Vietnam Colonial History

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Intro to Vietnam Colonial History

The Vietnam Colonial History would be best told in Hué for its mutual relationship between Gia Long Emperor and France in early 18th century.

Prior to Gia Long victory against Tay Son Dynasty, he was struggling to find an powerful ally who could aid him in the long quest of gaining his ancestor’s lordship in Central Vietnam.

And there came Pigneau de Behaine, a French missionary whom rescued Nguyễn Ánh on his run away from Tay Son leaders. Pigneau the later years strongly supported the young Lord by directly seeking military aids from King Louis XVI by himself in France.

The Versailles Treaty in 1787 appeared in which Nguyễn Ánh agreed to spare territory of Vietnam for France in exchange for military weapons and support.

vietnam colonial history
Pigneau signed the Versailles Treaty on behalf of Nguyễn Ánh.

However, the Revolution in France made this agreement never go effective!

Using this as an excuse, French attacked Vietnam at Danang Port in 1858 under Tự Đức reign. Though it was not an easy win for them, the Harmand Treaty in 1884 made Vietnam a three-state country under France protectorate.

An Nam appeared in the world map ever since. It was a feudal State run by puppet emperors in the North Bank of Perfume River and a French Superior held the power in the South Bank.

There came the French Boulevard, Trường Tiền Bridge, many school and museums in colonial style started to bloom in An Nam.

So how one can learn the Vietnam colonial history in Hué?

Your tour should start with the Museum of Thua Thien Hue history where locates valuable artifacts of France in Indochina.

Then your journey continues with a walking tour on the French Boulevards starting from Đập Đá stone bridge all the way to Hué train station. Among them highlights the Anti-tax monument where the Revolution of Vietnam started by the young Hồ Chí Minh.

You continue with a colonial architecture tour at Hotel Saigon Morin, Điềm Phùng Thị Museum, The Hué Cultural Museum, Quốc Học high school. Especially, the “Le monument aux morts de Hué” will be highlight on this walking tour. Finally we end at La Residence hotel, the French Superior’s mansion from 1885 – 1945.

The afternoon touring in the Hué Imperial City and Forbidden city will help you understand the French influence in building fortress and palaces by Nguyễn Dynasty. Also, a must visit for you to learn the start and ending of this ancient kingdom in 1945.

Finally, we shall pay a visit at Tự Đức Mausoleum and learn his story why he agreed to sign the Harmand Treaty in 1885.

Tour with Thu info

The above is my best idea in order to help you learn the richest part of Vietnam colonial history. The schedule is absolutely amendable to your liking, even on the tour date.

On a side note, I’d like for you to enjoy Bun Bo Hue for lunch then we will have a nice break in a vintage coffee by the Hue Citadel. These are both my favorite places which I frequently visit and never regret spending time there.

The whole program can be easily done in 5-6 hours depends on your curiosity level. And, I give you total flexibility to start tour anytime you want.

Tour with Thu is private tour only that includes transport, me as a guide, food and drink and tickets to sites and most importantly, you can alter/ change or amend the itinerary to match your interests even on the tour date.

  • Entrance fees for all visits as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Thư as your English speaking guide
  • Full 6-hour standby air-conditioned vehicle
  • Lunch and drink at café
  • Cold drinks and snacks throughout the tour
  • Booklet of recommended further reading

Request Tour with Thu rate here