, the kalan, (number 1), then the gate tower (number 2), and so on. Even though these categories break up the architectural complex of My Son as a whole, they are remarkably efficient for the study and maintenance of the ruins.
 
In December, 1999, at the 23th meeting of World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in Marrakesh, Marocco, My Son was recognised as world cultural heritage based on two prominent criteria: criterion (ii) an exceptional example of cultural interchange, with an indigenous society adapting to external cultural influences, notably the Hindu art and architecture of the Indian sub-continent and criterion (iii) the Champa Kingdom was an important phenomenon in the political and cultural history of South – East Asia, vividly illustrated by the ruins of My Son. 
 
 
CENTRAL SECTOR OF THE IMPERIAL CITADEL OF THANG LONG - HANOI
 
Geographical position 
The central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi covers area of 18.395ha, includes archaeological area at 18 Hoang Dieu Street and relics in Ha Noi Citadel such as: Ha Noi Flag Tower, Doan Mon, Kinh Thien Palace, Building D67, Hau Lau, Bac Mon, Forbidden City wall and eight gates from the Nguyen Dynasty. These relics are located in Ba Dinh District and surrounded by Phan Dinh Phung Street in the north; Bac Son Street and National Assembly Building in the south; Hoang Dieu, Doc Lap streets and National Building in the west; Dien Bien Phu Street in the southwest and Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in the east. 
 
History 
In 1009, Ly Cong Uan was enthroned, founded Ly Dynasty. In July, 1010, the king promulgated Chieu Doi Do (the royal decree) to change the capital city from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Dai La Citadel. After transferring the capital city, Ly Cong Uan had Citadel of Thang Long built and the citadel construction was finished in early 1011. 
 
The ancient Citadel of Thang Long was encircled by three incorporated forts. The outer fort was Kinh Thanh (Imperial City), where the general public lived. Surrounded by the Hong, To Lich and Kim Nguu rivers, Kinh Thanh acted as a dyke system for the capital city. The second fort (the middle ring) was Hoang Thanh (Imperial Citadel), where the royal court, offices and residence of mandarins were located. The smallest and most inner enclosure was Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden City) where the king, queens and concubines lived in seclusion. The Citadel of Thang Long was repaired and had many new works in Tran Dynasty and expanded in Le So Dynasty. From 1516 to 1788 in dynasties of Mac and Le Trung Hung, the Citadel of Thang Long was destroyed many times. In early 1789, King Quang Trung transferred the capital city to Phu Xuan, the Citadel of Thang Long only acted as Bac Thanh (the northern defensive fortification). In Nguyen Dynasty, the remainders of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long were transferred to Phu Xuan for building new citadel. Only Kinh Thien Palace and Hau Lau were retained to be accommodations for Kings Nguyen during their business trips to the Bac Thanh. In 1805, King Gia Long ordered the demolition of walls surrounding the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long and requested the building of a new, smaller citadel called Ha Noi Citadel with architectural style of Vauban (France). In 1831, King Minh Mang changed name of the Citadel of Thang Long to Ha Noi Province in a big administrative reform. When French colonists occupied all Indochina, they chose Ha Noi as the capital of French Indochina Union and the Ha Noi Citadel was destroyed to build military camp for French colonists. Since the Vietnamese army took the control of the capital city in 1954, the Ha Noi Citadel has become the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense.  The first value of the central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi shows that it is nearly a book displaying over 10 century- history of Thang Long – Ha Noi from Dai La Citadel in Pre-Thang Long period to nowadays.
 
Archaeological value 
History revealed that Imperial Citadel of Thang Long changed a lot but its centre, especially Forbidden City, remained nearly unchanged. As architectural structures inside the Imperial Citadel were rebuilt and upgraded several times, this explained for the findings of layers of architectural vestiges and artefacts at archaeological site at 18 Hoang Dieu. These vestiges reflect clearly relation between urban project and architectural space as well as succession of dynasties in building the Citadel of Thang Long. This is the unique and prominent value of the central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi. Here, archaeologists excavated a great deal of porcelain and ceramic wares used in the Imperial Citadel through various stages of development. The findings paved the way for researchers to study ceramics made in Thang Long and ceramic wares used in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long through different dynasties. It is also concrete evidence about high development level of economy and culture. In addition, porcelains and bronze coins of China, Japan, Western Asia… found here proved that Thang Long was centre of cultural exchange among countries in area and received quintessence values of humanity.
 
