Hue Royal Tombs – The Masterpiece Of The Nguyen Dynasty

Hue Royal Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Introduction

Hue Ancient Capital is a wonderful tourist destination in Vietnam that attracts visitors from all over the world. One of the highlights of this city is the Seven Hue Royal Tombs. These tombs showcase impressive architecture and offer insight into the lives of the emperors who once ruled Vietnam.

Today, Vietnam Vacation Travel presents you with an article about the Seven Mausoleums of the Nguyen Dynasty. This article provides brief information about these fascinating places.

Travel Guide For Royal Tombs In Hue

How do you visit 7 Royal Tombs Of Hue?

Some tombs in Hue are more popular than others among tourists. Tu Duc, Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, and Dong Khanh Tomb are famous, while Thieu Tri Tomb seems less visited. Gia Long Tomb is a bit far away, and Duc Duc Tomb is in the reconstruction process. 

Visiting these destinations can take a lot of work for foreign visitors. If you’re planning a trip to visit these places, consider including nearby attractions to make your visit memorable.

From Hue City, you can visit nearby tombs by bike, motorbike, dragon boat, or Tourism Bus. If you want to go further, we recommend renting a private car or booking a Tomb tour. Vietnam Vacation Travel, as a reputable tourism company, will provide you with some Hue tours to make your trip even better:

Hue Royal Tombs Entrance Fee

Opening Hours: Daily, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Entrance Fee

(Newest Update)

AdultChildren (7-12 years old)
Minh Mang Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb, Khai Dinh Tomb150.000 VND (~6.18 USD)30.000 VND (~1.24 USD)
Gia Long Tomb150.000 VND (~6.18 USD)Free
Dong Khanh Tomb100.000 VND (~4.12 USD)Free
Thieu Tri Tomb50.000 VND (~2.06 USD)Free

If you want to visit other places in the Complex of Hue Monuments, you can buy a combo tour in front of the Imperial Citadel. For more details, please read the article Hue Entrance Fee.

Best Time To Visit Hue Mausoleums

The best time to visit not only the Hue Royal Tombs but also other popular sites is from late January to February when it is the time for the Tet holiday in Vietnam. This is the time when you can fully immerse yourself in the Tet atmosphere and experience an important part of Vietnamese culture.

Additionally, summer vacation is the perfect time to travel, with warm and comfortable weather, although it can get quite hot.

Moreover, you can visit these locations for free during the Tet holiday and special occasions like the Independence Day of Vietnam (02/09).

Travel Tips

  • You must wear polite and comfortable clothes, not make noise, and not climb anywhere here.
  • Visitors cannot smoke, eat, or litter inside some tombs.
  • You must heed the “no photography” signs in some tombs.
  • Gia Long Tomb, Thieu Tri Tomb, and Tu Duc Tomb are where you can bring some water and snacks along your trip because they are quite large to visit. 
  • Visiting tombs on sunny days may cause sunburn and dehydration due to the expansive yard space. You should wear long-sleeved tops and bottoms, a hat, and sunglasses. The recommended time to visit is from 3 PM to 5 PM.
  • Last but not least, prepare a full-battery camera or phone to take beautiful pictures.

Hue Imperial Royal Tombs Maps

An Overview Of Must-Visit Royal Tombs in Hue

Every tomb in the 7 royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty is located in perfect Feng Shui according to the Oriental concept. What is more, all the Emperor tombs follow 1 type of construction, with the worshipping area and the burial area. 

Here, we will give you a brief information about 7 royal tombs of the Complex of Hue Monuments. We will follow the chronological order of each Emperor in the Nguyen Dynasty, rather than prioritising the popularity of their tombs.

Gia Long Tomb – The Tomb Of The Nguyen Dynasty Founder

The Royal Tomb of Emperor Gia Long, or Thiên Thọ Mausoleum, is the tomb of the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. It is the furthest tomb in 7 Royal Tombs in Hue, about 20 kilometres from the city centre.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Gia Long Tomb.

Nguyen Anh went from a Martial Mandarin to an Emperor of a country. He was born during a chaotic time and suffered hunting from the Tay Son Army. However, he returned to reunite the country and wrote a glorious life. Many people branded him a country criminal when he formed alliances with France and Siam (Thailand nowadays) to take back his throne. However, this alliance marked the beginning of foreign entanglements that would shape Vietnam’s destiny.

Thien Tho Mausoleum has perfect Feng shui and served as the model for other tombs in the Nguyen Dynasty. It contains a majestic beauty with picturesque scenery surrounding it. Due to two wars and somehow inaccessibility, the tomb was damaged heavily and was unpopular with visitors.

We have detailed information about Gia Long Royal Tomb: Gia Long Tomb – The First Nguyen Dynasty Royal Tomb.

Minh Mang Royal Tomb

About 12 kilometres from Hue city centre, Minh Mang Royal Tomb, or Hiếu Mausoleum, is the tomb of the second-greatest Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Minh Mang Tomb follows a symmetrical and balanced architectural layout (Than Dao). You can consider it the easiest tomb to visit; go straight ahead on the main path of the tomb.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Overlook of Minh Mang Tomb.

