Bao Dai’s Summer Palace
Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace (Biet Dien Quoc Truong, or Dinh 3) is a tan, 25 room villa constructed in 1933. The décor has not changed in decades and governments past, is extremely interesting.
The engraved glass map of Vietnam was given to Emperor Bao Dai in 1942 by Vietnamese students in France. In Bao Dai’s office, the life-size white bust above the bookcase is of Bao Dai himself; the smaller gold and brown busts are of his father, Emperor Khai Dinh. Note the heaven brass royal seal (on the right) and military seal (on the left). The photographs over the fire-place are of (from left to right) Bao Dai, his elder son, Bao Long (in uniform), and Empress Nam Phuong, who dies in 1963.
Upstairs are the royal living quarters. The room of Bao Long, who now lives in England, is decorated in yellow, the royal color. The huge semicircular couch was used by the emperor and empress for family meeting, during which their three daughters were seated in the yellow chairs and their two son on the pink chairs. Check out the ancient tan Rouathermique infra-red sauna machine near the top of the stairs.
Bao Dai’s Summer Palace ia set in a pine grove 500m south- east of the Pasteur Institute, which is on D Le Hong Phong, 2km south-west of the city centre. The Palace is open to the public from 7 to 11 am and 1.30 to 4 pm and shoes must be removed at the door. The entry fee for foreigners is US$1 plus an extra charge for the cameras and videos.