return icon

Ho Quyen arena relic: Vietnam's 'Roman Colosseum'

The Ho Quyen arena relic in the former royal capital of Hue is well-known for its unique architecture and stories about battles between elephants and tigers.
About 5km to the west of Hue’s center, the Ho Quyen arena - Voi Re palace relic in Thuy Bieu ward was once the arena for battles between elephants and tigers in the Nguyen Dynasty. It is known as the "Roman arena of Vietnam".
The relic in the past. Photo:

The arena was built in 1830 (the 11th year of Minh Mang's reign) for the purpose of organizing fights between elephants and tigers.
The arena was an exposed structure in the shape of a turban and was very grandiose for its time. The inner wall is 5.9 m high; the outer wall is 4.75 m high. The perimeter of the outer wall of Ho Quyen is 145 m, and the diameter of the basin is 44 m. The arena was built with a special type of brick, bar stone, and fine lime mortar.
More than 100 years ago, countless battles to the death between two powerful species of animals took place here. The last match of elephants versus tigers was held in 1904 during the reign of King Thanh Thai. It was an exciting, dramatic match that was witnessed and described by many contemporaries.
According to historical records, the matches were held not only for entertainment purposes but also for the training of elephant riders. The place was also used to organize major festivals of the feudal court to encourage the martial spirit of the people.
Under the Nguyen Dynasty, the elephant was a symbol of ultimate strength and power, symbolizing the dynasty, so it should be the winner, while the tiger represented the ferocious enemy forces, so it was the loser.
During this period, the death battle between elephants and tigers took place only once a year. The Nguyen kings were the organizers, drivers, and spectators who enthusiastically cheered for the match until the elephant killed the tiger.
The walls of the arena have been restored by craftsmen and artisans to the original decorative motifs. The door elevating and lowering system in tiger cages is made of wood and rope. The wooden bar on the ancient stone door system that was once used is still intact.
The cage held tigers participating in the match, viewed from the stands. The place had a tank for tigers to drink water.
The Ho Quyen arena is a structure with unique architecture not only in Vietnam but also in the world, although in terms of scale, it is nowhere near as grand as the famous Colosseum in Italy. However, it is unique because, since ancient times, there has never been any dynasty in history that built a structure for the duel between tigers and elephants.
The local government has decided to spend US$4 million to renovate this relic. The completed work will contribute to preserving the monument and serving tourists.

Quang Thanh


PM to attend ASEAN-EU commemorative summit, visit three European countries

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will attend a summit commemorating the 45th anniversary of the ASEAN-EU relations in Brussels on December 14 and pay official visits to Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium from December 9 to 15.

HCM City Party Secretary: robbery must not exist on streets

HCM City Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen said the city has a bad reputation for robbery and he has asked relevant bodies to deal with this.

Positive prospects for Vietnam’s stock market in 2023

The stock market saw a trading session with the strongest growth rate in Asia on December 2 as the Vietnam-Index surged by 4.22 percent.

A look at VN fashion through “Taste of Heritage”

After three years of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vietnam International Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022 returned to Hanoi in late November with eye-catching collections in the spirit of 'Taste of heritage'.

Vietnamese interested in metaverse and fintech

According to a recent report by Meta and Bain & Company, Vietnam is among the top 3 countries besides Indonesia and the Philippines to adopt new technologies such as fintech and metaverse.

The opportunity for a chip-making industry in Vietnam

Chip production will fuel Vietnam's aspiration to become a prominent manufacturing hub in the region.

R&B legend Babyface, 2022 Masked Singer Vietnam’s winner to be on stage together

The much-awaited item of the 2022 “Ho Do" International Music Festival in HCMC will be a duet performance of R&B superstar Babyface and singer Ngoc Mai who won the Masked Singer Vietnam 2022, said Director of the festival, musician Huy Tuan.

HCM City to launch overnight cruises along Saigon River

Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism authority plans to launch overnight cruises with ships accommodating hundreds of people along the Saigon River starting next year.

Value of Vietnamese national football team hits record high

The total market value of the Vietnamese national football team has skyrocketed to EUR7.6 million, equal to US$8.01 million, marking a record high, according to the renowned German football site Transfermarkt.

Ministry announces 218 firms as prestigious exporters of Vietnam

As many as 218 companies have won the “Prestigious Export Business” title for 2021, according to the list unveiled by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on December 5.

Vietnam, RoK agree to upgrade ties to comprehensive strategic partnership

Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have agreed to upgrade their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the press following his talks with RoK President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on December 5.

Tourists flock to Sa Pa to see clouds

The number of tourists to Sapa (Lao Cai Province) has rocketed in recent days to admire the amazing clouds.

Fried squid paste in Halong Bay

As one of the largest seafood regions in Vietnam, Quang Ninh has the tastiest seafood dishes that one cannot forget. Among them, fried squid paste in Halong Bay will leave a lasting impression on diners thanks to its unforgettable taste.

Experience Hanoi in its autumn glory

Thanks to its geographical location, the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi witnesses contrastingly different weather conditions during the four seasons of the year.


HCYU’s 7th National Congress to be held next week