|07:30 AM - 05:00 PM|
|First-time visit Second-time visit|
Temple & Monument
Khai Dinh Tomb is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Khai Dinh Tomb is special ?
Khai Dinh Tomb is one of the famous tombs in Hue. The Tomb was built in 1920 under the order of Khai Dinh - The King of Nguyen Dynasty. After his ascendancy to throne in 1916, Emperor Khai Dinh chose the slope of Chau Chu (Chau E) Mountain, which is 10km from Hue center, to construct his “home in the other world” – according to Oriental belief. It was started bulding in 1920 and completed 11 years later, by his successor – Emperor Bao Dai.
In order to complete the tomb, the rulers had to raise national tax to 30%. By then Vietnam sovereignty was lost to French invaders and Western culture was prevailing all over the country. Consequently Khai Dinh tomb is the result of the intermingling of Oriental and Occidental, Roman and Gothic style, Hindu and Buddhist style, as well as ancient and modern features. It’s also known as Ung Lang
What to explore at Khai Dinh Tomb?
Despite being the smallest, Khai Dinh Tomb is the most recent and costly amongst other Nguyen royal tombs. Khai Dinh chose to build his tomb by modern materials like concrete, slates and wrought iron, hence its appearance is quite gray and imposing.
At first, the main building brings about a strong Western feel, however, the landscape was arranged to reflect traditional perceptions: a balanced combination between wood, land, water and plants. Overall, it’s an emerging rectangular structure with 127 steps, leaning against the mountain. The side walls are formed by the biggest sculptures of dragons in all over Vietnam. After climbing upstairs, tourists can first see the house of epitaph. The statues of mandarin’s court (including mandarins, horses, soldiers...) are placed at the courtyard.
The most notable place in Khai Dinh Tomb is Thien Dinh Palace, which contains bronze statues and steles of the King. Walls are densely decorated and inlaid with elaborate glass and porcelain designs. The most highlighted feature of this room is the intricate painting on the ceiling, illustrating nine dragons amidst fleeting clouds. Inside the tomb, there are two statues modeled the King: the one on the throne was sculptured in Paris in 1920 by Ducuing and Barbedienne.
How to get to Khai Dinh Tomb?
Minh Mang Tomb is about 7km away the center of Hue city. You can get there by many ways, such as: motorbike, bike, car, taxi.
If you are in Khai Dinh Tomb, you will go straight on 1A highway about 7 minutes by car to get Minh Mang Tomb.
If you are in Tu Duc Tomb, you will go straight on Le Ngo Cat and turn right on 49 highway. It takes about 20 minutes by car.
- Most Modern of All the Royal Tombs
- Majestic and fit for king
- Stunning architecture of the Tomb of the last but one emperor of this dynasty
- A must see when in Hue
- Great courtyard and blending of Vietnamese/French influences
Khải Định, Thừa Thiên Huế, Việt Nam
Tips for you
I wouldn't describe myself as culture vulture or a history enthusiast but this place was amazing and very interesting I'm glad I got to see it. It's magnificent inside and out - the tomb itself is impressive to say the least. The king was definitely into his lavish designs and wanted only the best for himself and raised the land tax to pay for it - which didn't go down well with the people of Hue who resented him for this and who can blame them. You have to climb many steps to reach the tomb but trust me it's worth it, lots of beautiful architecture to enjoy on the way up. The view is amazing as well, plenty of pictures to take. It's hot and hard work, so take your time enjoy what each level has to offer before embarking on the next flight of stairs. Upon entering the mausoleum there is the opportunity to sit down and watch a short film briefing you on the history, take front seat and enjoy the floor standing fan they have there whilst watching the film. Great way to cool off, take the weight off your feet and learn about the history before entering the lavishly decorated tomb - which is amazing and beautiful. The craftsmanship is truly magnificent and the colours so vibrant. Despite being fairly busy this place had a very calming atmosphere about it. It's very rare that I say that I really enjoyed visiting a tomb or temple but this one was absolutely worth visiting.
Wonderful concoction of French, Chinese and Vietnamese craftsmanship. A fascinating insight into the clash of ancient Vietnamese Nguyen dynasty and the 20th century...