An Hien Garden House Hue
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Although An Hien Garden House has undergone several ups and downs of history and the rigors of time, it, now, is still a tranquil place and a contributor to amazing tourist attractions in Hue Imperial City.
Address: 58 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, Huong Long Ward, Hue City
Opening Time: from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m., or between 3:00 and 4:15 p.m. every day
Price: VND 35,000 (roughly USD 1.30)

Not only is Hue famous for Royal mausoleums, but it is renowned for garden houses as well. There are loads of garden houses in Hue, many of which were constructed hundreds of years ago. An Hien garden house is one of the best-known in Hue city. This garden sits at 68 Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Street, in the north bank of Huong River (known as Perfume River). It is also a popular touring destination because its location is near Hue Citadel, Perfume River, and Thien Mu Pagoda.


The construction of An Hien garden house began in the late 19th century. The area of the garden is 4,608 square meters.

Originally, this garden house was for the 18th daughter of Duc Duc emperor, the fifth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Apart from serving as the princess’ residence, the garden was also for worshipping and receiving high ranking officials or scholars who visited the Hue Imperial City.

After 1895, it was transferred to Pham Dong Thap, who was a son of a high ranking mandarin in the reign of the first Emperor Gia Long and also a nephew of Empress Mother Tu Du.

A few years later, the house was transferred to Tung Le, and then in 1938, it was purchased by a provincial chief named Nguyen Dinh Chi. After his death, his wife, Dao Thi Yen, used the garden house as her residence. The family has been the caretaker of the house since then.


3.1. The entrance

An Hien ancient house entrance

The entrance leading straight into the garden features a small arched gate made out of mortars and bricks. Along the entrance stands two lines of apricot intertwined together and providing green shade for a hot summer.

Turn left and pass the screen inscribed with “Tho” (known as longevity), you’ll reach a rectangular shaped lake filled with water lilies and their green rounded leaves.

An Hien garden house gate faces to Perfume River so it gets the good Fengshui. In Vietnam, we think if your houses get perfect Fengshui, you will get richness and family members are always in good health.

3.2. The entrance screen

The entrance screen at An Hien house

Long times ago in Vietnam, we cared very much about Fengshui and Privacy. Our houses before were just connecting rooms houses. No high buildings like nowadays.

So it was very easy for people from outside can see everything inside the house. We needed privacy so that in the middle of the main house and the gate there is a screen. It is also a part of Fengshui as well. 

3.3. The small pond

The pond at An Hien house

Right after the screen is the small pond with beautiful water lilies. It is not only for decoration, Fengshui, but also to be a natural air-conditioner. It makes weather cooler in the summer and warmer in the wintertime.

Following Fengshui in Oriental philosophy, Feng means the winds and Shui means water. It is an art to make zin and Jang balance.

3.4. The main house

An Hien ancient house

Then, you’ll see the main architecture of An Hien garden house. The house includes three compartments and two wings located almost in the heart of the garden carved in a delicate way.

The entire frame structure made out of wood. Specifically, there are 48 pillars and the truss system made of jackfruit wood, and rafters made of Anisoptera scaphuls and ironwood. Tiles on the roof are laminated with dragons flanking on top of edge sides, and the middle of the rooftop has decorated a lotus.

Besides, ancient furnishings in the house are always neat and well organized.

3.5. The garden

The beautiful garden

An Hien ancient garden house is such a truly ecological space converging the flavors of all four seasons. It is home to plenty of kinds of fruits like lychee from the North of Vietnam, mangosteen, durian, jackfruit, and dragon fruits from the South.

Strawberry and fig in Central Vietnam. Several trees in the garden are dozens of years old.

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