Hon Chen Palace
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Hon Chen Palace

Hon Chen Palace is a sacred place with an important position in the spiritual life of the people of Hue. This is also the only palace in Hue that combines royal rituals and folk beliefs in a harmonious and unique way.

IMG Hon Chen Palace 4

1. Where is Hon Chen Palace?

Hon Chen Palace is located on Ngoc Tran mountain. It is in Ngoc Ho village, Huong Ho ward, Huong Tra town, Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam. About 16 km southwest of Hue city center and about 100 km northwest of Da Nang city.

2. How is Hon Chen Palace unique?

This is a temple that has an important position in the spiritual life of the people of Hue. And it is also the only temple in Hue that has a harmonious combination of royal rituals and cultural and folk beliefs.

Originally, people worshiped the goddess PoNagar of the Cham people in the Hon Chen palace – the child whom the Jade Emperor sent to earth. She created the Earth and all kinds of agarwood and rice. Rice bloomed, she made ripe rice give off a sweet fragrance, and encouraged people to plant Bodhi trees.

In terms of beliefs, Hon Chen Temple does not follow specific principles or layouts but worships many different beliefs. Besides worshiping the goddess, people also worship Princess Lieu Hanh, Van Huong Thanh Mau, worship Buddha, worship Quan Cong Saint,…And more than 100 other gods who are disciples of the above mentioned gods.

Hon Chen Palace not only serves as a religious monument but also a landscape architectural monument when integrated into the charming scenery of Hue. Hon Chen Palace is located on Ngoc Tran Mountain – a mountain with an extremely special geographical location.

Surrounded by the Perfume River, as well as other mountains, Ngoc Tran Mountain seems more isolated as it is located in the deepest part of the Perfume River. From then on, the entire mountain range seemed to have all its life force pressed into it, so people built a temple on the side of the cliff.

IMG Hon Chen Palace 2

3. History of Hon Chen Palace in Hue

People had built Hon Chen Palace during the reign of King Gia Long, mainly worshiping Taoism. During the reign of King Nguyen, the palace was famous with the official name “Ngoc Tran Son Tu”, meaning “the shrine at Ngoc Tran mountain”. During the Dong Khanh period (1886 – 1888), the Hon Chen palace was renamed “Hue Nam” with the meaning of “bringing grace to the people of the South”. In addition, Hon Chen Palace is also related with many other thrilling anecdotes.

4. Interior architecture of Hon Chen Palace in Hue

What makes visitors excited when coming to Hon Chen Palace is that every detail inside this building has eye-catching and sophisticated decorative art architecture. According to famous people, the architecture of Hon Chen Palace has historical significance and is the best art of the late 19th century.

When you arrive at Hon Chen Palace, you will see firsthand 10 large and small works located halfway up Ngoc Tran Mountain. These buildings all face the Perfume River, surrounded by rows of tall green trees. Therefore, Hon Chen Palace is not only an architectural attraction but also a sightseeing and check-in place chosen by many tourists.

Among the 10 works, the most prominent is Minh Kinh Dai Palace located right in the middle. On the left there is the Ngu Hanh palace, the altar of mandarins, Ngoai Canh temple and the cave worshiping Mr. Ho. On the right is Quan Cu’s house, Thanh pagoda and Trinh Cat Vien. Right next to the Perfume River is Thuy Phu Temple.

Minh Kinh Dai is divided into 3 palaces in order from high to low including the First Palace (Upper Palace), the Second Palace and the Third Palace. They are arranged in turn as the worshiping area, the offering area and the incense offering area. With a great history, today the palace still preserves more than 600 offerings of 284 types with extremely valuable historical value.

5. When is the best time to visit Hon Chen Palace in Hue?

According to the experiences of previous tourists traveling to Hue, the summer in Hue is hot, lasting from March to August. The rainy season in Hue often has storms and floods from June to November.

Winter The weather is cold, sometimes the temperature is below 10 degrees Celsius. Spring in Hue is the most pleasant climate, from January to the end of March. Therefore, with Hue travel experience, you should go to Hue in the spring. Because it is spring to enjoy the cool air and enjoy the beautiful scenery here most comfortably.

IMG Hon Chen Palace 7

6. How to get to Hon Chen Palace in Hue?

6.1 Moving To Hue

6.1.1. By plane

This is the most convenient and fastest means of transportation for tourists from other provinces and cities to reach the Hue tourist area. Most domestic airlines currently have direct flights to Phu Bai airport, Hue. Flight time from Hanoi to Hue takes about 1 hour 15 minutes, from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue about 1 hour 30 minutes.

6.1.2 By passenger car

If you live in nearby localities, choosing a bus is quite suitable because the travel time is short and the cost is relatively low. If you are in remote provinces, you can choose a sleeper bus to travel. From Hanoi to Hue, please refer to buying bus tickets from popular bus companies running the Hanoi – Hue route such as Hung Thanh, Camel, Duc Thinh,…The Hanoi – Hue route has a travel time of about 12 – 14 hours.

