Vuong Chinh Duc (1865 – 1947) was born in a Hmong family in Pa Tro village, Sa Phin commune. His career left a deep imprint on the Dong Van’s history. As a very clever and talented man at the age of 30, he was proclaimed leader by Hmong people in Sa Phin – Pho Bang area. Based on opium culture and trade in Dong Van area, he financial potential and military force were increasingly, let him deal with his “internal rivals” and his “external enemies”; the Qing Dynasty of China, the French, the Japanese. He became rich and powerful Hmong leader, who controlled the whole Dong Van area. After the French – Hmong Peace Treaty (1913), the political and financial power of Vuong Family had been culminated. Vuong Chinh Duc started to build the Castle. (1919 -1928)
Vuong Family castle is the delicate combination between Chinese and Hmong traditional architecture using materials from Yunnan(China) and local ones, such as limestone, iron-wood and double tiles. Covering a total area of 1,120 square meters, the palace was used as a residence and fortress during the Vuong Dynasty. The two storey, 50 meter long palace that took 9 years to build has four long houses and six wide houses with 64 rooms for the king’s wives, children and soldiers.
All the walls are 50-60 centimeters thick. Surrounding it is stone barrier which is 2 meters high and 80 centimeters thick. The palace is divided into many areas such as dining room, bed room, kitchen, marijuana store, rooms of his wives, a prayer altar and an area for criminal executions.
No one lives at the palace anymore but it has been well maintained by the provincial government. It contains wardrobes, fireplace, beds, flour-mill, crossbow and pan-pipe.
Still largely un-restored the palace is a great place to learn about the province’s interesting history.