Hue, Vietnam-City of Emperors, Historic Bridges, And Tiger/Elephant Fights

One of the most interesting sites I’ve ever come across in Southeast Asia let alone Vietnam is Ho Quyen, or the Tiger/Elephant fight arena in the former Imperial capital of Hue.

It’s not on the same grand scale as Rome’s Coliseum but it’s an unusual and rare peak into a time in Southeast Asia when fights staged between tigers and elephants took place.

Only 3 kilometers outside of Hue it was built in 1830 by the emperor at the time, Minh Manh, 

Research of this site revealed it was crumbling and falling apart but I was surprised that it was in better  shape than I thought considering there has been little to no upkeep of the arena since the last fight took place here in 1904.

There’s still enough structure including stairs to reach the top of the arena that you can imagine what it must have been like for the royal emperor and his entourage to be present during these brutal fights.

Tigers were the symbol of rebellion, beasts that killed helpless villagers.  Elephants were noble and represented monarchy, so it’s no wonder through the drugging, declawing and defanging of the tigers before the start of a fight who won everytime.


About the Author John Saboe

I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.

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