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The Envoy Ship Journeys to China

The Envoy Ship Journeys to China

VietNam - The Nguyen Huy family. Truong Loc Commune, Can Loc district, Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam


The Envoyship Journeys to China (皇華使程圖 – literally translated as Maps of the Itinerary of the Envoy’s Journey to China, or Hoàng hoa sứ trình đồ in Vietnamese) is a book that contains various pictures and abundant and valuable information on the itinerary of missions of Vietnamese ambassadors and envoys in the 18th century, which was compiled, edited and annotated by Nguyễn Huy Oánh (1713-1789) from 1765 to 1768, making use of the documents handed down by many previous generations of envoys, and to which he also added details from his own mission that took place in 1766 and 1767.

The nomination is the only restored handwritten and painted duplicate after the original book by Mr. Nguyen Huy Trien (1852-1909) written and painted in February 1887 in the village Truong Luu in Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province. The original was lost.

The pictures in The Envoyship Journeys to China were drawn in 3 colours, on the dó, or poonah, paper. The script used was Chinese characters. The main contents were maps of the itinerary of the diplomatic mission from the Vietnam-China border, via various prefectures, districts, courier stations to the destination, which is Xincheng district, Beijing. The book notes clearly the journey with regard to time and location of stopovers in accordance with the departure and return both overland and by waterways, the activities of the mission, the distances between courier stations, the length of entire journey, including both the roads and the waterways, and detailed writings on the topography with the mountains, rivers, landscapes, locals and diplomatic ceremonies conducted when the mission went to various Chinese and Vietnamese localities.

The book is a unique work of art, that contains abundant information reflecting the diplomatic activities between Vietnam and China from the 10th to the 19th centuries.

The book is preserved in wooden bookselves at the house of Mr. Nguyen Huy My, representative of the Nguyen Huy family, in Truong Luu village, Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province under natural environmental conditions without air conditioners.




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