Minh Mang Tomb – Mausoleum Of A Great Emperor

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Minh Mang Tomb Overview

The Nguyen Dynasty’s Legacy in Hue City is the majestic Imperial Citadel, 7 extraordinary Mausoleums, and beautiful architecture. Minh Mang Tomb or “Hiếu Mausoleum” is one of the fabulous burial areas that you must explore. This tomb contains many cultural and architectural values of the Vietnamese last feudalism. Now let’s explore the most stately mausoleum of the Nguyen Dynasty with Vietnam Vacation Travel.

Location, Transportation & Ticket Price

Minh Mang Tomb is located in Cam Khe Mountain, An Bang Hamlet, Huong Tho Commune, Huong Tra District, Thua Thien Hue Province.

It is about 12 kilometers from Hue City. You can reach the Hieu Mausoleum by hiring a motorbike or taking a seat on The dragon boat trip and exploring the upriver of the Perfume River. But when you need some comfortable conditions and some additional services, you can book our Hue Private Cars or Hue Tours for the best experience.

It is best to visit not only Minh Mang Tomb but also any of Hue Tourist’s Attractions from January to March. You can immerse yourself in the perfect weather and festive atmosphere of the Tet holiday.

This tourist destination is open daily, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Minh Mang Tomb Entrance Fee:

  • 150.000 VND / person
  • 30.000 VND / children (from 7 – 12 years old)
  • Free for children under 6 years old

History Of Emperor Minh Mang And Hieu Mausoleum

Emperor Minh Mang

Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841) was the fourth prince of Emperor Gia Long and became the second Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Nguyen Phuc Dam is his real name. Prince Nguyen Phuc Dam ascended to the throne in 1820.

After the death of his first son Crown Prince Nguyen Phuc Canh in 1801, Emperor Gia Long selected Dam Prince as his successor due to their shared ideology. The Emperor wanted to get out of the influence and oppressive schemes of the French, thus, he felt that Dam Prince could help him achieve this goal.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Emperor Minh Mang

He is considered one of the great emperors in the Nguyen Dynasty, after Emperor Gia Long. He protected the country but his policies were detrimental to his people and the economy.

Also, he launched wars with neighbouring countries to expand territory. Throughout history, the Vietnamese territory was the biggest in his region. However, this came at a great cost, with the national treasury becoming exhausted and the people left disheartened. Consequently, he faced over 200 rebellions all over the country during his reign.

Tombeau De Minh Mang Hue

7 years after accession, he ordered many Fengshui experts to find a place to build his mausoleum. It took 14 years for the Emperor can choose a place located in Cam Khe Mountain, which contains perfect Fengshui. He has renamed Cam Khe Mountain into Hieu Mountain, and his resting place in the afterlife is the Hieu Mausoleum.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel

The mausoleum started to be built in April 1840. Unfortunately, he passed away in January 1941 when the construction was unfinished. When Emperor Thieu Tri enthroned, he continued the progress of building the tomb in February 1841. In August 1841, The Emperor’s body was buried in Buu Thanh, but the mausoleum was still not finished until 1843.

Perfect Fengshui Of Minh Mang Tomb Hue

Cam Khe Mountain is a place settled the mausoleum. This is where the Ta Trach and Huu Trach tributaries merge, forming the Perfume River, a natural “minh đường tụ thủy” (water converge in Fengshui). Moreover, Phu Son Mountain is the guarding screen, and Ngoc Tran and Ton Son Mountains represent the “Left Green Dragon, Right White Tiger”.

All of these elements, combined with the tomb’s structure (designed by the Emperor himself), create a perfect Fengshui destination.

The Royal Tomb Of Emperor Minh Mang’s Architecture

The Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang covered 18 hectares and contained 40 structures, including palaces, shrines, and towers. These constructions were arranged vertically along a 700-meter-long symmetric axis (means Than Dao), starting from Dai Hong Mon and to the last wall of Buu Thanh. La Thanh, which is 1,750 meters long, is the border between the tomb and the outside world.

On the whole, the mausoleum resembles a person with their head on Kim Phung mount and legs stretching to the river confluence, with Trung Minh Lake forming the arms.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Overlook of Minh Mang Tomb.

And now we will go step by step through each of the architecture of the royal tomb of Emperor Minh Mang.

Dai Hong Mon

When you come to Minh Mang Tomb, you will see a huge gate with red doors, Dai Hong Mon (big red gate). This is the main gate of the tomb. The central gate was only opened once to bring Emperor Minh Mang’s coffin in 1941.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Dai Hong Mon.

