What Are The Most Worth-Visiting Imperial Tombs In Hue City?

People think of Hue as a place of romance, picturesque scenery, ancient castles and a series of royal tombs in which the bodies of kings under the Nguyen dynasty were buried after their death. Royal tombs in Hue Vietnam with unique architecture do not appear gloomy but are so spectacular that you can hardly find anyone else with the same beauty in Vietnam and even in the world.

Table Contents
tombs in hue
Source: Arts and culture

The poetic city of Hue features not only a graceful landscape but also unique architectures that Kings under the Nguyen dynasty have left, outstanding amongst which are royal tombs in Hue or tombs of Nguyen kings. When still staying alive, Kings of the Nguyen dynasty held an opinion that life is temporary while death is permanent. Therefore, they started to construct their tombs and decorated them meticulously to get prepared for a stable life in another world. 

I - Royal tombs in Hue’s common characteristics

hue tombs

Source: thesaigontimes

Almost all tombs of Kings under the Nguyen Dynasty are located in the rolling mountainous area in the south and Southwest of Hue, stretching above 16km with the Perfume river winding around. Each tomb in Hue was built on the top of a hill but the complex of other hills surrounding it plays an important role in its geomancy. For example, the hill facing the tomb appears to be a divider, the hills flanking at both sides are like handrests and the river slithering from the left to the right balancing between mountain and water.   

Moreover, the imperial tombs in Hue Vietnam all consist of 2 parts: burial_the area where the body of the king would be laid after he died and castle_the area for him to come and relax when he is still alive. The arrangement of these two elements can be seen in 3 general types: parallel, alignment and alternating. Unlike most mausoleums allocated in large and easy to access ground, these Hue constructions are hidden in the dense and mysterious pine forests that local people and visitors can only approach by sitting on a boat downstream the Perfume river. However, that is what makes them interesting and outstanding, embedding in the hearts anyone who once dropped by. 

II - Top 7 most stunning royal tombs in Hue Vietnam

1 - Minh Mang Tomb - an iconic royal tomb in Hue

tomb in hue

Minh Mang tomb - Source: Expedia

This is the resting place of the second King under the Nguyen Dynasty, King Ming Mang. The construction is sophisticated with nearly 40 big and small facilities allocated on a mountain featuring a cool river and lake. The tomb looks majestic and powerful but still harmonious with nature.

The whole property covers 18 hectares with facilities arranged symmetrically. In general, the tomb is like a man lying with his head on Kim Phung mountain, legs stretching to the conjunction of the river. 

This is one of the most solemn royal tombs in Hue with a nice location that takes a long time to find out. To shape this architecture, his mandarins spent 14 years finding the suitable position and they finally chose Cam Khe mountain because this place concentrated all necessary elements including water, rocks and plants. Afterward, King Minh Mang changed its name to Hieu mountain and named his property Hieu tomb. 

The commencement started in April 1840. Unfortunately, the king passed away before his grave was completed. His successor, King Thieu Tri, enthroned and resumed the construction. In 1843, Minh Mang tomb in Hue was officially completed.  

- Address: Cam Khe mountain, Huong Tho commune, Huong Tra district-level town, Thua Thien - Hue province 

- Ticket price: 

+ Adult: 100,000 VND ($4.3)/ticket 

+ Elder: 50,000 VND ($2.2)/ticket

+ Child: 20,000 VND ($0.9)/ticket 

- Opening hour: 7am - 5:30 pm 

2 - Gia Long Tomb - top majestic tombs in Hue

hue royal tombs

Gia Long tomb - Source: thuathienhue

The Tomb of Gia Long, the founding king of the Nguyen dynasty in Vietnam is always on the list of the most visited destinations in Hue. Although it is located far from other Hue tombs, visitors who would like the minimalism in architecture, the pristine nature and the romance of landscape will be mesmerized by this place. What makes the construction most attractive is the double burial of the king and his queen. It is a testament for their happiness, faithfulness and also the symbol for a sincere love that you can hardly find in others. 

- Address: Dinh Mon hamlet, Huong Tho commune, Huong Tra district-level town, Thua Thien - Hue province 

- Ticket price: 50,000 VND ($2.2)/ticket 

3 - Tu Duc Tomb - top most poetic tombs in Hue

best tombs in hue

Tu Duc tomb - Source: dulichkhampha24

Tu Duc Tomb (also Khiem Tomb) is the burial of the fourth king under the Nguyen Dynasty, King Tu Duc, also the longest reign of the dynasty. This architectural complex is located in a ground of 12 hectares, including 50 big and small facilities, most of which have the word “Khiem” in their name. The two main parts of this Hue tomb, the castle and burial are allocated parallelly. When he was still alive, King Tu Duc had an in-depth understanding about Indochina philosophies, especially Confucianism which is clearly reflected in the style of his property. It is the courtesy, contemplacement but still exudes the royalty that no one can realize once taking a look at it.       

