Bao Dai Summer Palace
No 01, Trieu Viet Vuong street, Dalat, VietnamMore information Prices
Entrance is a very reasonable VND 15,000, and motorbike parking is VND 3,000Opening hours
7:00 am - 4:00 pm
Bao Dai Palace - Dalat city includes 3 Palaces: Palace I, Palace II, and Palace III. Particularly, Palace III, also known as Bao Dai’s Summer Palace attracting the majority of tourists, is the birthplace of King Bao Dai, and the king also lived and worked here; otherwise, Palace III is well preserved than the others.
The palace was built from 1933 to 1938 by a French architect and a Vietnamese architect Huynh Tan Phat. Palace III is considered a beautiful elegant palace in a pure pine forest. There are also other architectures such as an architectural landscape park, royal gardens, An Ai forest and a small lake intertwining very reasonably and poetically. The Palace located on a hilltop was belonging to that in refurbishment project of architect Hébrard. This hill has an elevation of 1539m on Trieu Viet Vuong Street.
To the architectural form, Palace III is also one of the movement’s influences on architecture innovation in Europe. The point to note here is that in the right side and behind the palace gates is a garden’ its style is familiar to gardens in the palaces of the French, according to geometric layouts.
Here planted many beautiful pruned trees, those precious pink bloom clusters throughout the year according to the layout through two axes of symmetry. There is a large flowerpot in front of the palace well cared. The small walking paths around the palace are beneath pine canopies, alternating between green grasses.
Similarly to Palace II, Palace III palace is a massive structure with a flat roof system, the array - balancing block layout but not rigidly symmetrical layouts. There is a huge front porch covering parking-lot. Upstairs is the royal living room, Bao Dai King’s office, library, entertainment room and a large dining room.
In particular, the working places have been linked to landscape architecture, inside and outside spaces relate to each other through the glass steel-frame windows creating a harmonious landscape architecture and nature.
In Bao Dai’s office, the life-size white but above the bookcase is of Bao Dai himself; the smaller gold and brown busts are of his father, Emperor Khai Dinh. Note the heaven brass royal seal (on the right) and military seal (on the left). The photographs over the fire-place are of (from left to right) Bao Dai, his elder son, Bao long (in uniform), and Empress Nam Phuong. The room of Bao Long is decorated in yellow, the royal color. The huge semirural couch was used by the emperor and empress for family meeting, during which their three daughters were seated in the pink chairs and their two sons on the yellow chairs. The bedroom of Bao Dai King has a terrace doors also called Vong Nguyet Lau. Standing here, visitors can see gardens, promenades, hills and valleys in the distance. Planks are still the main material for tiles stairs, floors and stairs of the palace interior decoration. Palace III is a beautiful structures, associated with a particular historical period of Vietnam.
Obviously, all palaces which are located on the tops of high hills occupying a large area are covered with pine forests. The structure is just a gently outstanding feature in harmony with nature. Thus, all the palaces in Dalat regardless of their differently architectural form have shared the mutual values, and especially live in harmony with the natural elements.
Bao Dai was a legendary Francophile and he spent his last decades in France after he exiled himself from Vietnam in the mid 1950s. He died in France in 1997.
What to see
Visiting this 2 stories structure, travelers will have a chance to discover the living of the royal family through 25 rooms and its amenities. The ground floor is the working place of the king. It consists of the office room, the guest room and the reception room. Upstairs is the living space of the king and his family. The bedroom of the king also has a gorgeous balcony called the watching moon balcony where the king and the queen could appreciate the moonlight. Each of the room reflects the characteristics and status of the owner: the eldest son's room is painted yellow and considered luxurious at that time, the Queen's room can be easily identified with her feminine touch
Inside the palace, there are many valuable items still preserved in good condition. They include several sculptures of royal family, the life-size white bust of Bao Dai himself and a smaller gold and brown bust of his father Khai Dinh, picture of Angkor Wat given to King Bao Dai by King Sihanouk of Cambodia and an engraved glass map of Vietnam, to name a few.
How to get there
Bao Dai Summer’s Palace is considered one of the most famous attractions of the Dalat. Visitors can easily get there in a few minutes from Dalat central market by taxi or xe om. The opening time is from 7 to 11am and 1.30 to 4pm. The entry fee is US$1. There is an additional fee for bringing camera. Shoes must be removed at door.
There is a beautiful garden area on the side and back of the palace, as well as a decent vantage looking over a quiet woodland area behind the building. We recommend you take a look before heading out.