Inside Vietnam: Cambodia Laos

The imperial tombs of Hue

Explore the remarkable tombs of Hue's Nguyen Dynasty: fine architecture in a glorious natural setting.

The Nguyen Emperors who reigned over Vietnam from Hue left behind them a collection of architecturally varied and atmospheric tombs scattered throughout the countryside around town. Though each individual tomb reflects the period and individual tastes of the emperor interred within, they were all designed to follow the basic rules of geomancy.

Amongst the common elements of the tombs are courtyards of stone effigies of elephants, horses and mandarins; a pavilion housing eulogies to the deceased emperior; a temple containing an altar for worshipping the emperor's soul; a pleasure pavilion, and the tomb itself. The tombs can be visited by car, motorbike, or bicycle if you're feeling energetic - but our favourite option is via the delightful cruise on the Perfume River.

Tomb of Khai Dinh

The hillside tomb of the penultimate Nguyen emperor, Khai Dinh (1916-1925), is one of Hue's most unique monuments, built in a fusion of traditional Vietnamese and European design. It is well worth climbing the steep steps, for both the tomb and the view over the wooded hills beyond. Look out for the novel use of ceramic spoons in the mosaic work!

Tomb of Tu Duc

The impressive mausoleum of Tu Duc (1847-1883) is amongst the most visited of the Hue tombs. Tu Duc began planning his tomb long before his death in 1883. The major portions of the tomb complex were completed from 1864-67, along with future temple buildings that served as a palatial retreat for Tu Duc and his many wives during his lifetime. Construction of the tomb demanded so much labour and extra taxation that there was an abortive coup against Tu Duc in 1866. This was put down, and for the remainder of his life, Tu Duc continued to use the tomb's palace buildings as his place of residence.

Tomb of Minh Mang

Built by Minh Mang's son and successor Thieu Tri, the beautiful woodland setting and fine architecture of the tomb make it worth travelling the 12 km out of town to An Bang Village where it is located.

The imperial tombs of Hue

located in Hue

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Classic Vietnam is the perfect introduction to the country, taking in the diverse cultural and scenic highlights of this spectacular destination.

    Classic Vietnam

    Cruise on Halong Bay, visit floating markets on the Mekong Delta, see ancient kingdoms come to life in Hue, and relive war history in Saigon. Classic Vietnam is a fantastic two-week introduction to the country, covering all the best sights from north to south.

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    Classic Vietnam is the perfect introduction to the country, taking in the diverse cultural and scenic highlights of this spectacular destination.

Other suggested Art & Architecture

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    Learn to appreciate the harmonious blend of home and nature in traditional Vietnamese architecture at the delightful Garden Houses of Hue.

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  • Hoi An old town

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    For those with a love of architecture there are few better places in Asia than Hoi An, once Vietnam's most important port town.

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  • Tethered balloon sunrise over Angkor

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    Witness the glories of Angkor from a unique perspective with a bird's-eye view of sunrise over the temples.

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