Tomb of Gia Long in Hue – Explore the tomb of the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty

The Tomb of Gia Long is a highly renowned mausoleum under the Nguyen dynasty, not only for its unique design and scale but also for the romantic love story of King Gia Long and Queen Thuan Thien Cao, which deeply moved posterity and left much for contemplation. Today, let’s explore the Tomb of Gia Long with!

Some notable information about the Tomb of Gia Long

The Tomb of Gia Long is one of the famous tombs of the Nguyen dynasty. Similar to many other tombs, the Tomb of Gia Long is nestled in a vast and peaceful pine forest, surrounded by 42 small and large hills. The first impression when you visit the Tomb of Gia Long is its ancient and unique beauty, with many details of high traditional value. The surrounding space is pristine and tranquil.

The Tomb of Gia Long, with its ancient and distinctive beauty, is especially captivating when viewed from above

Therefore, if you have the opportunity to visit Hue, take the time to explore the Tomb of Gia Long to witness the beauty in each architectural structure and space, as well as to discover the romantic love story associated with King Gia Long and Queen Thuan Thien Cao.

The Tomb of Gia Long is also known by another name, Thiên Thọ Lăng, and it is the tomb of King Gia Long. It was constructed from 1814 and completed in 1820. The tomb is located on the highest hill of Thiên Thọ Mountain (now in Hương Thọ commune, Hương Trà town, Thừa Thiên Huế province). According to the geography of that time, this location “concentrated all the good influences emanating from the surrounding hills” and was a place where “the good influences would last forever for ten thousand years,” making it a suitable resting place for King Gia Long.

The gate of the Tomb of Gia Long is quite simple, bearing the weathered marks of time and reflecting the distinctive design style of this place

Directions to the Tomb of Gia Long

Previously, the route to the Tomb of Gia Long could only be traversed by water through ferries or boats, downstream along the Perfume River, passing by Thien Mu Pagoda, Hon Chen Temple, and others to reach the tomb area. However, nowadays, travelers can choose from two methods:

  • Cross the makeshift pontoon bridge built across the Ta Trach River by local people.
  • Take the main road across the Tuần Bridge, pass by the Minh Mang Tomb and Huu Trach Bridge, then proceed across a bridge to reach the destination.

Additionally, you can rent a private car with a driver in Hue from With our private car service, you won’t have to worry about finding your way; our professional drivers will take care of everything. With our door-to-door service, you’ll have the most convenient journey.

Best Time to Visit the Tomb of Gia Long

The best time to visit the Tomb of Gia Long is from around January to May each year. During this period, the weather in Hue is typically dry, with moderate temperatures and not too much rain or excessive sunlight. The climate in Hue is relatively cool during these months. This is also the time of the Hue Spring Flower Festival when the city is adorned with thousands of different flowers, and various cultural and artistic activities are organized, attracting a large number of tourists for sightseeing and exploration.

Ticket Prices for the Tomb of Gia Long

The ticket prices for the Tomb of Gia Long are quite affordable and suitable for various types of visitors, as follows:

  • For Vietnamese visitors: 50,000 VND/ticket for adults, free for children.
  • For international visitors: 100,000 VND/ticket for adults, free for children.

Visitors can explore the Tomb of Gia Long from 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday to Friday.

The Story of the Love Story of King Gia Long and Queen Thuan Thien Cao

And the most unique aspect of the Tomb of Gia Long, making it an icon of poignant love stories, is that it is the only tomb where the king and queen are buried side by side. The tomb of King Gia Long is on the left, and on the right is the tomb of Queen Thuan Thien Cao.

The burial space of King Gia Long and Queen Thuan Thien Cao in the tomb area

The image of the two tombs lying next to each other bears witness to the unwavering love of this devoted couple, enduring the ups and downs of life, from wartime struggles to the end of their days. It is truly a beautiful image, symbolizing an immortal and sacred love

Highlights and Attractions of the Tomb of Gia Long

Prime Location of the Tomb of Gia Long

The Tomb of Gia Long is situated on the highest and flattest hill of Thien Tho Son, approximately 20 km west of the central city of Hue. This is also the most expansive tomb area under the Nguyen dynasty. The total area of the tomb is over 28 km2, featuring remarkable architectural structures that reflect the ancient rituals of our ancestors. The tomb area offers a magnificent view, extending from the foothills of the Truong Son range to the edge of the Perfume River.

