Hoang Yen Chao Castle
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Hoang Yen Chao Castle

Travel Hoang Yen Chao Castle – Coming to Bac Ha town. You will not be surprised when right in the center of the town there is an extremely majestic villa, painted bright yellow and bearing something very ancient of European architecture. That is the Hoang Yen Chao Castle, also known as the “Meo King of Bac Ha” mansion. It’s considered the most powerful house in the white highlands in the past. Let’s explore this ancient villa with Origin Vietnam.

1. Where is Hoang Yen Chao Castle?

Hoang Yen Chao Castle, also known as Hoang A Tuong Palace. It is located in Bac Ha town, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province, Vietnam. Hoang Yen Chao Castle is located right in the center of the district. It’s built in 1914 and after 7 years the project was completed. The mansion is about 70 km northeast of Lao Cai city and about 300 km northwest of Hanoi capital.

Hoang Yen Chao Castle

2. How is Hoang Yen Chao Castle unique?

After 7 years of construction, from 1914 to 1921, Hoang Yen Chao Castle was completed with a total area of up to 10,000 square meters. The owner of the mansion is Hoang Yen Chao, a Tay ethnic person. The name of the mansion comes from the name of one of his children – Hoang A Tuong.

Before 1945, Hoang Yen Chao and Hoang A Tuong ruled a region where the majority were Hmong people. Therefore, the Hoang father and son were called “kings” by the people during that semi-feudal colonial period. They assisted the French colonialists in exploiting our people. So they were able to build this luxurious mansion.

Hoang A Tuong Palace, a magnificent building, exists as a symbol of the golden age of wealth and power of Hoang Yen Chao as well as his son – Hoang A Tuong. At the same time, this building also represents the hardship and oppression of the people of Bac Ha, Lao Cai in the first half of the 20th century.

Later, when renovated and covered with a new layer of bright yellow paint. The mansion lost its inherent antiquity and was somewhat more strange than before. But through many ups and downs, this mansion is still a witness. History of the crimes of the Cat King family.

3. Unique architecture of Hoang Yen Chao Castle

Hoang A Tuong’s mansion at that time was designed and directed by two Chinese and French architects. The combination of two Asian and European cultures has highlighted unique details. Such as embossed laurel branch motifs on the entrance doors, arched railing doors, and tiled hallways. That’s why the building became extremely different from other mansions in Vietnam at that time.

Hoang Yen Chao Castle is the living and working place of Hoang father and son. And is considered a fortress to defend and protect the owner. The mansion is surrounded by a high wall, with battlements on all four sides. Inside the mansion there are guards on duty 24/7.

With an area of up to 10,000 square meters, the mansion includes 36 rooms. Also designed in a closed, continuous rectangular layout and has a very harmonious structure. In the middle of the mansion is a large courtyard. On the left and right sides of the courtyard are two outbuildings. Going deep inside is the main house, walking up the stairs from both sides, visitors will reach the waiting room and then reach the campus inside the mansion. There will be a large yard here that is often used for ceremonies, performing arts or entertainment activities.

Is worth a visiting Hoang Yen Chao Castle

The main house is the connecting space of two horizontal rows of houses with identical layout and architecture. Designed lower than the main house, the two left and right rows of houses have only 2 floors and each floor is divided into 3 compartments with different rooms. This is the living place of the wives of the Hoang father and son also two French and Chinese advisors. There are also two rows of outhouses used as warehouses for soldiers and laborers to live in.

When building the mansion, all materials such as bricks and tiles are produced directly under the guidance of Chinese experts. Especially steel and cement will be purchased from downstream and transported by train to Bac Ha. That elaborate process shows the careful investment of King Cat of Bac Ha in his mansion.

Today, visitors to the mansion can experience the space and enjoy Bac Ha corn wine right on the spot. A traditional corn wine cooking stove model was built right behind the building. Handicraft products of ethnic minorities. Such as dresses, shirts, brocade scarves or pipes, and silver bracelets are also displayed here.

IMG 19149246

4. When is the best time to visit Hoang A Tuong Palace?

Tourists should travel to Bac Ha during Lunar New Year. At this time, visitors can visit the scenery filled with the colors of Peach and Plum flowers. Pear flower. Coming to Bac Ha at this time, visitors also have the opportunity to participate in festivals. Such as: Long Tong festival of the Tay people, Say San festival of the Mong people, Bac Ha temple festival,…

Or if tourists want to experience plum picking and watch the famous Bac Ha horse racing festival. So they should go in early June every year. As for tourists who are passionate about taking photos of terraced fields, they should come to Bac Ha around the beginning of May, June is the pouring water season. Especially September and October are the ripe rice season.

If the time that most of you choose will fall on the weekend. Because every Sunday, Bac Ha market activities take place, so you can experience the extremely bustling scenery and activities of Bac Ha. people around here.

