Wildly overgrown but evocative, Ho Quyen was built in 1830 for the royal pastime of watching elephants and tigers face off in combat. The tigers (and leopards) were usually relieved of their claws and teeth so that the elephants – a symbol of the emperor’s power – triumphed every time. Climb up grassy ramparts and imagine the scene in the old arena – the last fight was held in 1904.
The south-facing section was reserved for the royal family, while diametrically opposite are the tiger cages.
Ho Quyen is about 3km outside Hue in Truong Da village. Follow Ð Bui Thi Xuan west from the train station, then look out for the blue sign near the market that indicates the turn-off on the left. Follow this lane for about 200m to a fork in the road and go right.