22 Jan 2021

Historical sites, relics and monuments in Vietnam making a significant contribution to the country's tourism. For many years, the Vietnamese government has introduced many policies to boost the tourism of relics in order to promote Vietnam to the world and be able to preserve the relics more effectively. So to understand more about Vietnam relics and monuments, please read through the following article.

Table Contents
  • I - Types of Vietnamese monuments
  • 1 - Cultural - historical places in Vietnam
  • 2 - Vietnam war monuments
  • II - Some famous monuments in Vietnam
  • 1 - Dien Bien Phu relic
  • 2 - One Pillar Pagoda
  • 3 - Hoa Lo Prison
  • 4 - Huong Pagoda
  • 5 - Ngoc Son Temple
  • 6 -  Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
  • 7 - Tomb of Khai Dinh
  • 8 - Hue Citadel
  • 9 - My Son Sanctuary
  • 10 - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • 11 - Con Dao prison
Monuments in Vietnam title
Source: Tripsavvy
Vietnam has more than 40,000 relics concentrated mainly in the Red River Delta (accounting for about 70 % of the total relics nationwide). Relics are remnants of history, showing periods in the past of people in a certain area. Therefore, the monument has a great significance both mentally and physically if you know how to exploit it. In addition, the relics also help posterity to learn more about Vietnamese history. 

I - Types of Vietnamese monuments

1 - Cultural - historical places in Vietnam

Ancient relics and ancient ruins are what remain after the historical and living process of the Vietnamese from ancient times up to now. It clearly shows the lifestyle, culture, religion or spiritual beliefs of the Vietnamese people, ... on the S-shaped land. These artifacts have great cultural and spiritual value, which is used to boost tourism nowadays in order to further increase the value of the monument. Some most famous cultural - historical sites in Vietnam are My Son sanctuary, Hue Imperial Citadel,  Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, etc. 

My Son historical places in Vietnam
My Son Sanctuary (Source: Travelplugged)

2 - Vietnam war monuments

War relics are the monuments created by people during the war for the purpose of serving the nation's war. Relics of this type are often associated with historical events, historical figures so it appears in almost everywhere. Therefore, unlike other types of relics, war relics in rural, mountainous and remote areas are difficult to recognize and preserve. The must-see war relics in Vietnam list highly recommended include Dien Bien Phu relic, Hoa Lo prison, Cu Chi Tunnels and Con Dao prison. 

II - Some famous monuments in Vietnam

1 - Dien Bien Phu relic

Location: Dien Bien Phu city, Dien Bien province
Dien Bien Phu battlefield relic is the place to keep in the middle of the special mark of the illustrious and earth-shaking battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 . The relic area is a combination of 45 constituent relics: A1 hill, C1 hill, E1 hill, Do Cat tunnel, Hong Flu base, Muong Thanh bridge, headquarters, Victory monument ... The Vietnam war relic plays a role in reminding people of the heroic sacrifice of independence as well as the exploitation potential of economic activity. You can also experience pushing bicycles or cooking with the smoke-free Hoang Cam stove ...

2 - One Pillar Pagoda

One Pillar monument of Vietnam
One Pillar Pagoda (Source: Holidify)
Location: Doi Can ward, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi capital
One Pillar Pagoda is located in the special national relic of the Presidential Palace and President Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, the pagoda was built in the Ly dynasty in the 11th century. The pagoda is also called Dien Huu with the meaning of praying for "lasting blessings" of King Ly Thai Tong. In 1954, the pagoda was destroyed by the French colonialists and rebuilt in 1955 following the old architecture on Linh Chieu lake surface.

3 - Hoa Lo Prison

Address: No. 1, Hoa Lo street, Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi
Hoa Lo Prison is a famous historical site and monument of Vietnam built by the French in 1896, named the Central Prison and used to suppress those who have the spirit of fighting against the harsh colonial regime. The prison is solidly built on a large scale, the materials are imported from France and are of top quality. Inside the prison are the administration area, guard house, infirmary, house for European prisoners, detention room, workshop, women's boarding house, 12 cells, a gendarmerie station, a house general confinement …

4 - Huong Pagoda

Location: Huong Son commune, My Duc district, Hanoi
Another famous historical site in Vietnam is Huong pagoda.  Huong pagoda was built in the late seventeenth century, then destroyed during the war against the French and was restored in 1988. Huong pagoda is an architectural complex consisting of many works, of which the main work is Ngoai pagoda ( the outer pagoda). Ngoai Pagoda is built on an ancient brick courtyard which has a very unique original bell tower. Inside the pagoda, ie Chinh Pagoda, is a natural stone cave with 120 stone-paved steps in the walkway. On the cave of Trong pagoda, there are also epitaphs carved on the cliffs in Chinese characters.