Scattered throughout the courtyard of the Tomb of Gia Long are statues of elephants, horses, and mythical creatures from the king’s era, paying homage to the former monarch

Tree-Lined Path to the Tomb of Gia Long

To reach the Tomb of Gia Long, you must pass through an extensive pine forest. This area serves as an attractive check-in point, resembling the impressive beauty of Dalat. Both sides of the path leading to the tomb are lined with numerous pine and cassia trees, which have been planted for a long time, creating shaded and beautiful pathways. The atmosphere is fresh, cool, and tranquil, making it one of the most beautiful and romantic routes among the tombs in Hue. Surely, this scenery will captivate you before you officially set foot in the tomb area, don’t you think?

The temple area is designed with utmost simplicity, leaving a striking impression with the characteristic color tones reminiscent of ancient architecture

Unique Design of the Tomb of Gia Long

As soon as you step into the tomb, you will immediately notice the area called Dai Thien Tho An Ngu, which has 7 mountains as the backdrop. On both sides, there are 14 mountains each, known as left azure dragons and right white tigers, depicted with great solemnity.

The staircase leading up to the Tomb of Gia Long is intricately adorned with finely detailed and vivid dragon carvings

Overall, the tomb is constructed with a grand design, reflecting the essence of King Gia Long as a powerful military leader, skilled in deploying troops and setting up formations. The tomb is divided into three distinct areas:

  • The central part is the tomb of King Gia Long and Queen Thuan Thien Cao.
  • On the right is the burial area with the center being Minh Thanh Palace.
  • On the left is Bi Dinh.

Additionally, outside the tomb, there are many subsidiary tombs, notably the Thien Tho Huu Tomb of Queen Thuan Thien Cao, the biological mother of the most talented king of the Nguyen dynasty, King Minh Mang.

The accompanying structures outside the tomb are spread horizontally. The simplest is the burial area for the remains of the king and queen. The two stone tombs are almost identical in design and size, parallel and spaced only about 15 cm apart. The roof is designed simply. Overall, it is relatively simple, without intricate decorations, just old walls, weathered and tinted black by the passage of time.

Nearby Places to the Tomb of Gia Long?

Here are some nearby attractions to the Tomb of Gia Long in Hue that you can explore:

  • Minh Mang Tomb: Not far from the Tomb of Gia Long, Minh Mang Tomb is another Nguyen dynasty mausoleum built to commemorate King Minh Mang.
  • Khai Dinh Tomb: Located about 7 km to the south, Khai Dinh Tomb is an architectural masterpiece that combines Eastern and Western artistic styles.

  • Thien Mu Pagoda: It can be a stop before or after visiting the Tomb of Gia Long. The pagoda has an excellent location on the banks of the Perfume River and is famous as an iconic symbol of Hue.
  • Imperial City Complex: This area houses many tombs of various Nguyen dynasty kings, such as Tu Duc Tomb and Thanh Thai Tomb.
  • Truong Tien Bridge: This historic bridge is also close to the Tomb of Gia Long and serves as a great spot to admire the Perfume River.

When visiting the Tomb of Gia Long, you can combine these attractions to experience the full history and culture of the Hue region.

Note when visiting the Tomb of Gia Long in Hue

When visiting the Tomb of Gia Long in Hue, consider the following:

  • Best Time to Visit: Plan your visit between January and May for favorable weather, avoiding excessive rain or intense sunlight. This period also coincides with the vibrant Hue Spring Flower Festival.
  • Dining Options: Explore the local restaurants and eateries in the vicinity offering authentic Hue specialties. Some recommendations include Quan Le Quyen, Nhu Y Restaurant, Lac Thanh Eatery, and Cung Dinh Restaurant.
  • Unique Feature: Appreciate the unique feature of the Tomb of Gia Long, where the king and queen are buried side by side, symbolizing an enduring and sacred love. The proximity of their tombs tells a poignant story of marital devotion.
  • Cultural and Historical Significance: Recognize that the tomb is not just a visually appealing site but also holds cultural and historical significance. The architectural details convey messages from the past, providing insight into the ancestral stories.
  • Immerse Yourself: Include this attraction in your itinerary to immerse yourself in the breathtaking blend of nature and ancient architecture, capturing the beauty and poetic essence of this historical masterpiece.

The Tomb of Gia Long is not only a beautiful attraction in Hue but also carries cultural and historical significance. Through every detail in its architecture, it conveys messages to posterity about the stories of our ancestors. What are you waiting for? Include this attraction in your itinerary to explore Hue and immerse yourself in this masterpiece, blending nature and ancient architecture, full of beauty and poetic essence.


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