Ho Quyen Royal Arena - review by Rusty Compass
Hue | see and do guide

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Ho Quyen Royal Arena

| 17 Nov 2011

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Map
Ho Quyen Royal Arena
Off Bui Thi Xuan St
Free

Map
Our rating
17 Nov 2011

Ho Quyen is worth visiting in part because so few travellers do. And the remains are in remarkably good shape - and have not yet been touched by the dulling hand of Hue's restoration teams. Nearby Long Chau Dien temple is also a wonderful stop. A great inclusion in any Hue cycling itinerary and its not far off the road to most of the emperor's tombs.

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Ho Quyen, The Royal Arena is a rarely visited spot but makes for an excellent detour for cyclists. From 1830, Emperors and their followers attended the arena to view uneven contests between elephants and tigers. Being a symbol of imperial prestige, elephant victory was always assured. Reports go that in order to guarantee the right outcome, tigers were relieved of claws and teeth.

Ho Quyen,Vietnam,Hue
Photo: Mark BowyerHo Quyen
While not of Roman scale, the arena’s brick walls have survived remarkably well given the most recent contest was more than a century ago in 1904.

Nearby the arena is the wonderfully evocative Long Chau Dien temple which was also used during royal visits. It’s one of those increasingly rare gems in Hue that only fifteen years ago were ubiquitous throughout the countryside. The lotus pond opposite adds to the special presence of this spot. Perfect for early morning or late afternoon photography.

Travel tips -

Another worthwhile and easy inclusion for those visiting the Nguyen tombs. Also a worthwhile detour for cyclists exploring the Hue countryside - as much for the setting as the sights.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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