At 20h30 on July 30, 2010 in Brasilia Capital of Brazil, World Heritage Committee of UNESCO recognized the central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi as world cultural heritage based on three prominent criteria: historical and cultural length; its continuousness as a power centre; diversification and plenty of vestiges and artifacts. In opening ceremony of the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long – Ha Noi on October 1, 2010, Ms Irina Bokova – General Director of UNESCO gave certification of the central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi to leaders of Ha Noi City. 
 
 
CITADEL OF THE HO DYNASTY
The citadel of the Ho Dynasty is situated in communes of Vinh Tien, Vinh Long, Vinh Quang, Vinh Yen, Vinh Phuc, Vinh Ninh, Vinh Khang, Vinh Thanh and Vinh Loc Town (Vinh Loc District), Thanh Hoa Province. It was the capital of Viet Nam from 1398 to 1407.
 
The citadel of the Ho Dynasty was built in 1397 by Ho Quy Ly who was the highest-ranking mandarin of the Tran Dynasty at the time. After the citadel was completed, Ho Quy Ly forced King Tran Thuan Tong to move the capital from the citadel of Thang Long (Ha Noi) to Thanh Hoa. In the second month of the year of Dragon (1400), after coming to the crown to replace the King Tran, Ho Quy Ly renamed the country Dai Ngu (1400-1407), the citadel of the Ho Dynasty officially became the capital citadel. The citadel of the Ho Dynasty is also known as names of An Ton, Tay Do, Tay Kinh, Tay Nhai,Tay Giai.
 
The citadel of the Ho Dynasty is considered as the only stone citadel remaining in Southeast Asia and is one of the few remains in the world. 
 
The citadel of the Ho Dynasty has met the two criteria specified in the World Heritage Convention. It is the criterion (ii), "to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design," and the criterion (iv), "to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history." 
 
The citadel has recognized as a World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO at the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee on June 27th 2011 in Paris (France).
 
In the world heritage record, the citadel of the Ho Dynasty is briefly described as follows:
 
The citadel of the Ho Dynasty, built according to the feng shui principles, testifies to the flowering of neo-Confucianism in late 14th century in Viet Nam and its spread to other parts of East Asia. According to these principles, it was sited in a landscape of great scenic beauty on an axis joining the Tuong Son and Don Son mountains in a plain between the Ma and Buoi rivers. In terms of architectural history, the citadel of the Ho Dynasty plays an important place in the planning and building of urban areas in Viet Nam. It shows the uniqueness in the construction of a citadel in general and a stone citadel in particular, and a breakthrough in Viet Nam’s tradition of building citadel. Thanks to the unique construction techniques all the major stone sections are intact and have not been affected by time and weather or by recent urban encroachment. The citadel of the Ho Dynasty is an architectural masterpiece of the 14th century with impressive architecture of the walls and other parts. The citadel buildings represent an outstanding example of a new style of Southeast Asian imperial city with a combination between the Vietnamese architecture and the unique building techniques of Viet Nam, Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia. 
 
According to historical documents, ancient bibliographies and archaeological research, the complex of the citadel of the Ho Dynasty includes Thanh Noi (Inner Citadel and also known as Imperial Citadel) with the remains of the royal palaces and temples inside; Hao Thanh; La Thanh and Nam Giao Altar (for worshipping the Heaven). 
 
