Visiting Hmong people’s king palace in Ha Giang
Visiting Hmong people’s king palace, Vuong Chinh Duc, once considered to be the king of Hmong ethnic people in Ha Giang Province, ruled a vast area from the province’s Dong Van Plateau to Meo Vac Town in the early 20th century.
Dubbed as Vua Meo (king of H’mong people), he was also the founder of the famous Vuong Dynasty, the largest in Ha Giang Province at the time, where he lived in his unique, luxurious palace shaded with green samu trees.
Named Vuong Palace, it was built in solid stone, fir wood and terra-cotta tiles in ancient Chinese architectural style typical of the Man Qing era in China. Though it seems very much out of place, the palace itself is quite interesting and there are a number of tombstones of the dynasty’s people surrounding it which are also worth a look.
Covering a total area of 1,120 square meters, Vuong Palace was built on an elevated site located in Sa Phin valley in Lung Phin Commune, Dong Van District of Ha Giang. The palace was used as the residence and also a fort of the Vuong Dynasty to protect themselves from attacks by their enemies.
Nowadays, no one lives at the Palace. It is maintained as an artifact and managed by the provincial government. The old royal house attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its unique style of Chinese architecture and the legend of Vuong Chinh Duc’s life.
Travelers could reach Vuong Palace from Ha Giang Town by motorbike, driving approximately 125 kilometers through the districts of Quan Ba and Yen Minh. Another option is to head out from Dong Van Town which is just 12 kilometers from Sa Phin valley, a narrow, picturesque valley surrounded by hills and mountain ranges. In good weather, travelers will see the mighty mountain alive with all of nature’s beauty.
From the top of the mountain travelers can hear the wind rustling and experience the vast panoramic view stretching to the horizon. From Ma Pi Leng Peak the Nho Que river, which originates in China, flows like undulating silk.
Stopping for a while on the way and contemplating the wildness of nature while listening to the melodies of the H’mong panpipe is an easy way to feel the true liberation achieved through nature.
Soon the road skirts the tiny Sa Phin valley which has at its center a clump of bamboo concealing the ancient Vuong royal house. Simply put, it is much bigger than a normal house and looks quite old and special.
The Vuong Palace tour reveals 64 rooms that are divided into front, center and back areas. Every corner of the house is filled with the essence of the legendary Vua Meo’s.
Hoang Dieu Thuy, a local tour guide, said that the palace is unique as it was built on a tortoise shell-shaped site, chosen by a Chinese fortune teller under the order of Vuong Chinh Duc who believed it would bring luck, wealth and happiness for him and his family.