Tu Duc Tomb or Khiem Lang built between 1864 and 1867. It is different from other mausoleums of Nguyen Kings in Hue city; Tu Duc mausoleum has peaceful beauties. It is located in the romantic scenery and considered as one of the most beautiful architecture and mausoleums of the Nguyen Dynasty in 19th century.
Nowadays, although it has been faded by time, it still bears a Confucian style, contemplative, exuding an unmistakable regal look.
It is a very popular and impressive royal mausoleum. Emperor Tu Duc designed himself to use before and after his death. Situated in a narrow valley in Duong Xuan Thuong Village, 6.6 km from Hue City.
It will be a miss when you visit Hue Imperial City without visiting Tu Duc Mausoleum. This complex has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage and became the first historical relic of Vietnam to participate in the 3D digitization museum of Google Arts & Culture recently.
How Tu Duc Tomb is unique?
Thanks to its unique architecture harmonizing with charming natural scenery, Tu Duc Mausoleum is one of the most beautiful architectural works during the Nguyen Dynasty. This is the highly recommended visiting destination in Hue.
Different from other mausoleums’ architectures in Hue, Tu Duc consists of two main parts, arranged on two parallel vertical axes. The panorama of Tu Duc’s mausoleum looks like a large park.
In particular, the factor thoroughly adhered in the tomb of Tu Duc is the harmony of contours. There are no straight lines, angular architecture as others. However, Bat Trang brick-tiled roads were carved from Vu Khiem door to Khiem Cung Mon. And then it continues to lead in front of the tomb and suddenly hides in giant plumeri near the Tomb of Queen Le Thien Anh.
It is worth a visit Tu Duc Tomb
Factually, the creation of the locals in harmony with the natural landscapes creates lovely and magnificent scenery. Visiting the tomb, people find it easy to forget that it is the resting place of a deceased person but imagine a paradise of trees, of poetry and dream, etc. All are in the allure of heaven and earth along with its fragrance.
This complex of mausoleum is around 12 hecta and includes 50 small and big constructions. All of them have the name Khiem.
1. Khiem Cung Mon
It is the two floor construction as a pavilion place. It is on a high location and in a straight line with Du Khiem Ta. This was relaxing for the King once visiting it. In the middle is Hoa Khiem Palace. When he was still alive, it was the working place of Tu Duc King. And it was the worship place of the King and Queen now.
2. Luong Khiem Temple
Behind Hoa Khiem Temple is Luong Khiem Temple. This was the relaxing and enjoying tea of Tu Duc King. And then it was the worship place of Tu Duc’s mother – Mrs Tu Du. The right hand is On Khiem Luong who kept the furniture for the King.
3. Minh Khiem Theater
It is on the left of Khiem Luong temple where the King saw singings. Most of the pillars were intricately carved with outstanding patterns. When closing the theater, people would turn lights outside which made a colorful scenery. Now, it is one of the oldest theaters in Vietnam and worth a visit.
In reality, the theater is a reflection of Tu Duc’s poetic soul, with the ceiling carved with clouds, stars, crescent moon and sky. Today, performances aren’t shown in this theater, but in Xung Khiem Ta. Then, Hoa Khiem Temple is where Tu Duc and his wife, Empress Hoang Le Thien Anh worshiped, today it houses royal artifacts. Also, a big throne was for the empress, Tu Duc was just 153cm tall.
4. Tinh Khiem Island
There are flowers and animals. It was a relaxing place for the King when he felt tired on the throne. He came here to enjoy flower beauties, make poems and read books. Tinh Khiem has a long canal with three bridges and leads to a pine hill.
5. Tomb’s area
Behind the main temple is the tomb area. First you can see Bai Ding with two statues of Civil Mandarin and Military Mandarin. Continued is Bi Dinh where the stone stele of 20 tons carved the Khiem Cung Ky poem. Above Tieu Khiem Tri is Buu Thanh by brick, and the tomb of the King is in the middle. Another special area is Boi Lang, the resting place of King Kien Phuc – the 7th king of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Truly, Hoa Khiem Temple is a small museum of the king’s lifestyle. Factually, it is as a mirror utilized from the King’s concubines, a lock gifted by the French, the funerary tablets of the emperor and empress. In addition, the tomb works as a home away from home. Besides, there’s even a royal theater within the complex, named Minh Khiem Duong.
