Viet Nam

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HUE - THE OLD CAPITAL

Huế originally rose to prominence as the capital of the Nguyen lords, a feudal dynasty that dominated much of southern Vietnam from the 17th to the 19th century. In 1775 when Trinh lord - Trinh Sam captured it, it was known as Phu Xuan. The city's current name is likely a non - Sino - Vietnamese reading of the Chinese 化 (Sino-Vietnamese: hoá), as in the historical name Thuận Hoá (順化).

In 1802, Nguyễn Phúc Ánh (later Emperor Gia Long) succeeded in establishing his control over the whole of Vietnam, thereby making Huế the national capital.

Minh Mạng (r. 1820-40) was the second emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty, reigning from 14 February 1820 (his 29th birthday) until his death, on 20 January 1841. He was a younger son of Emperor Gia Long, whose eldest son, Crown Prince Cảnh, had died in 1801. Minh was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam, and for his rigid Confucian orthodoxy.

During the French colonial period, Huế was in the protectorate of Annam. It remained the seat of the Imperial Palace until 1945, when Emperor Bảo Đại abdicated and a communist DRV government was established with its capital at Hà Nội (Hanoi), in the north.

While Bảo Đại was proclaimed "Head of the State of Vietnam" with the help of the returning French colonialists in 1949 (although not with recognition from the communists or the full acceptance of the Vietnamese people), his new capital was Sài Gòn (Saigon), in the south.

During the Republic of Vietnam, Huế, being very near the border between the North and South, was vulnerable in the Vietnam War. In the Tết Offensive of 1968, during the Battle of Huế, the city suffered considerable damage not only to its physical features, but its reputation as well, due to a combination of the American military bombing of historic buildings held by the North Vietnamese, and the massacre at Huế committed by the communist forces.

After the war's conclusion, many of the historic features of Huế were neglected because they were seen by the victorious communist regime and some other Vietnamese as "relics from the feudal regime"; the Vietnamese Communist Party doctrine officially described the Nguyễn Dynasty as "feudal" and "reactionary." There has since been a change of policy, however, and many historical areas of the city are currently being restored.

Geography

The city is located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, just a few miles inland from the East Sea. It is about 700 km (430 mi) south of Hanoi and about 1,100 km (680 mi) north of Hồ Chí Minh City.

Climate

Huế features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification. Failling short of a tropical rainforest climate. The dry season is from March to August, with high temperatures of 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F). The rainy season is from August to January, with a flood season from October, onwards. The average rainy season temperature is 20 °C (68 °F), sometimes as low as 9 °C (48 °F). Spring lasts from January to late February.

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TIẾNG VIỆT

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