Central Viet Nam Endowed with superb landscapes and beaches, as well as a renowned gastronomy, Central Viet Nam grants a fascinating journey, through the country's history, from the ancient remains of the My Son Cham Towers to the magnificent Imperial Citadels of Hue and the charming streets of Hoi An. This land is home to four World Heritages. Thua Thien Hue Province Area: 5,062.6 sq. km Population: 1,090.9 thousand habitants (2010) Capital: Hue City Administrative divisions: - Town: Huong Thuy - Districts: Phong Dien, Quang Dien, Huong Tra, Phu Vang, Phu Loc, Nam Dong, A Luoi. Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Ta Oi, Co Tu, Bru Van Kieu, Hoa. Geography Thua Thien-Hue Province is located in Central Vietnam. It is next to Quang Tri Province to the north, Danang to the south, and Quang Nam Province to the south-west. This province leans up against the Truong Son mountain range and is washed by the East Sea, along its 120km seashore. Climate The weather is submitted to tropical monsoon climate divided into four distinct seasons: fresh spring, very hot summer, mild autumn and windy, cold winter. The dry season lasts from March to August. It is hot with
temperate rarely reaches to 39.50C. The rainy season lasts from September to February. It is quite cold with average temperature is 19.70C, but sometime down to 8.80C. In this time, it rains a lost, sometime lasts all day. If tourist would to avoid rainy, they come to Danang City, 108km from south of Hue. In the mountain area, the weather is cool with the annual temperature is between 90C and 290C. The most convenient time to visit the area is from November to April. Tourism Thua Thien-Hue offers very diversified and beautiful landscapes. Nature and human beings create a harmoniously beauty with Bach Ma (White Horse) National Park and other attractive beaches such as Thuan An, Lang Co and Canh Duong. The province provides a well-balanced blend of royal heritage and folk culture. As a matter of fact, tourists discover dozens of handicraft villages, with annual festivals that are painstakingly organized. Hue is also an important center of Buddhism. In Hue and its surrounding still exist tens of pagodas constructed more 300 years ago, and hundred of temples and pagodas built in the early 20th century. Besides, tourist is able to enjoy many traditional famous dishes and find out about sophisticated handicraft here. Hue Citadel has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since December 1993, Hue Royal Musical (Nha nhac) has been declared as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage since November 2003. Transportation Transportation by train, road, air and water routes is very convenient. Road: Thua Thien-Hue Province is 654km from Hanoi, 1,051km from Ho Chi Minh City, 85km from Danang. The province has the National Highway
14 that links Hue with Central Highlands. It is also on the National Highway 1A that connects Hanoi and Ca Mau. Train: The Thong Nhat Express trains from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh stop at Hue Railway station. The local trains come to some other provinces. Air: Phu Bai Airport serves flights: Hue - Ho Chi Minh City and Hue - Hanoi. Thua Thien Hue Province is submitted to a tropical monsoon climate divided into four distinct seasons: fresh spring, very hot summer, mild autumn and windy, cold winter. The average annual temperature is 25C (77o F). The most convenient time to visit the area is from November to April. The rainy season lasts from September to November. Owing to its rich historical past, this region is utterly attractive and has a lot to offers: the magnificent Hue Citadel and hundreds of pagodas, sumptuous beaches as well as a dazzling traditional culture and culinary art (many dishes and tasty cakes are exclusive to this area). The numerous celebrations and festivals held in the region offer a unique and harmonious mingling of folk culture together with an imperial heritage. For example, the music and lyrics of the sampan rowers and some popular melodies were slightly adapted to meet the tastes of kings and princes and to fit into imperial settings. The songs were later popularized throughout the whole country as Hue songs. A wide array of cultural talents and traits are still visible in several professional villages, such as the jeweler village, bronze casting village, embroidery village, etc. 1.1 HUE The provincial capital of Hue is one of the imperial capitals of the country that has been kept almost intact. Its royal architectural complex dedicated to the 13 Nguyen Kings includes clusters of royal palaces, citadels, temples, shrines, pagodas and mausoleums, ail located in magnificent landscapes along the Perfume River.
