Bao Dai Palace

Bao Dai Palace

Holiday home of the last emperor

More on Da Lat

Bao Dai Summer Palace (Dinh Bao Dai) was said to be Bao Dai’s favourite among his many holiday retreats because of the good hunting on the grounds. Hunting was a favourite pastime for the Emperor, whose legacy is that of puppet king controlled by the French and a playboy who led a lavish lifestyle.

Travelfish says:
Not a bad holiday home. Photo by: Cindy Fan.
Not a bad holiday home. Photo: Cindy Fan

Doing your own reading about Bao Dai will help you appreciate what you are looking at as there is not much interpretation. Located two kilometres south west of the lake, the simple building is a prime example of Art Deco architecture, a breezy building of high ceilings, big windows and doors featuring a mix of wood and concrete. There are placards throughout the building with basic (and sometimes poorly written) information. The rooms are simply furnished with what appears to be a mix of original and replacement furniture. Black and white photos are displayed, along with archive pieces in what was the Emperor’s office.

Outside there are the usual Da Lat trappings popular with domestic tourists: dressing up in Emperor costumes, photo ops on a throne or with a horse and carriage. Visit the palace if you have an extra half hour to spare or it you have an interest in history or architecture—otherwise, skip it. To enter the building you have to wear cloth booties over ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 100 words.)

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Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you’ll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

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