But Thap Pagoda in Bac Ninh


Legend of Kinh Duong Vuong and Hong Bang Thi (2879-258 BC)

According to the legend, the Vietnamese ancestor was Kinh Duong Vuong whose grave now is in An Lu village, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province.

De Minh, Than Nong King's grandson, patrolled the southern land,  settled in the Ngu Linh Mountain,  got married to  Vu Tien's daughter and had a son named Loc Tuc. In 2879 B.C Loc Tuc was proclaimed to be the king of the southern land and was called Kinh Duong Vuong. Loc Tuc got married to  King Than Long's daughter and had a son called Sung Lam who later ascended the throne and called Lac Long Quan. Lac Long Quan got married to Au Co, De Lai's daughter. Au Co gave birth to a bag of 100 eggs which turned into 100 sons. One day, Long Quan told Au Co: " I belong to the Dragon Lineage, you the Fairy,  like Water and Fire, so different, can't live forever like this". So they each took half of the children and separated. Fifty sons followed the mother to the mountains and the rest followed the father to the sea. They ruled different areas and became the ancestors of Bach Viet tribes. The eldest son followed the mother to Phong Son and became king called Hung Vuong whose kingdom was called Van Lang with the capital in Phong Chau (Viet Tri, Phu Tho province now).

 The Thuc Family and Au Lac Kingdom ( 257-207 B.C)

An Duong Vuong Thuc Phan was the king of the Thuc kingdom whose territory was part of the northern Vietnam now. The people of the Thuc kingdom was called Au Viet. In 257 B.C, Thuc Phan invaded Van Lang and became king An Duong Vuong of the unified kingdom called Au Viet with the capital city in Phong Chau, Phu Tho Province now.

After defeating 50 000 troops of the Qin Dynasty from China when they attacked Au Lac in 218, An Duong Vuong moved the capital to the area 20 km North of Hanoi now and began the construction of Co Loa, the Great Spiral Citadel.

The Trieu family and the Nam Viet kingdom (207-111 B.C)

 In 207 B.C, King Trieu Da, who ruled the Nam Viet Kingdom, South of China now, invaded Au Lac.

Giao Chi and the  Western Han Dynasty ( 111B.C - 9 AD), the Eastern Han Dynasty( 9 AD-39) - The First time under the Chinese rule

In 111 B.C, Nam Viet Kingdom was invaded by the Han,  was renamed Giao Chi and considered a province of China.

The Vietnamese Revolts against the Chinese Rule

Trung Sisters' Rebellion (40 - 43)

In 40, the Chinese executed a high-ranking feudal lord. The widow and her sister raised an army and led a revolt that compelled the Chinese governor to flee. They then proclaimed to be Queens of the independent Vietnamese entity. In 43 AD, the Chinese counterattacked and defeated the Vietnamese. The Trung Sisters committed suicide throwing themselves into Hat river rather than surrender. Vietnam was lost again to the Eastern Han (25-220) - The Second Time Under The Chinese Rule

The Han continued to rule China after that until the Three Kingdoms Period in China (220-265). In this period, Vietnam was the Dong Ngo's Land.

 Trieu Thi Trinh's Revolt ( 248)

In 248, a 19 year-old girl called Trieu Thi Trinh led a revolt against the Chinese rule which compelled the Chinese Governor to flee, but then the Chinese counterattacked and defeated the Vietnamese. Trieu Thi Trinh was killed in a battle when she was only 21 years old. Vietnam was lost to the Dong Ngo Kingdom  of China again.

The Independent Country of Van Xuan with the early Ly Dynasty ( 544-602)

In 265, the Jin defeated others and unified China.  Vietnam (called Giao Chau then) became the Jin's land.

In 544, Ly Bi, chief of a village led a successful revolt against the Chinese and founded the independent Kingdom of Van Xuan.

In 545, the Chinese started the reinvasion of Vietnam. Because of internal conflicts between different  feudal groups, the Vietnamese gradually retreated and lost the war in 602. Vietnam lost independence again.