From Ho Chi Minh City to Hue it takes about 20 hours. Some popular bus companies running the HCM – Hue route include Hoang Long, Huong Ty, Minh Phuong,…

6.1.3 By train

If you have a lot of time to travel to Hue and love sightseeing along the way, choose the train. Train tickets are not too expensive. Trains usually have hard seats, soft seats, beds and air-conditioned or non-air-conditioned compartments. If you go far in the hot season, you should choose trains SE3, SE1, buy air-conditioned sleeper tickets to be comfortable and shorten travel time.

6.2 Moving to Hon Chen Palace

Getting to Hon Chen Palace is very simple, visitors have 2 main transportation options:

  • Taking a Dragon boat ride on the Perfume River from the city center.
  • Going by road starting from Bui Thi Xuan route running straight. Then turn from Huyen Tran Cong Chua street to Than wharf, then take the boat to Hon Chen palace.
IMG Hon Chen Palace 6

7. Activities and experiences when traveling to Hon Chen Palace

7.1 Visiting and taking souvenir photos at small works inside Hon Chen Palace

Taking photos with mausoleums is an experience that is hard to miss when traveling to Hue. At Hon Chen Palace, visitors can not only immerse themselves in the architectural and cultural space, but can also freely take photos and preserve classic and nostalgic pictures. The space inside the palace is very large, with many trees to help you enjoy peace and relaxation when coming to this tourist destination.

7.2 Listening to the Legend at Hon Chen in Hue

One of the attractions of Hon Chen Palace is the mysterious anecdotes associated with this place for hundreds of years. Specifically, there are 3 anecdotes that have been circulated by people for a long time such as:

7.2.1 Anecdotes about goddess Ponagar

Many tourists wonder who Hon Chen Palace worships. In fact, this place has long been a place to worship an important female deity in Cham beliefs: the Mother Goddess of Ponagar. Legend has it that the goddess is the daughter of the Jade Emperor and was sent to create mother earth and teach humans to grow crops and trees, especially precious agarwood trees.

Later, Princess Lieu Hanh was also brought to worship inside the palace. Then there are Quan Cong, Buddha and other gods. Today, Hon Chen Palace is considered a spiritual relic of the Cham people, adopted and promoted by the Vietnamese to create a place to worship the Holy Mother. Coming here, visitors can discover the unique beliefs blending the Cham ethnic culture with the spiritual identity of the Vietnamese people.

7.2.2 Anecdotes of King Thieu Tri

Folk also say that King Thieu Tri built a village near Hon Chen palace. When the king and his concubine were traveling on the Perfume River to visit the village, a royal concubine accidentally dropped a small golden tube into a deep abyss.

Feeling sorry for her property, she asked the king to pray to Holy Mother Thien Y A Na to help her find the object. At first, the king was skeptical but still complied and followed, suddenly the tube floated to the surface. Seeing the sacredness, the king immediately ordered the Hon Chen palace to be repaired, but before his wish could be fulfilled, he passed away.

7.2.3 Legend of King Minh Mang’s jade cup

This is the most widely known mysterious anecdote about Hon Chen Palace. Folk also tell each other that Hon Chen Palace’s original name is “Hoan Chen” with the meaning of “returning the jade cup”. Because once upon a time, when King Minh Mang came here, he dropped a jade bowl into the Perfume River. He thought there was no way to get it back, but suddenly a turtle the size of a mat emerged, holding the jade bowl and sending it back to the king. .

7.3 Participating in Hon Chen Festival

Another unique thing when mentioning Hon Chen Palace is the festival rituals. This is a custom that shows the worship beliefs and cultural and spiritual life of local people. This sacred place is a harmonious combination of folk beliefs and royal rituals, bringing satisfying cultural experiences to visitors from all over.

The festival is divided into two main parts including the ritual ceremony (receiving the gods to the temple) and the main sacrifice ceremony:

  • The ceremony was solemnly held on the Perfume River to process goddess Thien Y A Na from Hon Chen temple to Hai Cat village communal house. Around the procession, people decorated the boats with colorful flags and flowers, the vibrant atmosphere is filled with the humming songs of the coppers, bowlers, and literature singers.
  • The main ceremony takes place immediately
  • The high priest ceremony takes place immediately after welcoming the gods and the Holy Mother. This ceremony is held with many activities such as: welcoming the Holy Mother, worshiping Hai Cat village, releasing animals, releasing lanterns… All are imbued with traditional folk culture that is very popular with tourists. response.

8. Specialties when traveling to Hon Chen Palace

Because Hon Chen Palace is located not far from Hue city, after finishing the tour, tourists return to the city to rest and enjoy the specialties of this poetic ancient capital.