5 - Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Vietnamese monuments
Ngoc Son Temple (Source: Xita)
Location: Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi
Ngoc Son Temple is located on Ngoc Son Island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, this is well-known as one of the most typical Vietnamese monuments with the ancient architecture symbolizing education and literature. The temple was built in the style of three-letter architecture, inside there are sentences and sacred objects, showing the harmony in religion and culture in thousand years of Thang Long history. At first, when the temple was built, the Temple of Quan De suppressed evil, later converted to worship Buddha and finally renovated like today Hung Dao Great General and Van Xuong De Quan .

6 -  Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

Location: Surrounded by 4 streets Phan Dinh Phung, Hoang Dieu, Nguyen Tri Phuong and Dien Bien Phu, Hanoi, Vietnam
Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is the most important historical monument in Vietnam, recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 2010. This monumental structure was built under many dynasties and undergoes many stages of history.

7 - Tomb of Khai Dinh

Location: Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy district, Thua Thien Hue province
Khai Dinh mausoleum is the resting mausoleum of King Khai Dinh, the 12th king of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam, which was constructed on September 4, 1920. Although Khai Dinh's mausoleum is small but elaborately built, expensive because the materials are from France, China, Japan and the architecture is also coordinated between Asia, Europe, classical and modern.
The whole of the mausoleum is a rectangular block rising 127 steps, the landscape around the tomb is used as feng-shui elements. Thien Dinh Palace is at a high position and is the most impressive highlight of Khai Dinh mausoleum, inside the palace is the altar and worship of King Khai Dinh. Nowadays, this tomb has become a popular attraction of historical Vietnam relics in Hue. 

8 - Hue Citadel

Citadel Vietnam relics in Hue
Hue citadel (Source: Timetravelturtle)
Location: Hue city, Thua Thien Hue province
Being an old capital of Vietnam, Hue is famous for having so many historical relics and landmarks. It is a big shortcoming when mentioning the list of famous monuments in Vietnam without Hue citadel. Hue Citadel was built in 1805 and completed in 1832, by King Gia Long to conduct field surveys and design plans. The circumference of the rampart is 10,571 m, the average thickness of the wall is 21.5m, the outer wall is 6.6m high, the inner wall is only 2.1m high.
Around the citadel there are 10 doors and a gazebo above the gate to guard. On the surface of the citadel, there were fortresses, firecrackers, fire walls ... to defend. Hue Citadel is considered a masterpiece of architecture, military art and cultural wonders of Vietnam. Hue Citadel is recognized by UNESCO as an important architectural work belonging to the ancient capital complex of Hue-World Cultural Heritage.

9 - My Son Sanctuary

Location: Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province
My Son Sanctuary is a must see attraction of the ancient ruins in Vietnam. An architectural complex of the Cham people, with more than 70 ancient works built from stone bricks in the 7th to the 13th century. In those works, people often worship Shiva or a Linga symbolizing fertility and prosperity. In 1999, UNESCO selected My Son as a contemporary and modern world heritage site as the only evidence of the disappearance of Asian civilization.

10 - Cu Chi Tunnels

Location: Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh city
Cu Chi Tunnels is an underground trench system with about 250km wide, spreads like a spider web and includes related works: Hoang Cam kitchen, trenches, fighting nest, food storage, cellars, meetings, activities ... This is a hiding place for Vietnamese soldiers during the war against the US to save the country. This is one of the most famous Vietnam war relics in the south. 

11 - Con Dao prison

Con Dao war relics in Vietnam
Con Dao prison (Source: Vina)
Location: Con Dao Island, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province
One of the most popular war relics in Vietnam is the special historical relics of Con Dao prison, built by the French colonialists to imprison, exile and torture Vietnamese communist soldiers. Over a period of 113 years from 1862 to 1975, the prison was a place to hold more than 20,000 people, many of whom died because they could not withstand all forms of brutal torture. The Con Dao prison system includes 8 prisons with 127 prisoning rooms, 42 cells and 504 separate cells, also known as "tiger cages". In prisons there are secondary structures such as kitchens, cafeterias, clubs, lectures, clinics ... however they are built only to blind the public and human rights agencies of the Union United Nations.

III - Travel tips 
When traveling to monuments and historical sites in Vietnam, you need to choose suitable clothes, avoid offensive clothes when coming to the sacred place. In addition, choosing the ideal time also greatly determines the quality of the trip. Make sure to avoid months with bad weather, heavy rain, and are not convenient to visit.
Each relic has its own historical and cultural value and needs to be preserved and promoted. Since history is past and not reclaimed, only monuments can keep a mark of periods in the past. Visiting the monuments in Vietnam is very interesting, not only you can learn about Vietnamese culture and history but also understand the Vietnamese people and their struggles for peace for thousands of years.
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Hi, I am Linh ! A young & passionate Vietnamese who love the wandering days in exploring new things and experiencing the different cultures. Welcome to my Vietnamese travel guides & sharings.

Duy Linh — Duy Linh



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