Royal Tombs: Hue

The Emperors' Eternal Private World

Ming Mang Royal Tomb, Hue
Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty, Kings of Vietnam have been the creations of the emperors when they were alive. For eternity live after his death. They also reflect the true identities, beliefs and factors that influence them.
I bought Hue Day Tour to visit three Royal Tombs in the morning, the Hue Imperial Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and the Perfume River in the afternoon. The short time of tour, cloudy day, cold and drizzle nearly all the time reduce the calmness beauty of the eternal resting places of the emperors.

Royal Tombs are the complex of buildings. They were used as place of residence, place of relaxation, places of worship and a place for courtiers. They are surrounded by natural beauty such as mountains, rivers, tranquil ponds in the gardens. Although the main objective is to be buried at the cemetery, some emperor spent most of his days than in the Hue Palace.

Things must-have are statues of mandarins (ministers), royal elephants and royal horses on the ground in front of the tombs. These statues to represent the elements of king status.

 Gate to the Tomb in the Hill, Minh Mang Royal Tomb
Emperor Was Lied Beneath the Hill, Minh Mang Royal Tomb
Tomb of Minh Mang
Emperor Minh Mang is talented and beloved king. His tomb consists of a temple for meditation practice, surrounded by lush gardens and beautiful ponds. End of the area is the hill where his body was buried somewhere surrounded by stone walls.

Pristine Pond and Islet, Tu Duc Royal Tomb
Emperor's Size Mandarins, Royal Horse and Elephant, Tu Duc Royal Tomb
Crypt, Tu Duc Royal Tomb
Tomb of Tu Duc
Emperor Tu Duc was unhappy king. He tired of the chaos in the court at Hue. Moreover, health was not strong caused him had no children. Heir for throne succession was a major problem. He spent most of the time in this property.

What are striking at the Tomb? Luu Khiem Lake and Kinh Khiem Islet, where during the reign of Emperor Tu Duc, filled with rare animals and birds. He favoured a boat rowing and visiting the island. And the statues of mandarins (ministers), royal elephants and royal horses that are smaller than normal to pay homage to the king with a height of just 150cm.

Multi Style Architecture, Khai Dinh Royal Tomb
Stunning Decoration, Khai Dinh Royal Tomb
Emperor's Statue under Canopy, Khai Dinh Royal Tomb
Tomb of Khai Dinh
Emperor Khai Dinh was the king under French Administration which appoints the king. His tomb is different from the previous kings which mainly by influence of Confucianism. It was new idea and high budget. He was recognised by his people negatively. The lavish spending on the construction of the tomb by tax increased.

Tomb's architecture and interiors are elegant and fine. With the combination of East and West, we see Roman style building with rounded columns and ornamental dragon stucco flanked by the Obelisks. On the tip of fence's poles are lotuses as religious symbol of Buddhism and the fence are the Cross design as religious symbol of Christianity. Palace interior is decorated with glazed tiles and imported marble.

The Royals Tombs that I missed, some are a bit far or not outstanding, including Tomb of Gia Long, Tomb of Thieu Tri, Tomb of Duc Duc and Tomb of Dong Khanh.

If you want to visit these tombs yourselves, with a distance about 7-20km from Hue City by bicycle or motorbike, you have to face winding and narrow roads. Streets crowded with vehicles of all sizes. No English signs for the navigation and local people cannot speak and understand English that are the major problems.

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