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Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

By Thanh Tan   November 13, 2022 | 06:09 pm PT
A resort villa built by the French in 1928 in the Do Son Peninsula was later gifted to Vietnam’s last king Bao Dai, becoming a part of the latter’s legacy.
Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

Covering an area of ​​1,000 square meters atop Vung Hill in Van Huong Ward, the Bao Dai Villa was initially built for the French colonial regime's Indochina Governor-General Pierre Marie Antoine Pasquier as a resort retreat.

The French later presented it to King Bao Dai.

The villa offering panoramic views of the Do Son Peninsula is said to have been his favorite spot in northern Vietnam.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

The villa, the only residence of the last Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) king in the north of the country, sits at an altitude of nearly 40 meters above sea level and overlooks a beach.

Bao Dai, whose real name was Nguyen Phuc Vinh Thuy, ruled the country from 1926 until 1945.

He became emperor in 1926 when he was just 12, but did not take the throne until 1932 after returning from studies in France.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

The octagonal villa is a typical French colonial mansion with two floors and a basement. Gardens in the front and the back cloak the mansion with green shade.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

The entrance to the mansion is a small road winding along the hillside, planted with flowers and vines on both sides.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

The main door of Bao Dai mansion faces west and there are three main doors to enter what is a reception hall now.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

The lobby of the mansion displays the thrones of King Bao Dai and his wife Queen Nam Phuong.

Today, visitors can rent royal clothes designed for the king and queen, sit on similar chairs and have their pictures taken.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

To the right of the reception hall are two private rooms of the king and queen. More than half a century later, the rooms retain their original interiors. To the left of the bedroom, there is also a small room where King Bao Dai used to work and relax.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

To the left of the reception hall are two dining rooms.

The large dining room is where Queen Nam Phuong hold her receptions, while the smaller one was where the king's family got together for parties.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

All rooms in the mansion offer panoramic views of the Do Son Peninsula.

Colonial gift to Vietnam’s last king a Hai Phong tourist landmark

The mansion was used by King Bao Dai from 1933 to 1954.

In 1955, Hai Phong was liberated and the Bao Dai mansion was taken over and managed by the Ministry of National Defense.

In 1984, the ministry handed it over to Do Son Tourism JSC for commercial exploitation.

Each year, the mansion welcomes about 60,000 visitors. Visitors can rent rooms, organize parties and conferences in the mansion.

 
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