IMG Banh Hue

8.1 Hue Beef Noodle Soup

Beef noodle soup is a famous specialty of Hue. When traveling to Hue, you definitely have to wake up early and eat a delicious bowl of beef noodle soup here. The broth is carefully simmered from beef bones, onions, and other traditional spices to create a delicious, attractive flavor.

Hue beef noodle soup is large and soft, served with pork patties and a little blood and fatty pork hoof. Before eating, add some fresh lemon, a few pieces of chili and raw vegetables and mix well. The delicious taste of beef noodle soup in Hue is hard to compare anywhere else.

8.2 Hue Duckweed Cake (Banh Beo)

A hot cup of Banh Beo with sweet and aromatic filling comes with a bowl of slightly spicy dipping sauce. When eating, pour fish sauce over a bowl of Banh Beo, enjoy the soft, flexible taste of the dough, the aroma of fried onions, and the sweetness of the shrimp and meat filling.

8.3 Nam Pho Noodle Soup

A delicious bowl of Nam Pho noodle soup, mixed with rich shrimp and meat filling and green onion stalks, sprinkled with a little green chili sauce, who can refuse this unique dish when traveling to Hue.

8.4 Hue Sweet Soup

Hue is famous for many types of sweet soup, each with its own delicious taste such as lotus seed sweet soup, floating sweet soup, taro sweet soup, roasted meat sweet soup. No need to go to big restaurants, just sit next to street vendors or small alleys, order a cup of sweet soup, and you can enjoy the sophistication of Hue’s snacks.

9. Accommodation when traveling to Hon Chen Palace in Hue

Hue has many quality hotels and homestays for tourists to choose from. Depending on your needs and cost level, you can refer to resort locations after traveling to Hue.

9.1 Resorts:

If you are looking for a perfect tour in Hue, relaxing amid beautiful nature. Moreover, if you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere without any problems, the resorts in Hue will be an irresistible choice.

  • Lang Co Beach Resort.
  • Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa.
  • Ana Mandara Hue Beach Resort.
  • Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa.

Above are all names that satisfy your dream vacation. Choose one of the luxury resorts in Hue for a vacation in the tropical paradise of the ancient capital.

9.2 Hotels:

Hotels in Hue are of great interest thanks to their affordable prices, plus beautiful locations – most are located in the central area, or near famous tourist destinations:

  • Golden Star Villa Hue.
  • Cherish Hotel Hue.
  • Thanh Uyen Hue Hotel.
  • Villa Hue.
  • Cherry Hotel Hue.
  • Rosaleen Boutique Hotel.
  • Indochine Palace Hotel.
  • Imperial Hue Hotel.
  • Eldora Hotel.

9.3 Homestays:

For young tourists who travel in the form of discovery, want to save money but still like a great place to stop, go straight to the hostels and homestays in Hue. What’s better than staying at a very affordable price, you still have the opportunity to own a lovely, small but cozy place to rest, right in the center of Hue city.

  • Deja Vu Homestay.
  • Mosaic Garden.
  • April Hostel.
  • EMT Homestay.
  • Branchiee Homestay.

10. Some important notes when traveling to Hon Chen Palace

To make your trip to Hon Chen Palace in Hue safe and complete. You should refer to the necessary notes below:

  • The road is a bit narrow and somewhat dangerous, so you should choose to go by boat to be safe. Boating on the Perfume River will also give you more interesting experiences.
  • You can not take photos inside the palace area, so please be careful.
  • Because it is a sacred area. You should dress politely and avoid exposing too much to affect the pure atmosphere inside the temple.
  • Avoid joking and making noise in the shrine area
  • Maintaining general hygiene, do not litter indiscriminately to preserve scenic spots for those after you.
  • Even during the festival season. You will see many locals throwing fake gold and silver papers into the Perfume River to pray for good luck. So you should not do the same. Because this will affect the biological ecosystem in the river as well as pollute the environment.

Hon Chen Palace Hue is not only a place with unique history and architecture. But also a sacred place filled with the religious beliefs of local people. Coming here, you will listen to the story of Hon Chen. You also discover the unique features of the spiritual culture of the people of the ancient capital of Hue.

Origin Vietnam – a professional tour operator. We hope you will have many beautiful memories with this land rich in cultural and national identity. With a team of consultants, tour operators and experienced and dedicated local guides. We will accompany you on your tours in Hue to discover the beauty spot of Hon Chen palace with unforgettable memories.

Private Hue Tour Package 5 days

This excursion itinerary encompasses no less than 3 UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites. The sixteenth century silk course trading port of Hoi An. Beside My Son holy land, the sacred remains of the ancient Cham civilization. Specially the imperial city of Hue. The region is rich in natural culture and history. This tailored tour as such has tremendous long term potential for the development of road tourism during the Indochina region.
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