Unlike the ostentatious beauty and grandiose layout of the Khai Dinh Tomb, the Tomb of Tu Duc is known for its elegance and tranquil scenery, making it one of the most beautiful imperial tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. Although time has faded some of its features, it still exudes a Confucian style, solemnity, and a regal aura that is unmistakable.
It would be a great loss if you visited the ancient capital without stopping by the Tomb of Tu Duc. This complex has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site and has become the first historical monument in Vietnam to be included in Google Arts & Culture’s 3D digital museum.
In what year was the Tomb of Tu Duc built?
Also known as Khiem Lang, the Tomb of Tu Duc was built by King Tu Duc as a resting place after his royal duties. Among the 13 kings of the Nguyen Dynasty, Tu Duc is considered the most famous with the longest reign of 36 years (from 1847 to 1883). He was highly educated in Indochina, particularly in Confucianism.
As a king during a difficult time in the country, with external invaders and internal struggles for power and wealth, and dealing with his own illnesses, he built this tomb as a second palace to escape these harsh realities and as a place to prepare for his unexpected death.
In December 1864, the construction of the tomb officially began with the help of over 6,000 soldiers and workers who dug canals, built walls and constructed the tomb. Initially, King Tu Duc named it “Vạn Niên Cơ,” but after the Chay Voi uprising led by the Doan Huu Trung brothers, he changed its name to Khiem Cung, and after his death, it became known as the Khiem Lang.
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Where is the Tomb of Tu Duc located in Hue, and what is special about it?
The Tomb of Tu Duc, also known as Khiem Lang, is located in a peaceful area within a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong Village, Cu Chanh Commune, Thuy Bieu Ward, now part of Thuy Xuân Ward, Hue City. It is situated on the right side of the picturesque Canh Vong Hill and is one of the most popular attractions among the tombs of the Nguyen Emperors in the Imperial City of Hue.
The diagram of Tu Duc Tomb has a special structure
The layout of the tomb features a unique structure. The architectural complex covers a total area of 12 hectares and consists of nearly 50 structures, mostly with the word “Khiem” in their names.
Kiem Cung Mon
The Khiem Cung Gate, a two-story structure with a watchtower, is located on a high platform and is aligned with the Du Khiem Ta. This is the place where the emperor used to rest when visiting the tomb. In the center of the complex is the Hoa Khiem Palace, which was originally used as a working place for the emperor but is now used as a place of worship for Tu Duc and the queen.
Dien Luong Khiem
After Hoa Khiem Palace is Dien Luong Khiem Palace, which used to be the place where the king rested and drank tea. Later, it became a place to worship the spirit of King Tu Duc’s mother – Mrs. Tu Du. On the right is On Khiem Luong – the place where royal utensils are kept.
Minh Khiem Theater
To the left of Khiem Luong Palace is Minh Khiem Theater for the king to watch performances. Most of the supporting columns are delicately carved with prominent motifs. When the theater is closed, outside people light candles to create a sparkling, mysterious scene. Currently, this is one of the oldest theaters in Vietnam and is worth a visit.
Tinh Khiem Island
It is a piece of land for growing flowers and raising animals, like a leisure activity of the king whenever he felt tired of his royal duties. The king often visited to admire the flowers, write poetry, and read books. Especially, in the area of Tinh Khiem Island, there is a long canal with three bridges leading to a green and pristine pine hill.
Tomb area of King Tu Duc
After the Tu Duc Mausoleum area is the tomb area. First is Bai Dinh with two statues of civil and military officials. Next is Bi Dinh with a 20-ton stone tablet inscribed with the Khiem Cung Ky inscription. On Tieu Khiem Tri is Buu Thanh made of bricks, in the middle of which is the tomb of Tu Duc. There is also a special area called Boi Lang, the resting place of King Kien Phuc – the 7th king of the Nguyen Dynasty.
See More: Entrance Fee – Ticket price to visit Hue 2023 Updated
Explore the architectural features of the Tomb of Tu Duc.
The Tomb of Tu Duc consists of two main parts: the Temple and the Tomb, arranged in parallel. After passing through the Khiem Cung Gate is the two-story Tam Quan Gate. Here, visitors will witness beautiful architectural works within the tomb grounds. Passing through the Vu Khiem and Son Than Temple is the worship area.
Stepping up the stone steps, the Khiem Cung Gate appears as a beautiful scenery with the Linh Khiem Lake. Here, people often release lotus flowers – simple and rustic flowers. Moreover, in the middle of the island, there are small islands where people grow flowers or raise animals. The scenery here resembles a colorful classical painting with small bridges crossing the lake, green pine trees swaying in the wind, giving visitors a refreshing and airy feeling. The Tu Duc Tomb setting is easy for visitors to capture vivid and antique-style photos.
Entering the Khiem Cung Temple, visitors will discover the resting and working space of the king at that time. Or visit the Minh Khiem Theater to watch cultural and artistic performances. This is a place that bears the mark of the cultural life of King Tu Duc. Finally, move to the Bai Dinh of the Tomb area to witness two rows of statues of generals and literary talents…
Opening hours and admission fees for the Tomb of Tu Duc in 2023.
The opening hours of the Tomb of Tu Duc differ between summer and winter. In summer, it opens from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM, while in winter, it opens 30 minutes later, from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Visitors should take note of these hours when planning their visit to Hue.
Tickets are available for purchase at this tourist destination. For Vietnamese visitors, the admission fee is 100,000 VND per adult and 20,000 VND per child. For foreign visitors, the fee is 150,000 VND per person
Experience exploring Tu Duc tomb
Suitable time to visit Tu Duc tomb:
The climate in Hue belongs to the tropical monsoon type, with all four seasons in the year, but the two most distinct seasons are the sunny season and the rainy season. The sunny season can be quite hot, while the rainy season has long and even very cold rain. Therefore, according to the experience of visiting Hue, if you want to explore Tu Duc tomb, you should choose to visit from January to February. This time period is considered ideal for visiting historical relics, tombs, and palaces in Hue.
How to get to Tu Duc tomb? What transportation to use?
Located in a fairly central position, only about 6 km from the city center, getting to the tomb is relatively easy and convenient. You can choose to ride a motorbike, even a bicycle or a taxi, Private Car…. You just need to follow the direction of Bui Thi Xuan street, starting from Hue railway station, go straight and turn into Huyen Tran Cong Chua street. After going a little further, you can ask the locals for directions to the tomb.
Vncarrentals.com’s provides chauffeured car rental services in Hue. If you are planning a visit to the Tu Duc Tomb, please contact us at +84 88 666 0396 for the best quote. Our professional drivers are familiar with all the roads in Hue, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey. We can pick you up from your hotel or any location in Hue and take you to the Tu Duc Tomb. While you explore, our driver will wait for you, and there are no additional charges for the waiting time. Finally, our driver will safely take you back to your hotel, ending the trip
After going through many ups and downs of history and time, Tu Duc tomb still stands there as evidence of a unique architectural work of the Nguyen dynasty and will always exist as a precious asset of the nation. Tourists who sign up for a 1-day Hue tour will have the opportunity to explore it along with many other tourist attractions.