Khai Dinh Tomb


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Khai Dinh’s Tomb

Khai Dinh’s Tomb or Ung Lang. Though the smallest, Khai Dinh tomb is the most costly and recent is comparing with other Nguyen royal tombs. It is the forever place of the 12th King under Nguyen Reign.

Khai Dinh Tomb

Location: 10km from Hue city centre. It is on Chau Chu Mountain slope – Thuy Bang Commune – Huong Thuy Town – Thua Thien Hue Province

How Khai Dinh Tomb Special?

Emperor Khai Dinh chose the slope of Chau Chu (Chau E) Mountain to construct his “home in the other world” as to Oriental belief after his ascendancy to throne in 1916. People started to build it in 1920 and completed 11 years later, by his successor – Emperor Bao Dai.

To be able to complete the tomb, the principles had to raise the national tax to 30%. By then French invaders took Vietnam’s sovereignty and Western civilization was prevailing all over the country.

Consequently, Khai Dinh tomb is the outcome of the intermingling of orientals and Occidental, Roman and Gothic style, Hindu and Buddhist style, as well as ancient and modern features. In fact, people usually call it Ung Lang.

Tomb of Khai Dinh

What to see in Khai Dinh Tomb?

Despite being the smallest, Khai Dinh Tomb is the most recent and costly amongst other Nguyen royal tombs. Khai Dinh King chose to build his tomb with modern materials like concrete, slates and wrought iron, hence its appearance is quite gray and imposing.

In the beginning, the major building brings about a strong Western sense, but the landscape was organized to reflect traditional perceptions: a more balanced combination between wood, soil, water and plants.

In general, it is an emerging rectangular structure with 127 steps, leaning against the mountain. The largest sculptures of dragons in around Vietnam formed in the side walls. After climbing stairs, tourists can see the home of epitaph. And in the courtyard has the figurines of madarines courtroom.

The most notable place in the Khai Dinh tomb is the Thien Dinh Palace, that contains bronze figurines and the steles of the king. With intricate glass and porcelain designs densely decorated and inlaid on the walls. The most emphasized feature of this room is the complex painting on the ceiling, demonstrating 9 dragons amidst fleeting clouds.

Inside the tomb, there are two figurines modeled the King: the one on the throne sculptured in Paris in 1920 by Ducuing and Barbedienne. Spend a day tour to Khai Dinh tomb is a great idea for any visitor while visiting tour in Hue.

Khai Dinh Tomb Complex

When to get there ?

All tourist sites in here are opened all year round. Entrance fee is even free on big holidays. Such as the first of Lunar New Year and National Day (September 2nd). So your Vietnam travel plan will be perfect with the tips above.

How to get there ?

The tomb is about 10 km away from the center of Hue city. Travelers should get there by motorbike or taxi.

Quick tips:

  • Entrance fee: around 4 USD/person
  • Open time: From 7.30 am to 5.00 pm