1 May 2013 by Alex Brossler
Vietnam has a wealth of cultural highlights and a rich heritage that encompasses Chinese, Indian, Champa, Khmer and other indigenous elements. From fourth century Hindi ruins and 19th century fortress citadels to the remnants of neo-Confucianism and historical trading links, Wexas Indochina specialist Alex Brossler shares his top five cultural highlights.
A former 19th Century capital of Vietnam, Hué served as the political, cultural and religious centre of the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. Today this feudal capital has a setting of great natural beauty, with the Perfume River winding its way through the Capita City, the Imperial City, the Forbidden City and the Inner City.
Hoi An's ancient town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and street plan reflect a fusion of cultures that have combined to produce a unique heritage site.
My Son Sanctuary
The dramatic series of impressive tower temples at My Son once formed the religious and political of the Champa Kingdom, a unique culture dating from the 4th to 13th centuries that owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism.
Hanoi's Imperial Citadel of Thang Long
The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty to mark the independence of the Dai Viet. Constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi, it was the centre of regional political power for almost 13 centuries.
Citadel of the Ho Dynasty
The 14th century Ho Dynasty citadel was built according to feng shui principles and testifies to the flowering of neo-Confucianism in Vietnam during that period. Sited in a landscape of great scenic beauty on an axis joining the Tuong Son and Don Son mountains in a plain between the Ma and Buoi rivers, it represents an outstanding example of a new style of south-east Asian imperial city.