Vietnam under the rules of The Sui, The Tang Dynasties (The Third Time Under The Chinese Rule) and the Vietnamese's Resistances (603 - 939)

Mai Hac De (722)

In 722, Mai Thuc Loan - from a very poor family was in a group of porters  bringing lychees as tributes from the Vietnamese King to the Chinese Emperor. On the way, an old porter was beaten by a Chinese soldier for eating a lychee. Mai Thuc Loan killed the soldier raising violence  which turned into a resistance against the Chinese. After taking over Tong Binh (Hanoi now) - the capital city, he ascended the throne becoming King Mai Hac De. But the Tang was strong then. The Chinese counterattacked and invaded Vietnam again.

Phung Hung - Bo Cai Dai Vuong (791-802)

Phung Hung was from a prosperous family and a strong man. He raised an army and led a revolt against the Chinese. In 791, Phung Hung and his army took over Tong Binh ( Hanoi now) gaining independence for Vietnam. Phung Hung ascended the throne and ruled the country for 7 years before he died. His son - Phung An succeeded his father for 2 years then the Chinese invaded Vietnam again.

 Independence Period

 Khuc Thua Du (906-907)

The Tang came back to Vietnam imposing a worse regime than before. Also in China, the Tang gradually losing the control of the country. After that was the Five Dynasties Period in China. Taking advantage of the situation, Khuc Thua Du - from a rich and generous family led a successful revolt against the Chinese proclaiming himself the Governor and was reluctantly recognized by the Tang King. Khuc Thua Du  established his government with Vietnamese officials only and dismissed all Chinese ones. When Khuc Thua Du died (907), his son Khuc Hao succeeded him(907-917) and later Khuc Thua My (917-923).

 In 923, Vietnam again was invaded by the Southern Han and Khuc Thua My was captured.

 Duong Dinh Nghe and Kieu Cong Tien (931-938)

In 931, Duong Dinh Nghe - one of Khuc Hao's former general defeated the Chinese taking over Dai La Citadel (Hanoi now) proclaiming himself the Governor. Six years later, Duong Dinh Nghe was assassinated by one of his courtiers - Kieu Cong Tien.

 Ngo Dynasty (939-965)

Ngo Quyen - Duong Dinh Nghe's son in-law on hearing the news that his father-in-law had been assassinated brought his troops to Dai La citadel and killed the assassin. In the same year, the Chinese brought their troops to Vietnam trying to invade the country again. In December 938 the Chinese was defeated and the Chinese Prince - the General commander-in-chief then was killed. Ngo Quyen proclaimed himself the king of Vietnam choosing Co Loa - 20 km north of Hanoi now as the capital. In 944, Ngo Quyen died, feudal groups in the royal family struggled for power creating unstable conditions in the country. In 965 Vietnam was in a turmoil when the king was killed in a battle. There were 12 main feudal lords fighting against one another.

The Dinh Family and The Re-Unification of Vietnam ( 968-980)

In 968, Dinh Bo Linh defeated other lords, re-unified the country and proclaimed himself the emperor. Hoa Lu was set up as the capital of  Dai Co Viet Kingdom.  In 979, Dinh Bo Linh was killed by one of his courtiers. The country was quickly turned into a turmoil. The royal court and the Queen mother decided to hand over the power to Le Hoan, an influential general of the former king.

The Early Le (980-1009)

Le Hoan was the army-in-chief of the former king. When the country was on the brink of a turmoil and of being invaded by the Song from China, the Queen Mother and the royal mandarins decided that there must be a good king to control the country and Le Hoan was chosen. Le Hoan ascended the throne and became king Le Dai Hanh.

In 980, the Song troops from China attacked Vietnam. Le Dai Hanh commanded his troops defeating the Chinese maitaining the kingdom's independence.

Le Dai Hanh was succeeded by his sons: Le Trung Tong and Le Long Dinh. Le Long Dinh was a lustful and cruel king, when he died,  his son was small. The royal court decided to select the talented general Ly Cong Uan to be the king beginning the glorious Ly Dynasty.

The Ly Dynasty (1010-1225)

Under the Ly Dynasty, Dai Co Viet (then Dai Viet) - Vietnam then became stable and prosperous kingdom, Thang Long - Hanoi was chosen to be the capital city. Many times, the Chinese attacked Dai Viet but they all failed. And for the first time in the Vietnamese history,  long-lasting peace was known to the Viet people. In 1224, the king gave up the power to be a Buddhist. He didn't have any son, so the princess succeeded the throne and became the Queen of Dai Viet Kingdom. In 1225, the Queen got married to Tran Canh and handed over the throne to her husband beginning of the Tran Dynasty.

