Visiting Bao Dai’s Villa in Do Son

Located on Vung Hill, Do Son District, Hai Phong, Bao Dai Villa is considered the only royal stopover of the Nguyen Dynasty in the North. With its unique architecture style, it has become a popular destination for tourists in Do Son. 

Working as a tour guide at the villa, Dang Thi Hien said that the Governor-general of Indochina, Pafquiere, built the villa in the French architectural style in 1928. In 1932, King Bao Dai returned to Vietnam after studying in France and visited the villa. He was interested in its architecture and surrounding scenery, so Pafquiere presented it to him. Since then the villa has been called Bao Dai Villa.

When the last French soldiers left the North at Nghieng Wharf, Area No.2, Do Son on May 15, 1955, the Ministry of Defence managed the Villa and then entrusted the Hai Phong Tourist Company (present-day Do Son Tourist Joint-Stock Company) to manage the villa and restored it in 1984. Since 1997, the villa has been open to tourists.

The villa is a unique architectural work and a historical relic of the last king of Vietnam.

The green space of the villa.

The flower garden and fountain in front of the villa.

The throne of the king and queen reproduced at the villa.

Inside the bedroom of King Bao Dai.
Princess Phuong Lien’s bedroom.

The lamp and telephone are displayed at the villa.
A hookah in the reading room of King Bao Dai.
A photo of Queen Nam Phuong in 1934.

The villa is 3,700m2 with a total use area of 1,00m2. There are two bedrooms for King Bao Dai and Queen Nam Phuong and a reading room on the ground floor and five bedrooms for princes, princesses and mandarin Nguyen De (a reliable assistant of the king) on the second floor. All the objects are preserved intact in the bedrooms.

Visiting the villa, tourists have the opportunity to learn about major milestones in the life of the last Vietnamese king and sample many royal dishes. Tourists can wear costumes of the King and Queen to take photos.

Nguyen Thi Hoa Mai, Vice Director of the villa acknowledged that the villa management board has provided tourists with many services, turning the villa into a favourite destination. Each year the villa welcomes about 60,000 – 70,000 visitors.

Story: Ngan Ha – Photos: Tran Thanh Giang