Furthermore, Minh Khiem’s room, to the right behind Hoa Khiem Temple, was initially supposed to be a theater. Nowadays, dress-up photo opportunities and cultural performances are all available here. And directly behind Hoa Khiem Temple is the quieter Luong Khiem Temple, devoted to Tu Duc’s mother, Tu Du.
Around the shore of the lake is your Honor Courtyard. You pass between a guard of horses, elephants and diminutive mandarins. Before attaining The Stars Pavilion, which shelters a 20 tonne stone tablet. Tu Duc resisted the inscriptions himself. He openly admitted he’d made mistakes and named his tomb Khiem.
The tomb, enclosed by a wall, is on the far side of a very small lagoon. It is a drab monument and the emperor was never interred here, where his remains were buried isn’t known. As a result, to keep it secret from the grave thieves, all 200 servants that buried the king were beheaded. Tu Duc lived a lifetime of royal luxury and carnal excess: he’d 104 wives and hundreds of concubines, though no offspring.
Actually, coming to Tu Duc Tomb, tourists may feel like they’re lost in a huge scenery park. Furthermore, it is the place where the old monuments of old feudal time are harmoniously in tune with the natural atmosphere.
Tu Duc tomb’s history
Tu Duc tomb or Khiem Lang was built by Tu Duc King in 1847. He was one of the famous kings in the thirteen Kings of Nguyen Dynasty. Also, he was well known as the high education of Indochina, especially Confucianism.
He was the King in the difficult condition of the country, outside the invading enemy while inside the fraternal rivalry for the throne. He was also sick and had no children. To avoid such extreme events, he built this mausoleum as a second palace to relieve sorrows as well as prevent the sudden passing away.
In December 1864, this construction started to build under the working of 6,000 soldiers and workers gathering to dig trenches, build ramparts, and build citadels and tombs. At first, Tu Duc King named it Van Nien Co. However, after the Chay Voi revolution by the Doan Huu Trung brothers, he changed its name to Khiem Cung. And after the death of the king, everyone called it Khiem Lang.
The location of the Mausoleum
The tomb is on peaceful land and belongs to the beautiful valley of Duong Xuan Thuong, Cu Chanh, Thuy Bieu commune. And now it belongs to Thuy Ba village, Thuy Xuan Ward, Hue city. It is also on the right hand side of Vong Canh Hill. This place is well known as the most famous attraction of King Mausoleums in Hue city.
When is the best time to visit the tomb?
The climate in Hue city is humid and tropical with all four seasons in a year. It has two obvious seasons: rainy season and sunny season. The sunny season is quite hot and dry while the rainy season is so long and even cold. However, the climate now changes very much and it also affects Hue weather. Tu Duc tomb can be visited all year round and should avoid October till mid-November which can be affected by floods. And it is cold from November till January.
Note: If there is flood, it also affects The Citadel and Thien Mu pagoda in North city. Mausoleums of Kings are in the south city and still visit as normal.
How to get Tu Duc mausoleum?
It is about 6km from Hue city centre. The way to reach the tomb is very easy. You can choose motorbike or even bike or taxi to visit the tomb.
+ By car, motorbike, bike or taxi: Travel on Dien Bien Phu street and then meet Nam Giao Altar and turn right along Le Ngo Cat street.
Or you can start from Hue Railway station and travel along Bui Thi Xuan Street, follow Huyen Tran Cong Chua street and then a short distance you can see the tomb.
+ By boat: have the combination Hue boat trip visit Thien Mu Pagoda and Tu Duc tomb. However, you must take a walking around 1km or rent motorbike to reach Tu Duc tomb gate
- Entrance fee: 150,000 VND = around 5 USD/person
- Visit all years round, but if travel by boat should not do it when rainy season in October and November when the river water is high for safe.
- Opening time: Summer season: from 6.30 am to 17.30 pm & Winter season: from 7.00 am to 17.00 pm
With the information above we hope you will get best tours in Hue, Vietnam. Let’s contact our local expert if anything is unclear at 84829098686.