The Tran Dynasty (1225-1400)

Under the Tran Dynasty, Dai Viet became a very strong nation with the ever-glorious victory over the Mongol Yuan invaders. The Mongols after pacifying China establishing the Yuan Dynasty came to Dai Viet. They attacked Dai Viet 3 times: 1258, 1285, 1288 . But under the command of the Tran Kings, the Mongol Yuan was defeated and gave up the desire to invade the country.

Like many previous dynasties, after its heyday the Tran started to decline and was succeeded by another family.

The Ho (1400-1407) and the Kingdom of Dai Ngu

On the decline of the Tran Dynasty, the Ho family got more and more influential and usurped the power. In 1400, Ho Quy Ly dismissed the Tran King and proclaimed himself the King of Dai Ngu Kingdom. After ascending the throne, Ho Quy Ly had many positive policies to reform the economy: reforming land, reforming the administrative system all over the country, limiting the land and servants owned by aristocratic families, reforming the taxes, issuing paper money, developing the Viet script - Nom, opening public hospitals using traditional medicine and acupunctures... But the Ho family was not successful in gaining support from the people for having usurped the throne through violence and mass killings. That was why the country was quickly invaded by the Ming in 1407. From 1407 to 1414, there were consecutive revolts led by descendants of the Tran family trying to gain back the power.

The Later Le Dynasty (1428-1527)

From 1418-1428, Le Loi from a prosperous peasant family led a successful revolt against the Ming gaining independence back. In 1428, Le Loi ascended the throne beginning the Later Le Dynasty.

The Later Le ruled the country until 1527 when overthrown by Mac Dang Dung.

The Mac Dynasty (1527-1592)

Mac Dang Dung was a powerful general the Le Dynasty was declining.

In 1527, Mac Dang Dung usurped the  throne,  killed the king beginning the Mac Dynasty.                                         

The Post Le Dynasty( 1592-1788)

Southern - Northern Dynasties ( 1533-1592)

When Mac Dang Dung seized the power, many of the Le descendants had to flee the country to escape the killings by Mac Dang Dung. One of the Le descendants-Le Duy Ninh fled to Laos and with the help from the talented general Nguyen Kim proclaimed to be king Le Trang Tong beginning the Post Le Dynasty. In 1540 from Laos, the Post Le troops attacked the Mac territory from the south. From 1545 in Vietnam there were 2 big forces: the South held by the Post Le  and the North held by the Mac known as the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period with consecutive and destructive wars  for nearly 50 years (1545-1592). This period ended only when the Mac was defeated by the Post Le troops commanded by general Trinh Tung. The Mac would continue to rule a small part in the northern mountainous region until totally destroyed in 1688 by the Le-Trinh troops.

Le Kings and Trinh Lords

In 1593, Le king ascended the throne completing the recovery of the Le dynasty. At the same time, Trinh Tung also proclaimed to be the Lord. Lord Trinh Tung allowed himself to handle all domestic affairs and set the limits for the king's power.

Trinh - Nguyen Conflict (1592-1789)

After Nguyen Kim was poisoned and dead. All military power fell into Trinh Kiem - Nguyen Kim's son-in-law. Trinh Kiem tried  to exclude Nguyen Kim's sons. After Nguyen Kim's eldest son was killed, the second son - NguyenHoang asked his sister - Trinh Kiem's wife to tell her husband for him to go and control the region of Hue and Danang now. He got the permission, went to the South and settled down there raising his own army plotting a revenge. And from 1600, there were bloody wars between the North and the South known as the Trinh - Nguyen conflict that ended when Quang Trung - Nguyen Hue defeated the Trinh and the Nguyen Dynasties and unified the country.

The Tay Son Dynasty (1778-1802)

Tay Son revolt started in 1771 led by three brothers: Nguyen Nhac, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Lu. Tay Son gradually defeated the Nguyen Lord in 1778, and the Trinh Lord in 1786 to help the Le Dynasty. After that Nguyen Hue took his troops back to the Central Region leaving the Le Dynasty to control the North.

