|Dress to impress: An ao dai exhibition inside the Truong Sanh Palace. — VNS Photo Hue Phong
THUA THIEN - HUE (VNS) — Visitors to the former imperial palace in Hue City can now walk through the same halls once frequented by queens during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).
Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, which manages the site, opened the Truong Sanh (Longevity) Palace to visitors on Tuesday after years of restoration by the centre.
"With this site open, we expect to diversify the services inside the palace and encourage tourists to stay longer in Hue," said Phan Thanh Hai, the centre's director.
The palace was first built in 1822 under the reign of the dynasty's second emperor, Minh Mang, and underwent several repairs in 1886 and 1923. Part of the palace was ruined during the war and due to the illegal occupation of some families.
Formerly, the site served as the living quarters for queens, including Le Thien Anh, wife of the fourth emperor Tu Duc, and Tien Cung, wife of the ninth emperor Dong Khanh, and also housed imperial maids.
Visitors to the site can now take a closer look at the furniture, costumes and jewelry once used by the imperial women.
An exhibition of Vietnamese traditional outfits (ao dai) made by local artisans and a corner serving Vietnamese teas and royal-style alcohol were also set up to give visitors more entertainment choices. The ao dai is for sale, and tailors are also available to take sewing orders from visitors at the site.
In the surrounding areas, tourists can ride in a man-powered carriage around the tiny mountains and ponds. — VNS