The H’mong King’s Palace is considered a gem of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, and is a popular tourist destination besides the Dong Van Stone Plateau.
Lying some 130 kilometres north of Ha Giang Town, the century-old palace is still the largest construction in the area and boasts special architecture style.
According to a tour guide who is also a woman member of the King’s family at the palace, Vuong Chinh Duc (1865 – 1947), known as the king of the H’mong or Meo ethnic minority group in the area, built the palace which cost 150,000 Indochina silver coins equivalent to VND150 billion (USD 6.61 million). Duc earned his fortune from growing and trading opium.
The palace is in Sa Phin Valley in Lung Phin Commune, Dong Van District at the base of a mountain, backed by cliffs and topped by a mass of clouds.
The palace that is built from stone, fir wood and terracotta tiling in a combined Chinese, French and H’mong traditional architectural style.
Covering a total area of 1,120 square metres, the palace was used as a residence and fortress during the Vuong Dynasty.
The two storey, 50-metre long palace took eight years to build and has four long houses and six wide houses with 64 rooms for the king’s wives, children and soldiers.
All the walls are 50-60 centimetres thick. Surrounding it is a stone wall which is two metres high and 80 centimetres thick. The palace is divided into many areas such as dining room, bed room, kitchen, opium store, rooms of his wives, a prayer altar and an area for criminal executions.
The Vuong family gave the palace to the state in 2004 and it has been turned into a tourist site. A woman member of the family, Vuong Thi Cho, is now working as a guide at the palace.
The palace is well maintained by the provincial government. Visitors can still see old furniture and tools here including wardrobes, fireplace, beds, flour-mill, crossbow and pan-pipe.
A corner of the H’mong King’s Palace in Ha Giang Province.
Tourists take photo at the palace.
A woman member of the family, Vuong Thi Cho, is now working as a guide at the palace.