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7 resort mansions of Vietnam’s last king

By Pham Van   September 1, 2016 | 10:00 am GMT+7

Try being king for a day with royal extravagance. 

There are mountain and beach views for your royal highness to choose from.

Bao Dai was the last king to rule over Vietnam. He made the most of the country's final royal reign in style, and his legacy is still visible through his resort mansions that are scattered all over the country, which seem to come in handy no matter what regime they are under. Today, VnExpress will take you on a virtual tour of seven places that had the honor of hosting the king whenever the weather was nice.

Do Son Villa in Hai Phong

Bao Dai’s resort villa in Do Son District in the northern city of Hai Phong was built in 1928 for the French colonial regime’s Indochina Governor-General Pafquiere, and was later presented to the king as a gift. The villa was his favorite spot whenever he traveled to northern Vietnam.

Panoramic views of the Do Son Peninsula and an oceanic climate throughout the summer are what makes the villa the perfect royal getaway.

Photo by Qjafcc/CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo by Qjafcc, CC BY-SA 3.0

Da Lat villas in Lam Dong

The resort town of Da Lat in the Central Highlands, a rare place in Vietnam that mimics the temperate climate of the West, was specially favored by the king who had three mansions there dedicated to recreational purposes only.

The first is located on Tran Quang Dieu Street, four kilometers to the southeast of central Da Lat. Dinh I (Palace I), as it’s called, was built in 1940 for a French millionaire on a hill surrounded by pine trees looking down on a valley that served as Bao Dai’s hunting field. The king bought the mansion in 1949. A taste of royal luxury life is now available at VND30,000 ($1.3) per ticket for visitors.

Dinh II (Palace II) was built in 1933, originally as the resort mansion for then Governor-General Jean Decoux. It covers an area of 26 hectares, on which the mansion alone accounts for 10 hectares. Also surrounded by a pine forest and an all-year-round cool climate, the mansion boasts 25 rooms, all more than well-equipped and for rent at VND500,000 - 700,000 ($22 - 31) per night.

The last one (Dinh III) sits on Trieu Viet Vuong Street and is again surrounded by a pine forest. All the rooms of Dinh III are well preserved and available to see for VND15,000 ($0.7) per ticket.

Photo by Diane Selwyn

Photo by Diane Selwyn

Bach Dinh in Ba Ria - Vung Tau

Bach Dinh (literary White Villa, after the daughter of the then Governor-General’s name and its exterior color) is situated on Tran Phu Street in Vung Tau City, the capital of the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau. Built in 1898, the French-style mansion has been transformed into a museum that displays Chines Qing Dynasty pottery salvaged from sunken ships off the coast of Con Dao Island and cannons which are older than your grandparents. All of this is available at VND5,000 per ticket.

Cau Da Villa in Nha Trang

Cau Da Villa in the beach town of Nha Trang is a complex of five French style villas first built for oceanographers working at the city’s oceanography institute. From 1940 to 1945, Bao Dai and his wife visited the area frequently, which led to the adoption of the name Bao Dai’s villas. The villas are now a tourist attraction in Nha Trang, offering an experience off the city's better known beaches.

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Bao Dai Villa in Buon Me Thuot

At 4 Nguyen Du Street in Buon Ma Thuot City in the Central Highlands lies a mansion that once hosted the last king of Vietnam. The mansion boasts architecture unique to the Central Highlands the ethnic minorities who live there with tiled roofs and wooden floors. From 1949 to 1954, the mansion served as Bao Dai’s resort and hunting house during the early rain season. It’s now part of Dak Lak Museum, and costs VND20,000 ($1) to take a look.

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