We had a good nights sleep in the nice beds of the Cao Nguyen Guesthouse in Yen Minh.
We continued the trip after Mitsos had his breakfast. Today we drive to the Northernmost Point of Vietnam: Lung Cu. Or the North Pole as the locals call it. It was quite a warm day so no North Pole feeling on the bike. And even less climbing the up to the tower. But
Ma Le Anicent Village
If you pass Ma Le you should stop and take a look at what is left. A few of the
The Vương Family Castle
The palace is located in a valley that was carefully selected according to feng shui. The terrain here emerged as a turtle shell, which represents long life and wealth.
It was the home of Vuong Chinh Duc and his son Vuong Chi Sinh.
The whole palace is surrounded by a 2 meter high and 80 centimeters thick stone wall. The stone walls inside are between 50 and 60 centimeters thick. The palace is divided into several different areas such as a dining room, bedroom or kitchen. Storerooms for marijuana or food. There are rooms for his wives and room with the prayer altar. There is also an are for the executions of criminals
You reach the main gate
At the back of the building are two horizontal rows on the two sides, linked together by doors. To protect his mansion, Vuong Chinh Duc also built stone walls with holes and post for his men to guard day and night.
Vuong Chinh Duc became rich from trading different good, especially opium. Sa Phin is the middle of the old Golden Triangle region of Myanmar, Yunnan, and Indochina. Duc also set up his own army unit of loyal Hmong people and equipped them with weapons.
Soon enough the Opium trade made him a very rich man and he could get more man for his army. It took only a few yeaar to control the whole Dong Van area. This made it easy to deal with his “internal rivals” and his “external enemies”; the Qing Dynasty of China, the French, the Japanese.
After the French – Hmong Peace Treaty (1913), the political and financial power of Vuong Family had been culminated. Vuong Chinh Duc started to build the Castle. (1919 -1928)
The castle is a combination of traditional Chinese and Hmong architecture. The material is from Yunnan and local Vietnamese.
There are underground rooms to keep opium, weapons, and food. A semicircular swimming bath is chiseled from a giant block of stone. The King usually had his bath with goat milk.
Most construction workers were skillful Hmong craftsmen from China. The wooden parts were sophisticatedly engraved which represented his wealth and prosperity.
In the evening it started to rain a bit. It was already dark when we arrived at Yên Minh. The city is quite small so it was no problem to find our hotel in Yên Minh. The Cao Nguyen Guesthouse, Yen Minh is in the middle of the city. I recommend this hotel if you want to stay downtown Yên Minh! It was super clean and the staff was friendly.
Nhà Nghỉ Cao Nguyên
We drove 106 kilometers in 6 hours, 17
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