Facelift for Hue garden houses
Update: Sep 08, 2015
The People’s Committee of central Thua Thien-Hue province and relevant units gathered at a meeting in the locality on September 7 to discuss the implementation of a project to preserve and promote the unique values of Hue garden houses. 

Under the project, the province will set aside between 5-8 billion VND (220,000 - 352,000 USD) to restore 3-5 typical garden houses between 2015 and 2020, according to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Ngoc Tho. 

Local authorities will cover the full interest rate of preferential loans offered to owners who want to upgrade their property within five years, he said. 

They will also support garden home owners to buy seedlings with 15 million VND (660 USD) each, design garden houses and create ecological landscapes for tourism services (5 million VND or 220 USD each), he added. 

Participants will also receive local assistance in non-agricultural land usage with the maximum area of 5,000 square metres for five years. 

The locality will offer 15 million VND (675 USD) to each garden house to train tourist guides and facilitate business operations. 

According to the provincial culture and information office, 52 out of the 152 typical Hue garden houses listed in the protection project have undergone significant changes while 14 others have been rebuilt and four have asked to be removed from the list. 

Thua Thien-Hue is now home to 690 traditional houses called “nha ruong”, half of which are located in the imperial city of Hue. Each house includes a garden at least 400 square metres wide. 

Blossoming under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the last royal monarchy in Viet Nam’s history, “nha vuon” (garden houses) such as An Hien, Lac Tinh Vien, Tinh Gia Vien, Ty Ba Trang and Ngoc Son Cong Chua are prominent features of Hue. 

A typical garden house in Hue has two main parts: “nha ruong” (house built with many beams [ruong] and pillars [cot]) and the surrounding garden, designed according to geomancy and their owners' spiritual life and skills.