Doan Mon Gate of Thang Long Citadel Hanoi

Doan Mon Gate is the main entrance to the Forbidden City belonging to the Central sector of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Ha Noi. Book the Hanoi early morning bike ride to visit Doan Mon gate.

Doan Mon gate map

Doan Mon is directed toward the south because it’s the most important direction for ancient structures of Vietnamese. The gate was built in the Le Dynasty (15th century) with restorations carried out during the Nguyen Dynasty (19th century). Doan Mon, together with an area behind it formerly known as Long Tri (Dragon Courtyard), played a very important role in the ceremonies of the Royal Citadel such as the ceremony for national loyalty Oath (1128); Nhan Vuong Festival, Quang Chieu Colored Lantern Festival (1136); the parade of imperial guards (1351) and ceremonies for the mandarin examinations (1457, 1466, 1481, 1496).

When Ha Noi Citadel was destroyed by French colonialists in late 19th century, Doan Mon has been one of some structures which has still existed. Doan Mon constructed of stone and brick has three floors. The first floor includes 5 doors, of which the central door reserved for the Emperor is the largest one with 4m in height and 2.7m in width. A stone tablet with the words “Doan Mon” in Chinese characters is fixed above the central door. There are two smaller doors (3.8m in height and 2.5m in width) in the each side of the central door reserved for the mandarins and members of the royal family. In addition, there are also two secondary gates in the both side of the main entrance.

The second floor is surrounded by a balustrade and reached by two flights of stairs. Its doors are opening to the east, west, south and north and decorated with hexagons, crosses, lozenges and the Chinese symbol for longevity. The third floor features a gazebo-style pavilion with two-layer roof. The first layer of roof is tiled and ornamented with dragons at the up-turned corners. The upper layer of roof, also tiled, features decorative foliage at the up-turned corners and dragon heads at each end of the ridge line. The two layers of roof are separated by short timber walls. Dragon faces adorn the gables.

After the Viet Nam military liberated the capital in 1954, Ha Noi Citadel including Doan Mon has become head office of Ministry of National Defence. In 1998, Ministry of National Defence handed Doan Mon over to Ha Noi People’s Committee with total area of 3,970m². Doan Mon has been opened for visitors since October, 2011.

Hanoi Presidential Palace

Hanoi Presidential Palace

The Hanoi Presidential Palace is a three-storey structure located on the north of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. You won’t be allowed to enter the palace but you can go around it for a look from outside.

Hanoi Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace stands as a memento of French contribution to the architectural splendor in Indochina. This mustard-yellow palace was built from 1900 to 1906 to function as the living and operational bases of the governors-general of Indo-China. Located on Hung Vuong Street and Hoang Van Thu Street, the designs of this palace were conceived by Auguste Henri Vildieu, the French architect officially appointed for Vietnam.

Hanoi in Vietnam originally grew up around Hoan Kiem Lake. With a history dated back to 3000 years, Hanoi, the capital of a united Vietnam, will impress you with its monuments, scenic beauty and reserves of history imprinted through the strife-torn colonial and political regimes. As you visit Hanoi, you must not miss out the Presidential Palace in Hanoi.

History says that Ho Chi Minh denied staying in Presidential Palace in Hanoi when he returned to independent Vietnam after defeating the French in 1954. He rather began staying in a mere cottage within the premises of the palace from 1954 to 1958. Thereafter, he built a Vietnamese house made of stilt but he continued to use the palace when important guests came to Hanoi.

The tradition continues even now as the palace offers site for official receptions to guests and for other administrative meetings.

Hanoi Presidential Palace Map