Tiger Arena Hue- Culture Pham Travel

1. Tiger Arena Hue Introduction

Hue Tiger Arena was built in the early 19th century under the Nguyen dynasty by the Minh Mang emperor as known as the unique arena in the World. As you know, Tiger Arena Hue lies on Huong Tho hill, Thuy Bieu ward, Hue city. This is the place where the Nguyen Dynasty military trained the elephants how to fight by fighting with tigers.

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Tiger Arena Hue- Culture Pham Trave

As you know, the Hue tiger arena is one of 2 arenas in the World that still exist. Compared with the Colosseum arena in Italy, the Hue tiger arena is much smaller but it has unique architecture not only in Vietnam but also in the World. It is an open-air arena shaped like a donut, The internal ring is 5.80m high; the external ring is 4.75m. The outer wall is inclined to create a stand; the perimeter of the outer wall is 140m, and the diameter of the basin is 44m. The emperor’s bleachers sat facing South-east of the arena, higher than the surrounding positions.

Tiger Arena Hue- Culture Pham Travel

To the left of the stands is the ascending hierarchy of 24 steps for emperors and deities. On the right side of the stage is another similar hierarchy for officials, soldiers, and high-level people. The inside surface is higher than the outside surface, with an average thickness of 4.50m. Opposite the auditorium is five tiger cages, and the arena was circular grass.

The main door is made of huge wooden boards with a base made of bluestone. There are two-step ways leading to the stands with stone steps, one for the emperor and one for officials as well as soldiers.

2. What happened in Hue Tiger arena


Nguyen Dynasty was the only dynasty in Vietnamese history using elephants to be like tanks to fight the enemy so the arena was the place where they trained the elephant to be sharp weapons.

Before the fighting ceremony, the locals set up the altar to worship the way the emperor came to the arena. At noon, the emperor took the dragon boat going along the Perfume River. After that, he got on a palanquin to get there by the guarding of royal soldiers, the royal court-music team, and officials.

Tiger Arena Hue- Culture Pham Travel

Under the Nguyen Dynasty, the usual battle between elephants and tigers was held once a year. Before each “fight to the death” battle, the tiger was cut off with fangs; claws, so elephants always kill and rub the tiger. The last fight was in 1904 under the reign of Thanh Thai emperor and it was just for entertainment purposes.

3. How to get to the arena?

To visit this special arena, you can take a dragon boat along the Perfume River, take a taxi, ride a bike, or motorbike with helmets or you also can book Hue City Tour 1 Day or Hue City Tour by private car via Culture Pham Travel. The entrance fee for this site is VND 50,000 and the open time is from 7 am to 5 pm every day.

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