Khai Dinh Tomb in Hue City

Khai Dinh Tomb Hue

Introduction about Khai Dinh Tomb

One of the captivating tourist attractions in Viet Nam is the Khai Dinh tomb in Hue (also well-known as Ứng Mausoleum), about 9 kilometers to the south of the city center. It lies on a steep hill in a mountain named Chau Chu on the outskirts of Hue city. It was constructed for the twelfth Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, Khai Dinh, and it is a unique blend of Western and Eastern architecture.

There are many methods to get to Khai Dinh tomb including booking a Grab bike, catching a cyclo, or walking. Another fantastic way to greatly enjoy yourself there is to book a Hue City Tour 1 day via Culture Pham Travel.

1. What makes Khai Dinh Tomb Special?

1.1. A blend of many different architectures.

Khai Dinh Tomb
Tomb of Khai Dinh emperor Hue

Khai Dinh, who was regarded as a puppet of the French, came to the throne in 1916 at the age of 31 and his reign lasted for 9 years.

Like his predecessors, the emperor built numerous buildings, palaces, as well as his own tomb, which is considered the “Home in the after-life” for himself. According to Oriental belief. All Emperors thought that this life is just a temporary life when you died, you would live a real-life. So what you needed in this life, you would need them in the after-life.

Opposed to the other royal tombs, Khai Dinh tomb is the smallest tomb, approximately a half hectare. But it is the most expensive and beautiful tomb in the world.

One interesting fact is that Khai Dinh has a soft spot for foreign elements, especially the beauty of modern Western culture. So, his mausoleum is a harmonious blend of European and Vietnamese architecture. The tomb also includes other architectural features of Hinduism, Buddhism, Roman, Gothic.

The construction lasted 11 years and completed by his successor, Bao Dai, in 1931. They went to France to buy cement, to China and Japan to buy color glass, porcelains, ceramics…to break them into small pieces to inlaid to decorate. 20 thousand workers worked in 11 years. To get enough money to build the tomb, he asked the French to raise farming taxes up to 30 more percent. The country was so poor and people were unhappy. But under 2 levels controls of French and Emperor, the people had no choice.

1.2. Perfect Feng Shui location.

The position of the tomb was worked out carefully. As you know, when he first came to the throne. He ordered Feng shui tellers to go round the country to choose the best Feng shui places for him to build the tomb.  More specifically, the tomb is on Chau Chu mountain and face to the Perfume River.  This region was a perfect place to erect the tomb.

2. View Khai Dinh Tomb palace 360 looked from outside

3. What to see at Tomb of Khai Dinh Emperor?

3.1. Dragons alongside Stairs to the Court-yard

You must climb up a large number of steps to access the iron gate of the tomb. Once passing the gate, you will enter a courtyard featuring traditional mandarins’ working buildings made out of reinforced concrete both on the left and right.

To reach the forecourt level in front of the tomb, travelers must climb another nearly 40 steps. One remarkable thing is the two dragons lying beside the steps, forming a beautiful set of banisters.

3.2. Honor Guard Formation on the Honour Courtyard

Court-yard at Khai Dinh Tomb
Court-yard at Khai Dinh Tomb

In the big yard, there are 2 couple rows of elephants, horses, mandarins, and soldiers. All sculptures are carved by bluestone. Compared to other royal tombs in Hue, Tomb of Khai Dinh has 2 more rows of soldiers stands in two lines on either side of the forecourt. As you can see, they are waiting for the Emperor to do business in the after-life. It looks like a King chess table.

3.3. The Stele Pavilion

Stone stele in the Courtyard
The stone stele 10 tons heavy at Khai Dinh Tomb

In the heart of the forecourt, there is an octagonal pavilion with a 10 tons heavy stele which commemorates Khai Dinh’s biography and his achievements.

3.4. Khai Thanh Palace

Khai Dinh Tomb Hue
Khai Thanh palace- Khai Dinh tomb

Step-up some more, we get into Khai Thanh palace. You will say WOW because of its beauty and decoration. At four corners of the tomb are decorated 4 seasons and filled with mosaics from color glass and porcelains from China and Japan. The most special about the tomb is the ceiling painting. As you know, it is the only ceiling painting that still existed. It was painted by the artist Phan Van Tanh, he painted by his feet.

Long-time ago, with the high platform, if you drew by hands it was close to your eyes so you could not see the panorama. So he drew by his feet more beautiful than by hands. Once, when the Khai Dinh Emperor came to the tomb to manage the construction. He saw the artist drawing dragon face by his feet. Khai Dinh was so angry but he had no choices. Because no one could replace him so that why when he completed his job. Instead of getting killed, he got a promotion because it was so fabulous.

3.5. Thien Dinh palace

Thien Dinh palace
Khai Dinh statue- Thien Dinh palace

Behind the altar with a portrait of Khai Dinh Emperor is the bronze statue of the emperor. It was cast in France in 1920 following the right size of the Khai Dinh emperor. As you know, that is the 39th birthday gift from the French government offered to him. In other tombs, you don’t know exactly where the coffin is, but in this tomb, you know exactly. Under the bronze sculpture, 9 meter deep is the coffin and body of the Khai Dinh emperor.

Right behind his back is the symbol of Sunset. It means the Emperor he passed away already. Above his head, the is a parasol with 99 dragons watching you at any directions to protect the emperor. It made by concrete, color glass, porcelains but it looks like silks moving in the winds.

On the right and left-hand sides of Khai Thanh palace are the rooms for the guardians who were protecting the tomb. Nowadays, they are a small museum with a lot of photos and stuff of Khai Dinh Emperor.

3. Khai Dinh Tomb Entrance fee

The tomb is open from 7 a.m. till 5 p.m, every day. Currently, an entrance ticket for adults costs VND 100,000 (roughly USD 5) and VND 30,000 (nearly USD 1.30) for kids. In 2020, It costs VND 150,000 for adults and VND 40,000 for kids.

HUE entrance fee monuments in 2019 – 2020

4. How to get to Khai Dinh Tomb?

Plus, to have a perfect enjoyment, remember to wear sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen as well as bring water bottles in the dry season, and wear raincoats or bring umbrellas in the wet season. Most importantly, wear comfortable shoes to climb up 127 steps to reach the tomb

Culture Pham Travel

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