The Thanh Noi is a unique architectural work, with a circumference of 3,508, an area of 142.2ha; the wall is 870.5m long from north to south; 883.5m long from east to west. The Thanh Noi has four main gates made of green square stone plates beautifully carved and overlapped tightly one after another. On the average, each stone plate is 1.5m long, 1m thick and weighs about 15-20 tonnes. The citadel is fairly square with about 877m long north and south sides, 879.3m long east side and 880m long west side. Its four domed gates are called the Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern gates (or also known as the Front, Back, Left and Right gates). The stone plates on the dome are carved as sections of a grapefruit, tightly overlapping. The Front gate in the south is the main gate and has three doors. The middle door is 5.82m wide and 5.75m high. The side doors are 5.45m wide and 5.35m high. Each of three remaining gates has only one door, of which the Northern Gate is 5.8m wide; the Eastern Gate is 5.9m wide; 5.4m high; and the Western Gate is 5.8m wide, 5.4m high. The wall of the citadel is 5-6m high on average. The highest wall section is the front gate with the height of 10m. Scientists estimated that the entire wall was made of 25,000m³ of stones. Inside the stone wall was another wall made of approximately 80,000m³ of soil.
 
According to the documents, there were palaces in the Thanh Noi such as Hoang Nguyen, Nhan Tho, Phu Cuc, Dong Cung, Dong Thai Mieu, Tay Thai Mieu, Diem Canh… However, now the Thanh Noi remains some relics such as a part of the citadel’s wall and four gates, vestiges of lakes, a couple of stone dragons with sophisticated carving features, foundation of Thanh Noi architecture, Hoa Nhai marble-paved road, stone balls, stone bullets, pottery, the Southern gate precinct and valuable objects with specific characteristics of Tran - Ho dynasties culture.
 
Called Hao Thanh, the system of water trench surrounded the Thanh Noi and connected with Buoi River through a canal at the southeast corner of the citadel. The Hao Thanh had four stone bridges over to the Thanh Noi at the four gates. Nowadays, many parts of the Hao Thanh have been filled and dried. However, the traces of the Hao Thanh still can be seen very clearly in the north, east and south of the citadel.
 
The La Thanh, the outer wall of the citadel built to protect the Thanh Noi was home to residents in the citadel. The La Thanh was approximately 10km in perimeter and its construction based on the natural terrain. The Ho Dynasty built the La Thanh by banking up and making bamboo hedge to connect the mountains of Don Son (Vinh Thanh Commune), Hac Khuyen (Vinh Long Commune), Xuan Dai, Trac Phong, Tien Sy (Vinh Ninh Commune), Kim Ngo (Vinh Tien Commune), Kim Nguu, Tuong Son (Vinh Quang Commune) with two rivers of Buoi and Ma. Now, the trace of La Thanh in Beo Village (Vinh Long Commune) with a length of 2,051.9m, a height of about 5m, trapezoid section of 9.2m, the base of the citadel of 37m has been localized for protection.
 
The Nam Giao Altar, an importance royal architectural work, was built in 1402 in the southwest of Don Son Mountain, on the spiritual pathway directly connected with the Southern gate, about 2.5 km away from the citadel of the Ho Dynasty to the southeast. The Nam Giao Altar has an area of 43,000m². Currently, the altar appears 5 grounds with 5 terraces. There is a difference of 7.80 meters between the highest and the lowest. The Nam Giao Altar is the place to sacrifice to the heaven; pray for harmonious rain and wind, peaceful country and happy people, prosperous and everlasting dynasty. In addition, the altar is also the place to sacrifice to the soul of dead kings, stars and many other genies. Nam Giao ceremony is considered as a royal ritual. The first Nam Giao ceremony of the Ho Dynasty was held in the same year of constructing the altar.
 
At the citadel of the Ho Dynasty, apart from construction of the Nam Giao Altar and performance of Nam Giao ceremony in 1402, the Ho Dynasty had left historical marks such as establishing Xa Tac Altar (altar of the Earth Genie and the Shennong - the Divine Farmer) in 1397, organizing two state exams in 1400 and 1405. In addition, the Ho Dynasty had been associated with remarkable innovations, such as reforming examination, building more schools, heightening the Nom scripts and issuing paper-money.

Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

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