History Its obstacle-filled topography has given Hue a particular position in Vietnamese history. Towards the 13th century, it had already been added to the Dai Viet Kingdom as a gift from the Cham King when he married Princess Huyen Tran of the Tran Dynasty. Then, Lord Nguyen Hoang chose Hue as the capital of the Southern Region (1558); King Quang Trung chose Hue as the capital of the Tay Son Dynasty (1788-1802); and King Gia Long chose Hue as the capital of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). For approximately 400 years, Hue was the political and cultural centre of the Feudal | State of Viet Nam. This explains why there are hundreds of historical and cultural remains located in the area. As such, Complex of Hue Monuments was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1993. Once again, in 2003 Nha Nhac, Vietnamese Court Music was recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO. Nha Nhac, Vietnamese Court Music - An Intangible Heritage On November 7, 2003, UNESCO bestowed world heritage status on 28 relics of nations as masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. Among the 11 masterpieces of Asia, Nha Nhac, Vietnamese Court Music represents the first intangible legacy of Viet Nam to have been put on this list. The UNESCO Council appraised Vietnamese royal music in the following terms: "Vietnamese Court Music represents an elegant and refined music. It deals with the music performed in the imperial courts and on different anniversaries, religious festivals, and on such particular occasions. Of the different categories developed in Viet Nam, only the court music was national'. Nha nhac, Vietnamese Court Music and its principles came to Viet Nam under the Ho Han Thuong Reign (1400-1407). The Ho Dynasty, however, only existed for a short time, so nha nhac rapidly fell into oblivion. In 1427, Le Loi defeated the Chinese Ming invaders and liberated the
country. However, nha nhac only began to develop in the reign of King Le Thanh Tong (1460-1497) and reached its peak under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Nha nhac is genre of scholarly music. It attracted the participation of many talented songwriters and musicians, with numerous traditional musical instruments. From now on, nha nhac will have opportunities to preserve, develop and popularize to the public, inside and outside the country. 1.2 Tourist attractions 1.2.1 Complex of Hue Monuments 184.108.40.206 Hue Imperial City Construction of the Imperial City started in 1805, under the reign of Emperor Gia Long, and was completed in 1832, under the reign of Emperor Minh Mang. Built on the northern bank of the Perfume River, the Imperial City ' was influenced by the style of French architect Vauban. The city comprises three sections: the Royal Citadel, the Imperial Enclosure and the Forbidden Purple City. 220.127.116.11 Royal Citadel Enclosure (Hoang Thanh) The outermost boundary of the citadel has a perimeter of 9,950 m. The citadel has ten entrances: Nha Do Gate, Sap Gate, Ngan Gate, Thuong Tu Gate, Dong Ba Gate, Ke Trai Gate, Hau Gate, An Hoa Gate, Chanh Tay Gate, and Huu Gate. 18.104.22.168 Forbidden Purple City (Tu Cam Thanh) The third and innermost fort of the royal complex has a perimeter of 1,225m and is accessible through seven gates. It was formerly reserved for the private use of the kings and their families, as well as the numerous
concubines. The Forbidden Purple City is almost isolated from the outside world. Located inside the three high ramparts and deep moats, is a large cluster of smaller ^ structures built along a main axis that runs from south to north. The first structure is Ky Dai (Flag Tower). It is followed by Ngo Mon Gate, Dai Trieu Nghi Yard, Thai Hoa Palace, Can Chanh Palace, Khon Thai Palace, Kien Trung Palace and Hoa Binh (Peace) Gate. 22.214.171.124 Ngo Mon (Gate) This three-story structure is 58m long, 27.5m wide, 17m high, and serves as the main entrance to the Imperial City. Ngo Mon comprises five gates, with the central gate being reserved for the kings only. The two adjacent gates were exclusively for court officials, and the two other outer gates were used for servants and members of the royal entourage. On top of the arch is the Five Phoenix Pavilion where the king sat during festivities. This was also where ceremonies were organized to announce the names of successful candidates of royal examinations. During the reign of the Nguyen Kings, Ngo Mon was only opened when the kings were passing by or receiving foreign ambassadors. 126.96.36.199 Palace of Supreme Harmony (Dien Thai Hoa) Thai Hoa Palace was built in 1805 according to 19th century architectural designs for palaces and temples. It is composed of two buildings, the anterior palace and the main palace, which are joined together. This is where the golden throne of the king is located.
188.8.131.52 Dynastic Temple (The Mieu) This was one of the many shrines and temples dedicated to th