Sunday

Royal Retreat – The Bao Dai Villa

Somewhere in the southern reaches of Nha Trang, on a beautiful hilltop promontory with a marvellous view of the bay, is the Bao Dai Villa. This summer residence was built for the Emperor Bao Dai (the last emperor of Vietnam). Here, he took in the view and the sea air, but still kept in touch with his officials. He was, in reality, a puppet for the colonial French administration and, for a time, of the Japanese occupiers during the Second World War. He was ousted during the political turmoils of the mid-1950s, and he went to France, where he lived out his remaining years in rather great comfort, splitting his time between Paris and Monaco, where he kept a large private yacht in Monte Carlo. He died in Paris in August, 1997. 

The royal villa has been through a number of iterations since it was built, having fulfilled a scientific function under the French at one stage, but is now a museum, laid out again as it would have been when the emperor was in residence. There are hotel villas around the complex, with beaches metes away and a berth for cruise ships, while a couple of hundred metes off shore the cable car that traverses the bay and drops in to Vinpearl resort can be seen gliding its way above the water. 

- Posted from my iPad

Location:Nha Trang

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