5. How to get to Hoang Yen Chao Castle?

5.1 By personal vehicle

  • By car: With the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway, those using personal cars can get to Bac Ha relatively quickly. From Hanoi, you get on the highway and drive about 200 km, exit at Pho Lu intersection. Then follow QL4E to Bac Ngam intersection, after that turn to TL153 (about 40 km total) to Bac Ha. Please note that the Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway only has 4 lanes for the first 100km. It’s is allowed to run at a maximum speed of 100km/h, the rest of the route has only 2 lanes with no median strip. Only 80km/h is allowed. The entire route has automatic cameras, so pay attention to following the correct speed and lane.
  • By motorbike: Motorbikes cannot go on the highway. So if you ride a motorbike from Hanoi, just go under Thang Long bridge (1st floor for motorbikes) and then turn on Me Linh street to Vinh Phuc. Next, you just follow Highway 2A to Viet Tri and continue on Highway 2 (AH14). At Doan Hung intersection. Then turn left onto Highway 37 and continue Highway 70 through Yen Bai, to Lao Cai to Bac Ngam intersection, continue about 1km and you will see a sign turning right to TL153 to Bac Ha, from here back to the center. The town is only about 20 km away.

5.2 By public transport

Go straight to Bac Ha:

Traveling by bus directly from Hanoi, these buses will depart from My Dinh bus station. There are currently a few bus companies operating this route with starting points from Hanoi, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh and Hai Phong. Depending on your location, you can choose a suitable car.

Stop in Lao Cai:

Going from Hanoi to Lao Cai and then from Lao Cai to Bac Ha, to go from Hanoi to Lao Cai you can choose to go by bus or train then go by taxi, motorbike or bus to the North River. From Lao Cai Bus Station, there are many bus trips to Bac Ha every day, usually these buses depart from morning until about 4pm so you can freely choose a suitable time.

6. Activities in Hoang Yen Chao Castle

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6.1 Admiring the most magnificent mansion of all time

After a century of existence, Hoang A Tuong mansion still has a thoughtful and respectful appearance. The color of time is printed on the tiles or hallways, pillars or old mossy walls.

The mansion is very massive, surrounded by walls with many battlements, and there are also paths on the wall for guards to patrol. In addition, the mansion also has an extremely favorable location, located on a wide hill leaning against the mountain with a stream in front.

Coming here, visitors must not be surprised by the smooth and extremely delicate combination of Asian and European architectural styles, showing the clear interference of East and West literature.

The system of columns and roofs are carved with many different motifs such as vine leaves and laurel patterns, all of which are symbols of prosperity, happiness and prosperity. The roof is covered with yin and yang tiles, the arch system and the bow-shaped staircase create an impression of modernity and grandeur for the building.

6.2 Visiting House of power

Under the protection of the French colonialists, Hoang A Tuong mansion occupied many fertile lands, plundered people’s wealth, and in addition, Hoang Yen Chao’s father and son also had full rights to exploit forest products as well as a monopoly on trading. Sell valuable products. Thanks to that, Hoang Yen Chao has accumulated a lot of wealth and built a majestic mansion to show off her wealth.

Besides the living space for family members, the mansion also has offices and reception rooms for French advisors to run and rule, so this is considered a house of power.

Currently, this mansion has been used as a tourist destination to serve the needs of visitors to the mansion in rooms selling handicraft items made by the people of the Northwest mountainous region such as: brocade shirts, necklaces, dresses… visitors can visit and choose to buy these products as souvenirs or as gifts for their relatives and friends after the trip.

7. Specialties when traveling to Hoang Yen Chao Castle

When traveling to Hoang A Tuong Palace, visitors will not only be able to admire a building with great significance in the history and architecture of Bac Ha, but also enjoy the specialties of the beautiful land. This is beautiful.

7.1 Bac Ha pink pho

Bac Ha pink pho is considered the quintessence of the “White Plateau” land of Bac Ha because it contains the unique aftertaste of highland cuisine. Made from brown rice grown on terraced fields along with famous mustard greens from temperate lands fermented according to the secrets of the people here.

7.2 Thang Co Bac Ha

The famous and typical dish of the H’Mong people is thang co. This is an ancient dish that dates back 200 years. The meat cooked in Thang Co is horse meat and uses many spices to prepare it. Currently, Thang Co dish is prepared with a variety of ingredients to suit everyone’s taste. In the cold weather, there is nothing better than enjoying a hot dish of thang co.

7.3 Black chicken

Black chickens are very small, about 1.2kg/chicken and have black “skin”, which is a bit scary for anyone who sees them for the first time. Black chicken can be made into many dishes, but the most favorite is grilled with honey. After the grilled black chicken is still hot, you can blow it and eat it with delicious mint leaves dipped in lemon salt and pepper.

7.4 Five-color sticky rice

It is said that, when coming to Bac Ha, the dish that should not be missed is five-color sticky rice. This strange sticky rice is not only sticky and fragrant, but the color is also very eye-catching with five main colors: Green, red, purple, yellow, white – the colors of forest leaves, only grown in the highlands here.

7.5 Ban Pho corn wine

Coming to Bac Ha, visitors will certainly not forget the taste of Ban Pho corn wine. It is not only the spicy taste of wine, the strong taste of corn, but also the flavor of the mountains and forests, the intoxication of human love. To get this specialty wine, people here have to spend a lot of time and effort to process it.