In 1788, the Le Dynasty was defeated by the Trinh Lord and had to flee to China to call for help. Nguyen Hue marched to the North, defeated the Trinh Lord and reorganized the governmental system there, then he returned to the Central Region.

In 1789, the Le came back along with the Chinese attacking the North. Nguyen Hue had to go to the North for the third time. He  defeated 200 000 Chinese troops and the Le within 10 days ascending the throne becoming Quang Trung Emperor.

In 1792, Quang Trung died and the Tay Son got internal conflicts getting weaker and weaker, ended up being defeated by the Nguyen Lord in 1802.

The Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the French (1858-1945) and the Japanese

In 1802, the Nguyen Lord defeated the Tay Son and became King Gia Long with the capital in Hue.

In 1858, the French managed to take over SaiGon and from there they gradually turned  Vietnam into a colony.

In 1940, the Japanese came. The French compromised. Through the French, the Japanese indirectly ruled Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese Communist and the Viet Minh

Ho Chi Minh was born in 1890. In 1911, he left Vietnam looking for ways to liberate the Fatherland.

In 1930, after many years traveling in many countries and studying, Ho Chi Minh founded the Vietnamese Communist Party in Huong Cang, Hong Kong.

In 1941, "Vietnam Doc Lap Dong Minh Hoi" (Vietnam Association for Independence) or Viet Minh was founded.

In 1945, when the Japanese was losing in the World War Two. The Viet Minh led a successful revolt called the August Revolution overthrowing the Japanese.

Resistance against the French( 1946-1954)

In 1946, the French open fire killing a lot of civilians in Hai Phong and Ha Noi for the come-back. War broke out. The Viet Minh revolutionary Government fled to the mountains where they would remain for 8 years.

In 1954, after besieged for 2 month, over 16000 starving French troops surrendered to the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu. After that, the Geneva Conference was opened to negotiate the end of the French in Vietnam which led to the Geneva Accords. According to the Geneva Accords, Vietnam would be temporarily divided into 2 zones at the Ben Hai River ( near the 17th parallel) by no means of a political border between countries and the country would have a general election within 2 years.

The Second Indochina War ( 1954-1975)

After the Geneva Accords, situations escalated out of control. The North of Vietnam became "the Democratic Republic of Vietnam" led by present Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party. The South of Vietnam became " the Republic of Vietnam" led by a fiercely anti-Communist Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem who declared himself to be the president after refusing to hold an election.

In 1973, the Paris Agreements ended the US direct involvement in Vietnam. "The Republic of Vietnam" would struggle to remain for 2 more years before its fall on 30th April, 1975.

Since Reunification

In 1976 after a general election, Vietnam was re-unified.

In 1980, with the new Constitution, Vietnam became "The Socialist Republic of Vietnam".

In 1986, Vietnam started opening the Door to the  West.

In 1992, a new Constitution was passed laying legal frameworks for the open market economy.

Cham Pa Kingdom ( 192 AD-15th Century)

History records the existence of the Cham when the people of Tuong Lam district rose up overthrowing the Chinese domination in AD 192 and established an independent kingdom of which the territory extended from Quang Binh province to Quang Nam province now. By the 8th century Champa had expanded  southward to include what is now Binh Thuan Province. The kingdom experienced times of great prosperity in 2nd-3rd centuries and 6th-8th centuries. In other times, the kingdom had destructive wars with neighboring countries and was integrated totally into Vietnamese territory in 15th century.

The Cham was heavily Indianized through commercial relations with India and through immigration of Indian literati and priests. The Cham legacies left are Hindu-like temples which can be found scattered around the Central Region of Vietnam. The Cham now have become one of 54 groups of people in Vietnam with the population of around 123, 000 people (In 1999).

Disclaimer The information relating to the history of Vietnam hereabove is meant to make our travellers understand more the Vietnamese people, the Vietnamese culture and the places that they are going to visit in Vietnam. This information is not at all meant for any other purpose. The information was collected or/and translated by Private Vietnam Tours team from books and textbooks printed in Vietnam. Some books are taught in schools in Vietnam. Private Vietnam Tours did not invent the hereabove information. For all these reasons, Private Vietnam Tours can not be held responsible for any of the history information hereabove.