Emperor Minh Mang contributed many things to protect the country from the threat of Western countries and expanded the Vietnamese territory. However, his policies disheartened his people, and the call to numerous wars had exhausted the national treasure. As a result, this reign had the highest number of rebellions in the Nguyen Dynasty.

In order to understand the features of the Minh Mang Tomb, we invite you to read this article: Minh Mang Tomb – Mausoleum Of A Great Emperor.

Thieu Tri Tomb

Gia Long Tomb has the vibe of being inaccessible, and Minh Mang Tomb brings up a stately feeling. On the other hand, Thieu Tri Tomb has a humble appearance and peaceful vistas. Surrounded by small mountains, paddy fields, and fruit gardens, it seems like a rural area of Vietnam rather than a resting place of an Emperor.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Thieu Tri Royal Tomb.

Emperor Thieu Tri has no intention of building his resting place. After Emperor Thieu Tri’s death, his son, Emperor Tu Duc, built the Xương Mausoleum for him, incorporating features from the Thien Tho and Hieu Mausoleums. The tomb of Emperor Thieu Tri still exudes the aura of a wise and composed Emperor with a peaceful but gloomy life.

If you want to know details about this place, please read more in Thieu Tri Tomb article.

Tomb Of Emperor Tu Duc And Emperor Kien Phuc

The tomb of the fourth Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty was built in a narrow valley in Hue City. This is the easiest tomb to visit, only 7 kilometres from the centre. On the way to Khiêm Mausoleum, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of Thuy Xuan Incense Village.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
A beautiful shop in Thuy Xuan Incense Village.

As an emperor with an artist’s soul, Emperor Tu Duc designed and built the tomb by himself. It is where he can relax after dealing with bunches of work when ruling the country. Here, he can read books, compose poems, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere with his wife, and raise rare flowers and animals.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Also, in the Burial Area, Bối Mausoleum is the resting place of another Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. That is Emperor Kien Phuc, an adopted son of Emperor Tu Duc. His death after eight months of reign is still mysterious in Vietnam’s history.

To discover the romantic beauty and stories of the tomb, the article Tu Duc Tomb – The Royal Tomb Of A Poet’s Soul will bring you fascinating information.

Duc Duc Tomb: Resting Place Of Three Emperors

Duc Duc Tomb, or An Mausoleum, originally belonged to Emperor Duc Duc. Then, Emperor Thanh Thai and Emperor Duy Tan were also buried and worshipped here. 

When Emperor Duc Duc ascended the throne, Vietnam was under French colonial rule. Three days after his ascendant, the French colonials deposed him and placed his son on the throne. Emperor Duc Duc passed away a few days later, in 1884. Emperor Thanh Thai built An Mausoleum – Duc Duc Tomb for his father in 1889. 

After that, Emperor Thanh Thai was deposed in 1907 because he opposed French colonialism. Emperor Duy Tan resisted French colonialists like his father upon ascending the throne. As a result, both Emperors have been exiled in 1916. After they died, they were brought back to the country and buried together in the Tomb of Emperor Duc Duc.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Duc Duc Tomb inside a corner of Hue.

Nowadays, Duc Duc Tomb is degraded seriously. The Hue government has closed the Duc Duc Tomb for reconstruction. It would be great if Duc Duc Tomb could open soon, allowing us to explore patriotic Emperors’ history and burial places.

The Tomb Of Emperor Dong Khanh

Emperor Dong Khanh was the 9th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty before Emperor Thanh Thai and Duy Tan. Dong Khanh Royal Tomb takes the longest time to finish. For 35 years, from 1888 to 1923, through 4 Emperors Reign, Tư Mausoleum has stood as a harmonious blend of Asian and European architectural styles. The Imperial Tomb of Dong Khanh is a remarkable structure with exceptional architectural, artistic, and decorative features.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Dong Khanh Royal Tomb.

Khai Dinh Tomb – The Last Tomb Of The Nguyen Dynasty

Lastly, we will talk about the last tomb, also the most famous tomb of the Royal Tombs in Hue. Khai Dinh Tomb, or Ứng Mausoleum, is the tomb belonging to the 12th Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Emperor Khai Dinh.

Hue Royal Tombs - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Ứng Mausoleum.

It is considered the pinnacle of the Nguyen Dynasty Architecture. It combines Eastern and Western, Hindu and Buddhist, Roman and Gothic styles, and ancient and modern features. They all created the most splendid, luxurious, and beautiful mausoleum architecture among the Complex of Hue Monuments.

Why is it described using such colourful language? Explore it with Khai Dinh Tomb – The Most Luxurious Hue Royal Tomb.

Conclusion

The Seven Royal Tombs of Hue City stand tall and proud, representing a treasure trove of Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage. These timeless structures offer a glimpse into the past, reminding us of the beauty, creativity, and ingenuity of the Nguyen dynasty. This article, Vietnam Vacation Travel & Transport hopes it has provided informative and interesting details about these locations.

If you have the time, make sure to visit them and learn more about their significance.