Visiting Palace III of Bao Dai King
July 12nd 2012.
Coming to Dalat, the most attractive destination of this city is Palace 3 of Bao Dai King. Although it was just the holiday palace of Bao Dai’s family, it still shows us a unique cultural lifestyle of the Vietnamese through Royal decoration. Therefore, it is one of the most meaningful places for visiting.
Palace 3 is a two-story building of French architectural design, located in an open, airy space full of greenery all year round. All the rooms of the building are painted pale yellow, the yellow of Royal, as well as household decorations, such as pillows, mattresses, etc. Because no paintings are hung on the walls, the rooms seem to be larger and more airy. The palace also had no place for wine, for expensive glasses or furniture; there was just a simple sofa. In fact, it was the vacation place for a traditional Vietnamese family who always loved a simple lifestyle. Although Bao Dai King spent many years studying in France, his palace does not show any details of Western culture excepting architecture and inside space with many rooms. The most important space of traditional Vietnamese lifestyle was the family room which is the most attractive and meaningful place for tourists to see. All positions in the room were carefully arranged by order: places for King and Queen were in the middle with the largest chairs and highest place; next were places for Princes and Princesses. Rooms for Princes as well as Princesses all had a couch with a handy bookshelf behind it. It was very convenient for them to have a relaxing time with their books.
King Bao Dai’s family room does not display anything about politics, but shows us his high regard for educating his children: Younger children must obey elders; children must listen to parents. However, he did not make a harsh space for his family. He loved the warmth of all family members gathering with friendly sharing, a time when parents or children could calmly and gently show their opinions to all members of the family. Good education would give children good habits and behavior when they grew up; in addition, it became a philosophy of life “the beauty comes from the simplicity”.
Visiting Palace 3, we realize that the lifestyle of a Royal family is also the lifestyle of a Vietnamese family!
By Tran Van Huyen