8. Accommodation when traveling to Hoang Yen Chao Castle

When traveling to Hoang Yen Chao Castle, visitors can refer to some of the accommodation facilities below:

  • H’Mong Homestay. Address: Ban Pho, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Bac Ha Homestay. Address: Na Lo, Ta Chai, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Chez Pa Homestay. Address: Sin Chai B Village, Na Hoi, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Nga Homestay. Address: Na Hoi, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Homestay Mr Son. Address: Na Lo, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Huy Trung Homestay. Address: Bac Ha Town, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Anh Dao Homestay. Address: Street 135, Ta Ho, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.
  • Flower Hmong Homestay. Address: Na Hoi, Bac Ha, Lao Cai.

8. Some other famous tourist attractions near Hoang Yen Chao Castle

8.1 Bac Ha market:

Bac Ha market opens every Sunday. The market is located in the center of Bac Ha town, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province. This is one of the oldest markets but still retains its wild character and rich cultural identity of the people of the Northwest region. That’s why this place has become an attractive tourist destination that anyone who comes to Lao Cai wants to participate in this highland market once.

8.2 Bac Ha Flower Valley:

The tourist destination “Bac Ha Flower Valley” is located in San Bay village, Thai Giang Pho commune, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province – about 1.5km from Bac Ha town. With a total area of about 1 hectare, this tourist area has many flowers blooming throughout the four seasons.

8.3 Bac Ha fruit and vegetable farm:

Located 1.5km from the center. Bac Ha Fruit and Vegetable Research and Production Farm is one of the eco-tourism areas that attracts a large number of tourists to explore and experience, especially during fruit season. Visiting the Bac Ha Vegetable and Fruit Research and Production Camp, visitors will be able to admire the purple-red plum clusters, pear trees laden with fruit, and colorful peaches.

8.4 Tien Cave:

Hang Tien is a tourist destination in Bac Ha, allowing visitors to see beautiful scenery along the Chay River. There are many beautiful landscapes on both sides of the river, creating a poetic scene and cool climate. From there, everyone can relax after hard working days.

8.5 Ban Pho corn wine making village

Ban Pho, located about 1 km from town, has 100% of the population being Mong ethnic people. Ban Pho has long been famous for its traditional corn wine making. This place has cool spring water flowing from the cave, especially the wine is made from Hong My yeast, so the wine here has a strong aroma. Even if you get drunk, you will never feel tired. or headaches. Coming to Ban Pho, you will experience and learn about the traditional profession of making corn wine at people’s homes and experience the culture of the Mong people.

8.6 Trung Do village community tourism village

Trung Do village is located next to provincial road 153, on the way from Lao Cai to Bac Ha town. Trung Do is a typical place with the unique architecture of the stilt houses of the Tay people. Charming natural scenery and poetic, open space make visitors extremely excited.

Coming to Trung Do village, visitors can enjoy a type of boat tour along the Chay River. (With a starting point from Trung Do village wharf, tourists go up to Coc Ly with a stop at Coc Ly Hydroelectric Lake with a route of about 2 hours). Tourists admire the majestic natural scenery along both sides of the river, explore fairy caves,…

8.7 Watching the sunset and welcome the sunrise on Ngai Thau peak

Ngai Thau consists of high to gentle hills lying close together with lush grass fields on the steppe, located in Na Hoi commune, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai. Along the road from Bac Ha to Ngai Thau, the scenery on both sides of the road is attractive with green valleys of corn and rice stretching across the mountainside, and wildflowers growing everywhere in the valley.

You can take a car to Ngai Thau and park outside, about 2km from the top of the hill, and from here you have to climb up the hill. The hilltop stretches, the space is wide, the view is clear in all four directions, along with the lush green grass at the foot stretching out, captivating any visitor.

8.8 Exploring Ban Lien

Ban Lien is 20 km from town. This place has a charming landscape with stretches of terraced fields, interspersed with stilt houses, and glimpses of palm gardens and tea fields. All create a unique and attractive picture of mountains and forests. Coming here, you can stay in homestays imbued with the culture of the Tay Bao Dong.

In addition to the above destinations, coming to Bac Ha you can visit the ancient tea forest in Hoang Thu Pho, the thousand-year-old gnat tree in Coc Ly, Ham Rong cave in Ta Van Chu,…

Coming to Hoang Yen Chao Castle, visitors can not only admire the beauty of ancient architecture, but also understand more about the unforgettable historical period of the people of Bac Ha in particular and Northwest Vietnam in general. Today, although the beauty of the mansion has changed compared to before, that still cannot fade the majesty and grandeur of this unique structure in the high mountains.

Please contact Origin Vietnam immediately – a professional operator for tours in Sapa, we are always ready to support all necessary information for tourists about the destination Bac Ha as well as commit to accompanying you on your Bac Ha market tour of discovery the travel beauty of Lao Cai province with interesting experiences and the most wonderful moments.

Keep reading how to get Bac Ha Sunday market and Sapa tour Bac Ha market at Origin Travel.

Images Source: Internet

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