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Free entry to Hue imperial relics for women

Released at: 19:21, 07/03/2019

Free entry to Hue imperial relics for women

Photo: Baovephapluat.vn

Women wearing "ao dai" can visit relics for free from March 7 to 9 on the occasion of International Women's Day.

by Le Diem

The Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee has asked the Hue Monuments Conservation Center to offer free entry from March 7 to 9 to local and foreign women wearing “ao dai” (the traditional Vietnamese dress) at the imperial palace and monuments.

The move is to mark International Women’s Day on March 8 and preserve and promote the “ao dai” and local culture.

Tickets to the Complex of Hue Monuments and famous tombs of emperors such as Tu Duc, Khai Dinh, and Minh Mang range from VND100,000 ($4.3) to VND150,000 ($6.5) per person.

Women living in the province were recently encouraged to wear “ao dai” to school and work as it used to be worn every day and had become a symbol of the city for its charm and beauty.

The traditional dress includes pants and a knee-length “long shirt” (as “ao dai” translates into in English) with a neckline and body-hugging shape. This top splits at the hip, adding sensuous charm. More than just a traditional dress, though, the “ao dai” is also an important part of Vietnamese culture.

Its exact origin remains controversial. It is thought to be influenced by the imperial Chinese garb of the Qing Dynasty, known as the Cheongsam. Unlike the Cheongsam, however, the “ao dai” is split from the waist down, contouring the pants. In the 18th century, the Nguyen Dynasty required that both men and women wear both pants and top, though not until 1930 did the “ao dai” take the shape seen today.

The “ao dai” remains popular and influential in modern-day Vietnamese culture. Although it is no longer worn by men, nor by women on a daily basis, it is still worn at special events, such as traditional festivities or occasions such as Tet, weddings, or graduations. In some high schools and universities, a white “ao dai” is the school uniform for female students.

Hue was Vietnam’s capital during the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The Complex of Hue Monuments was built by the Nguyen Dynasty from 1805 to 1945 and is one of many relics in the former imperial capital. The massive complex features hundreds of monuments and ruins, such as the Forbidden Purple City, once the residence of the royal family and badly damaged during the American War, the Imperial City, royal tombs, a flag tower, pagodas, temples, a library, and a museum. The complex was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, while the Hue Citadel is listed among special-class national monuments.

The imperial relics welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors last year, with 2.2 million being foreigners, according to the provincial Department of Tourism.

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