Thai Hoa Palace is part of a Vietnamese UNESCO-recognized cultural heritage - Hue Imperial City. If that reason is not convincing enough for you to visit this gorgeous work, the authentic Vietnamese ancient architecture and history it shows can sweeten the deal.
1. About Thai Hoa Palace Hue: Location, ticket price
Thai Hoa Palace is part of Hue Imperial City, an ancient walled complex that dates all the way back to the 19th century. The Imperial City includes the home of the royal family, as well as palaces, shrines, offices, gardens, etc.
Thai Hoa Palace is one of the outer court’s palaces, welcoming visitors with its grandeur as soon as they go through Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance of the Imperial City.
Ticket prices to the Imperial City are as follows:
- Domestic visitors: 150,000 VND for adults and 30,000 VND for children
- International visitors: 200,000 VND for adults and 40,000 VND for children
One thing to note is that this ticket is for the entire visit to the Imperial City. That means you will be able to explore not only Thai Hoa Palace but also other magnificent historical landmarks in the complex.
2. Learn about the history of Thai Hoa Palace in Hue
Thai Hoa Palace was the venue for important occasions like meetings, coronations, or birthday anniversaries of the royal family. It has witnessed a total of 13 coronation ceremonies of the Nguyen Dynasty, from the time of King Gia Long to King Bao Dai.
Thai Hoa Palace was and still is one of the crown jewels of the Imperial City. The word “Thai” in its name means grandeur and glory, while “Hoa” means harmony. When combined, the name Thai Hoa means that harmony will bring about prosperity.
Construction of Thai Hoa Palace began in February 1805 and ended in October of the same year. Since then, the Palace has gone through multiple renovations throughout its long and fruitful history.
In fact, the current position of the palace is 45 meters to the northwest away from its original position. Moreover, there have been numerous small renovations to keep the Palace in its best condition due to the impacts of weather.
Despite many minor changes to the exterior of the Palace, the interior is still mostly authentic, from the overall structure to the intricate decorations.
Let’s take a look at the traditional and majestic architecture of this work that has managed to stand the test of time.
3. Explore the highlights in the architecture of Thai Hoa Palace
Thai Hoa Palace can be considered one of the epitomes of Hue’s imperial architecture. It is not only eye-catching but also holds a lot of meanings and values, both historically and spiritually.
Right at the front, you will find a small sign with three golden letters, showing the name of the Palace. The grounds of the Palace include the Palace itself and its courtyard, spanning a 1,360-square-meter area.
The floor of the palace stands 1 meter above the courtyard and 2.35 meters above the ground. The building gives off a majestic and grandiose aura.
There are three highlights of the Palace that makes it extra special:
3.1. The frame of the Palace
The frame of the Palace is made entirely of wood. It is the backbone of the whole building, with its pillars the most beautifully decorated. There are 80 pillars in total, all of which are made from ironwood and adorned with golden carvings of dragons and clouds.
Meticulous and grand details are what give the Palace a distinctive atmosphere. Setting foot inside, visitors will find themselves being enveloped in a space of royalty, even though that time has long since passed.
3.2. The roofs of the Palace
The roofs are also a unique aspect of the Palace’s architectural style. The building has a double-house structure with two roofs overlapping each other. The two halls are linked together by an arched ceiling, resembling a crab shell.
3.3 The decoration inside the Palace
You can probably imagine how the interior of an imperial palace would look, and Thai Hoa Palace is no exception. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Thai Hoa Palace’s decorations. Most of the details here involve two certain numbers: five and nine.
The stairs in the Palace and courtyard all have either five or nine steps. The roofs, throne, and other furniture all have nine dragon figures as decorations. In Vietnamese culture, the number five is associated with luck and positivity, while the number nine symbolizes longevity.
4. What to note for your visit to Thai Hoa Palace Hue?
Thai Hoa Palace and the entire Hue Imperial City are historical landmarks, which means there are a few things to note before your visit:
- Dress politely, avoid revealing clothes
- Do not touch the artifacts or take pictures, especially inside the Palace. This also applies to other works in the entire Imperial City.
- Get a map of the Imperial City: The Imperial City is a huge complex, so you should bring a map to avoid getting lost.
- Keep the environment clean, don’t litter.
There is no shortage of things to do in Hue, and visiting the Imperial City is one of the most popular activities. The magnificent Thai Hoa Palace is only one of the many landmarks that you will get to feast your eyes upon in this complex.
If you are planning a trip to the central region of Vietnam, why not also include the peaceful Hoi An and the dynamic Da Nang? These two cities will make your trip even more interesting and memorable.
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Thai Hoa Palace is a gorgeous architectural work that offers a glimpse into a significant period in Vietnamese history. As a part of Hue Imperial City, it has become one of the most iconic places to visit in Hue in particular and Vietnam in general. A visit here will give you more insights into Vietnam’s ancient history and even a newfound appreciation for the old citadel of Hue.
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