- Address: Thuong Ba village, Thuy Xuan ward, Hue city, Thua Thien - Hue province  

- Ticket price: 150,000 VND ($6.5)/ticket 

- Opening hour: 7am - 5:30pm 

4 - Khai Dinh tomb - a delicate tombs in Hue

hue royal tomb

Khai Dinh tomb - Source: heritage vietnamairlines

Khai Dinh tomb is the burial of the twelfth king under the Nguyen dynasty, King Khai Dinh. The stunning tomb in Hue is constructed on the slope of Chau Chu mountain, about 10km from Hue. The construction commenced on September 4th, 1920 and finished 11 years later. 

To make sure his property was the most beautiful and long-lasting, King Khai Dinh asked his mandarin to travel to France to buy iron bar, steel, cement, tiles, to China and Japan to buy china, glass. This is the one that has a modest size but is very sophisticated and time-consuming because it is the result of the integration of many architectural styles such as Asia, Europe, Vietnam, classic and modern, compared to other best tombs in Hue. 

The generality of the tomb is a rectangle block of 127-steps high. Mountains and streams surrounding it play the role of feng shui elements, making the work a spectacular scenery. Khai Dinh tomb in Hue is appreciated for its aesthetic and architectural value and is truly the peak of the art of shaping porcelain and glass. 

- Address: Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy district-level town, Thua Thien - Hue province

- Ticket price: 150,000 VND ($6.5)/ticket 

- Opening hour: 7am - 5:30 pm

5 - Duc Duc tomb

tombs in hue vietnam

Duc Duc tomb - Source: thanhnien

Duc Duc tomb is the resting place of Duc Duc King, the fifth King under the Nguyen dynasty. Compared to other tombs in Hue, Duc Duc tomb is simpler and more humble. Its architecture is divided into 2 areas: the castle and the burial of the King and Queen. 

The burial has an area of 3.445 m2. To enter it, visitors must pass through a large 3-door gate built with brick. After the gate is Bai Dinh, a house where people come to pray. Here, there is no stone statue like other Hue tombs, but only a handrail made of brick and lime for decoration. The center of the burial lies right behind the second gate, with Huynh Oc house built on a square base of 8 meters each. It looks like a communal house decorated simply with dragon and phoenix details. 

The castle has an area of 6,245m2, including many different facilities. The main one was Long An house which is adorned meticulously. This is one of the wooden structures having high aesthetic value in tombs in Hue. 

- Address: Tay Nhat hamlet, An Cuu village, An Cuu ward, Hue city, Thua Thien - Hue province

- Ticket price: 100,000 VND ($4.3)/ticket 

- Opening hour: 6:30 am - 5:30 pm

6 - Thieu Tri tomb - elegant tomb in Hue

royal tombs in hue

Thieu Tri tomb - Source: Ngô Viết Quý

Thieu Tri tomb, also known as Xuong tomb, is where King Thieu Trim, the third king under the Nguyen Dynasty, was buried after death. Because the King was seriously ill, he died prior to the construction of the tomb. Before death, he told his son (King Tu Duc) about the idea of building the property. Therefore, the tomb has a distinct structure, the combination between Minh Mang tomb and Gia Long tomb, and is the only one heading for the Northwest, a not-so-popular direction in tombs in Hue. 

The construction was conducted quickly for no more than 10 months but was carefully followed by King Tu Duc. Therefore it is very beautiful and majestic. Currently, although many facilities in this tomb in Hue were fiercely damaged, the space surrounding is so poetic and tranquil.  

- Address: Cu Chanh hamlet, Thuy Bang commune, Huong Thuy district, Thua Thien - Hue province 

- Ticket price: 50,000 VND ($2.2)/ticket

7 - Dong Khanh tomb

best tomb in hue

One of the most harmonious architectural tombs in Hue - Source: Vnexpress

Dong Khanh tomb, also referred to as Tu tomb, is the burial place of King Dong Khanh, the ninth king under the Nguyen dynasty. In fact, the construction happens for many terms, in a long period (35 years from 1888 - 1923), over 4 reigns: King Dong Khanh, King Thanh Thai, King Duy Tan and King Khai Dinh. At the time, there were a lot of historical fluctuations with the invasion of France, therefore, the architecture is harmoniously mixed between Oriental and Western style. 

Visiting this famous tomb in Hue, you will be immediately impressed and can tell the difference between it and other tombs. It used most of the materials shipped from foreign countries. Moreover, its furniture is so splendid with gold and red painted items. Dong Khanh tomb is the beginning for the era of the architecture mingled between Asia and Europe, neoclassic style. 

- Address: Cu Si mountain and Ho Thuan Son hill, Thuy Xuan ward, Hue city, Thua Thien - Hue province

- Ticket price: 50,000 VND ($2.2)/tiket 

- Opening hour: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm 


Those famous royal tombs in Hue Vietnam are the things that every visitor can’t skip when traveling to this ancient imperial city. The 7 above mentioned ones are those Vietnamtrips.com considers as the most worth-trying. However, there are still many interesting places here waiting for you to come and discover. So, don’t waste any seconds but start your trip right away.

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