Tu Cung Residence, Hue - review by Rusty Compass
Hue | see and do guide

Independent reviews and recommendations by Rusty Compass. No advertorial, no paid placements and no sponsored content.

Tu Cung Residence, Hue

| 17 Sep 2012
  • 21 of 23

Map

Map
Tu Cung Residence, Hue
145 Phan Dinh Phung St, Hue
Contact guard on arrival

Map
Our rating
17 Sep 2012

The residence of Hue's last Queen Mother, Tu Cung, may be the most important historic sight in Hue you've never heard of.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

If Hue Citadel and Gia Long's tomb mark the beginnings of the Nguyen Dynasty, the forlorn Tu Cung Residence perfectly captures its pitiful demise.

While Bao Dai, Vietnam's last King, spent his final decades in France, his mother, long widowed, stayed mostly in this simple Hue residence.

In March 1975, as communist forces encircled Hue, Tu Cung refused to leave. And it was here that she lived until her death in 1980 aged 91.

It's unclear whether this site is really open to tourists or not. I've managed to enter on several recent visits. There are no tickets and there's definitely no information.

Inside, the house holds a collection of possessions belonging to the former Queen, some furnishings including a number of family altars. One altar is dedicated to Gia Long, the man that founded the Nguyen Dynasty in 1802.

There are also photos of her son, King Bao Dai, his wife Nam Phuong, and Tu Cung's 1980 funeral.

The photos add some humanity that is sorely lacking in Hue's other tourist sites. The absence of any information reinforces the sense of mystery.

Tu Cung Residence seems to devoid of travellers - but it may be one of the most profound experiences of a visit to Hue.

If you're a New York Times subscriber, you'll find some interesting snippets on the life of Madam Tu Cung by searching here.


Travel tips
Tu Cung Residence is a little further down Phan Dinh Phung St from An Dinh Residence.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
Support Rusty Compass
Rusty Compass is an independent travel guide. We’re focused on providing you with quality, unbiased, travel information. That means we don't receive payments in exchange for listings and mostly pay our own way. We’d like tourism to be a positive economic, environmental and cultural force and we believe travellers deserve disclosure from publishers. Spread the word about Rusty Compass, and if you're in Saigon, pop in to The Old Compass Cafe and say hi. It’s our home right downtown on Pasteur St. You can also check out our unique tours of Ho Chi Minh City at www.oldcompasstravel.com Make a financial contribution using the link below. Even small amounts make a difference. Thanks and travel well!

  • 21 of 23

2 comments so far

I visited the Tung Cung Residence yesterday and found that it was now a fancy looking cafe throughout the yard and with some tables inside. We were still able to look throughout the house and at all the photos though, and there was an English description underneath each photograph. Also a sign out the front describing that it was the Queen Mothers Residence and a bit of history. Unlike your photos however most of the furniture seems to have been removed which I guess would take away from the atmosphere of the place but still a very worthwhile visit, thank you. It also looks like it has been repainted .

  • Alex Miller
  • Hue
  • Wednesday, 10 February 2016 15:29

I visited the Tung Cung Residence yesterday and found that it was now a fancy looking cafe throughout the yard and with some tables inside. We were still able to look throughout the house and at all the photos though, and there was an English description underneath each photograph. Also a sign out the front describing that it was the Queen Mothers Residence and a bit of history. Unlike your photos however most of the furniture seems to have been removed which I guess would take away from the atmosphere of the place but still a very worthwhile visit, thank you. It also looks like it has been repainted .

  • Alex Miller
  • Hue
  • Wednesday, 10 February 2016 15:30