Being known throughout the era for his bon-vivant personality and his wanderlust, King Khai Dinh, the Nguyen’s 12th reigning ruler in Vietnam was the very first traveler who explored the picturesque, pristine nature of Lang Co bay, more than 100 years before it was recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Back in the summer in 1916, King Khai Dinh once passed by Lang Co, and was so captured by its breathtaking sea view that he decided to build his summer palace there – the Résidence d’Été de L’Empereur d’ Annam. The summer residence of Annam Emperor was named Tinh Viem – to soothe the summer’s heat and humidity.
Even though the building no longer remains nowadays, visitors coming to Lang Co can still witness the granite stele left by King Khai Dinh, inscribed with a decree to order the Ministry of Public Instruction to build Tinh Viem – Résidence d’Été de L’Empereur d’ Annam, in nearby An Cu Dong village (Lang Co village).
“…Here, Phú Gia Mountain connects stretches of pristine sand that touches the ocean, as rivers flow roundabout. Grandeur Mountain embraces at the back, water stretches at the front. In the South is Hai Van Gate, in the North is Canh Duong, gate of the sea. Villages are calm and quiet, trees become pink by the sun rays, cranes, grass lagoon, and occasionally there are the echoes of woodmen whispering and boats rowing. When I look at mountains there are clusters of miraculous clouds flying from caves as fairies dancing on mountains, when I look down at the water there are waves, pushed by winds, running as if numerous horses gathering at sea. Looking at the four sides, I have seen many pleasant sights with fresh air, gentle breezes, and wonderful landscapes. Wallowing in beautiful sights for a while, all my exhaustion has gone; my heart feels delightful and filled with inspirational feelings. When I return to my palace, I order the Ministry of Construction to build a residence which is named Summer Residence of the Emperor of Annam, which serves as a place for me to rest in summers and for me to invite my two Grandmothers to come here to avoid the heat in summer and enjoy the beautiful scenery…”