Thang Long Citadel Night Tour Opened for Foreign Visitors

Night tours of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and support activities are now available.
January 06, 2023 | 14:57
The citadel, a complex of historic imperial buildings located in the centre of Hanoi, was first constructed in 1011 under the reign of King Ly Thai To of the Ly dynasty (1009 – 1225). Photo: VNA
The citadel, a complex of historic imperial buildings located in the centre of Hanoi, was first constructed in 1011 under the reign of King Ly Thai To of the Ly dynasty (1009 – 1225). Photo: VNA

Foreign tourists now can enjoy a 120-minute night tour at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, which promises enticing cultural, culinary and architectural experiences, according to VNA

The Thang Long - Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre freshly launched the new journey around the capital’s renowned royal space on January 4.

It begins at 6pm every Tuesday and Thursday or according to the pre-booked tour schedule.

Travellers are set to depart from Doan Mon (Main Gate), the entrance to Cam thanh (Forbidden area) – the King’s residence. Their evening path will include a visit to an archaeological excavation area, an exhibition hall of rare antiquities with some dating back over 1,000 years, the Kinh Thien Palace, and the archaeological site at No. 18 Hoang Dieu street.

The foreign visitors will also be treated to a puppetry show, a royal meal under the canopy of the Bodhi tree, and souvenir products representing luck and prosperity, among many other features.

Earlier, when Vietnam fully reopened its tourism in April last year, the centre launched a night tour for domestic visitors available every weekend and receiving high evaluation from attendees.

Tourists at the night tour. Photo: VNA
Tourists at the night tour. Photo: VNA

The Thang Long Imperial Citadel was built in the 11th century under the Ly Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet. It was constructed on the remains of a Chinese fortress dating from the 7th century, on drained land reclaimed from the Red River Delta in Hanoi. It was the center of regional political power for almost 13 centuries.

The Imperial Citadel buildings and the remains in the 18 Hoang Dieu Archaeological Site reflect a unique Southeast Asian culture specific to the lower Red River Valley, at the crossroads between influences coming from China in the north and the ancient Kingdom of Champa in the south.

The citadel is characterized by its longevity and continuity as a seat of power, evidenced by different archaeological levels and monuments.

Visitors enjoy a dance on the glass covering the archaeological excavation area at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel as part of the tour last year. Photo: VNA
Visitors enjoy a dance on the glass covering the archaeological excavation area at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel as part of the tour last year. Photo: VNA

The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Hanoi, located in the heart of the capital of Vietnam, is the most important and best-preserved part of the ancient Imperial Citadel. It was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in August 2010.

Kinh Thien Palace is the main building in the central sector of the citadel, which is located in downtown Hanoi today. It sits in the center of the complex, facing Doan Mon (south gate) and Flag Tower.

The palace was built in 1428 and is believed to be highly important, hosting many royal ceremonies. It was also where royals were invited to discuss national issues.

It was almost destroyed at the end of the 19th century by the French colonialists, but all that remains today is a 100-cm-high bannister to the south of the plot and several large stone steps with dragon carvings.

Director of the Tourism Department Dang Huong Giang said Hanoi will strive for comprehensive tourism development, in terms of both quantity and quality of services and visitors, in 2023 so that the sector can truly recover and help the city maintain its role as a major tourism hub of Vietnam.

The capital city welcomed 208,000 visitors, including 38,000 international arrivals, during the three-day New Year holiday, from December 31, 2022 to January 2, 2023.

It hopes to attract about 22 million tourists in 2023, rising 17.6% from last year, with 3 million foreign arrivals (doubling the figure in 2022) and 19 million domestic visitors (up 10.5%). It also targets an increase of 28.2% in tourism revenue to about VND 77 trillion (nearly USD 3.3 billion).

Night-time tourism products will continue to be renewed through the organization of a wide range of activities in the pedestrian zones surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake, the ancient Son Tay Fortress, Thien Quang Lake, and Thong Nhat Park. Besides, the Tourism Department has been cooperating with travel companies and destinations, especially relic sites, to design night and experience tours that capitalise on traditional values.

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