The Royal Reading room (Thai Binh Lau) was the only building to survive the ravages of the 20th century. Both the French reoccupation and American bombs failed to bring it down.
Thai Binh Lau was first built by the Emperor Thieu Tri between 1841 and 1847. The Emperor Khai Dinh later restored the temple in 1921, and civil authorities continued restoration efforts in the early 1990s. In the old days, the Emperors used to retire to Thai Binh Lau to read books and write letters.
Photography © Quintin Lake, 2010