Ta Hong Mon and Huu Hong Mon are two side gates used by mandarins. Nowadays, visitors enter through these gates.

Honour Courtyard – Stone Steele Pavilion

After Dai Hong Mon is the Honor Courtyard. Similar to other tombs in Hue, it placed many 1:1 ratios statues of soldiers, mandarins, horses, and elephants standing in two rows that are symmetrical to each other. This place is large nearly 2.000 metres square.

Honour Courtyard

At the end of the Courtyard is the Steele Pavilion (Bi Dinh). Inside the pavilion is a huge stone Steele with the inscription “Thanh Duc than cong” written by Emperor Thieu Tri, telling the life story and merits of Emperor Minh Mang.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Bi Dinh

Shrine Area: Hien Duc Mon And Sung An Temple

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Hien Duc Mon

The next place you will see is Hien Duc Mon. Entering Hien Duc Mon, you will see Sung An Temple situated after a spacious courtyard representing the earth as an ancient concept.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Sung An Temple is placed to worship the altars of Emperor Minh Mang and Empress Ta Thien Nhan. This is considered the central building of the mausoleum, surrounded by auxiliary temples. Trung Minh Lake is split into two parts, enclosing the Sung An temple and the structures along the symmetrical axis.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Sung An Temple

The final construction in the shrine area is Hoang Trach Mon, which leads to a beautiful garden interspersed with shady trees, small lotus ponds, and delicate wildflowers.

Minh Lau Pavilion

“Where the soul of the departed Emperor returns” is the name of this place. Left is Ta Phu Bridge, right is Huu Bat Bridge, and Trung Dao Bridge is in the centre crossing Trung Minh Lake and leading to Minh Lau Pavilion.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel

It is located on Tam Dai Mountain and behind the pavilion is a flower garden shaped into the “Tho” letter in the Han ideogram. Two pillars are standing on Binh Son and Thanh Son, two sides of Minh Lau Pavilion. As a result, the structure of Minh Lau Pavilion is higher than above, offering splendid views of the Hieu Mausoleum.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel

Minh Lau is an ancient explanation of the universe and outlook on life. The square-shaped house has two floors and eight roof corners, representing important numbers in Eastern philosophy. This place has a prominent architectural value in the whole construction.

Thong Minh Chinh Truc Bridge

This is a bridge crossing over Tan Nguyet Lake and connects Minh Lau Pavilion and the Buu Thanh. The 33-step bridge showcases ancient architecture and natural beauty. Its name reflects the virtues expected of a Mandarin: wisdom and integrity.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Thong Minh Chinh Truc Bridge lead to Buu Thanh

Tan Nguyet Lake

Tan Nguyet Lake is a crescent moon-shaped man-made lake dug by soldiers working day and night. The lake is designed to embrace Buu Thanh and it represents the two most important elements in the universe – yin and yang. The crescent moon shape of the lake represents yin while Buu Thanh represents yang.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Tan Nguyet Lake

Buu Thanh

Buu Thanh is the final structure of Minh Mang’s tomb. It is located in a tranquil pine forest that discreetly conceals the resting place of Emperor Minh Mang.

Minh Mang Tomb - Vietnam Vacation Travel
Buu Thanh

Some Tips When Visiting Minh Mang Hue’s Tomb

  • When visiting tombs, it’s important to dress respectfully to honor the deceased.
  • Visitors are not allowed to smoke, eat, litter, or make noise inside Minh Mang Tomb.
  • Visitors must heed the “no photography” signs in Minh Mang Tomb when visiting this place.
  • The lakes in the area are quite deep and dangerous to children. If you visit with your family, make sure to keep a close eye on your kids.
  • It does not take too long to discover Minh Mang Tomb, you just need a maximum of 3 hours. After you’re done, you can visit nearby attractions like the Khai Dinh Tomb or head back to Hue City to explore the Hue Citadel, Trang Tien Bridge, Perfume River, and Walking Street. Enjoy the delicious cuisine and immerse yourself in the local life.


Despite the changes in Vietnamese history, especially the two major wars against the French colonialists and the American Empire, the tomb remains intact. Along with Khai Dinh Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb, and Thieu Tri Tomb, this is one of the most worthy destinations when you come to visit Hue.

Vietnam Vacation Travel & Transport has brought you up to a must-visit attraction that offers visitors insight into a significant period of Vietnamese history. If you’re planning a trip to Hue City, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang.