Minh Mang Tomb in Hue

1. Introduction about Royal Mausoleum of Minh Mang

The royal mausoleum is the final resting place of Minh Mang Emperor, whose reign marks the culmination of the Nguyen dynasty power throughout the country.
Located on the Tam Tai Son mountain, Huong Tho commune, Huong Tra district, and away 12 km from Hue city center to the west. The tomb of Minh Mang is a harmonious blend of picturesque landscape and solemn architecture, which portrays the strictness and deep beliefs of the Emperor.

1.1. History about Minh Mang Emperor

In 1820, Nguyen Phuc Dam, the fourth son of Gia Long Emperor, succeeded him and was known as Minh Mang. Twenty years on the throne, Emperor Minh Mang made a significant contribution to the expansion of the Dai Nam (the former name of Vietnam). And he made it be the most powerful country in Southeast Asia at that time. 

Minh Mang had ordered his Fengshui tellers to search for perfect Fengshui place to construct his tomb after seven years on the throne. However, it took nearly 14 years to plan, consider and choose before the Emperor decided to have his tomb constructed in this location.
The construction of the royal tomb began in 1840, but in 1841 he passed away while it was incomplete. The successor, Thieu Tri Emperor, kept on the construction of the resting place and finished in 1843 with the help of around ten thousand workers and artisans.

2. What to see in Minh Mang Tomb?

The royal mausoleum of Minh Mang consists of roughly 40 monuments on an oval 44-acre lot surrounded by a high wall. The complex is divided into two parts by a straight axis (nearly 2,300 feet long), where the monuments are displayed on. What interests visitors is that reflective ponds fringed with pine trees surround the whole complex.

2.1 View Minh Mang Tomb 360

2.2. Dai Hong Mon

Dai Hong Mon Gate in Minh mang tomb
Dai Hong Mon Gate

The main entrance including three red doors in the middle of the tomb called Dai Hong Mon. It was open only once to admit the emperor’s coffin inside the tomb, after that, it is closed forever. Nowadays, we have to enter through either of the two side gates, which were for the Mandarins and other Royal family members.

2.3. Forecourt and Stele Pavilion

Minh Mang Tomb in Hue city
Minh Mang in Hue city

On entering Dai Hong Mon, we will see a forecourt (known as Honour Courtyard), where stands two lines of Mandarins; elephants, and horses like other Royal Tombs in Hue.
From the Honour Courtyard, you might climb up one of three staircases made out of granite which lead to the Stele Pavilion (known as Bi Dinh). The Pavilion features the Thanh Duc Than Cong Stele, a huge stone tablet (14 tons heavy) inscribed with the biography and merits of Emperor Minh Mang. Emperor Thieu Tri erected to honor his father.

2.4. Sung An Temple

Sung An Temple- Minh Mang tomb
Sung An Temple- Minh Mang Tomb

After the Stele Pavilion, you’ll see Hien Duc Gate leading to Sung An Temple, where the Royal family set up a Royal altar to worship the memory of the Emperor and his Empress. The courtyards of Sung An are flanked by Left and Right Temples in the front and Left and Right Rooms behind.

2.5. Minh Lau Pavilion

From Sung An, three bridges crossing Trung Minh Lake, and another gate name Hoang Trach Mon lead to the pavilion. A square two-storey pavilion with eight roofs. There are two obelisks flanking the pavilion, a symbol of the Emperor’s power.
Minh Lau pavilion stands on the top of three terraces that symbolize three powers in the universe, which are Heaven, Ground, and human being. Two gardens filled with flowers behind the pavilion create a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the shape of longevity.

2.6. Tan Nguyet Lake

Minh Mang royal tomb
Tan Nguyet Lake and Buu Thanh burial area

There is a stone bridge crossing the crescent-shaped lake named Tan Nguyet, bridging a path to an enormous staircase with wonderful sinuous dragon banisters. The staircase leads to a circular wall surrounding the sepulcher. However, a locked door made out of bronze prevents reaching the emperor’s burial site. It looks like an artificial hill planted through with pine trees and bushes.

Until now, we have not known where the emperor is, it is still a secret, Noone knows. Maybe somewhere in the tomb area or maybe in different places. Maybe he built everything on the ground here just to be a trick.

3. Minh Mang Tomb entrance fee

In 2019 the entrance ticket for adults costs VND 150,000 (nearly USD 6.50). And a children’s ticket costs VND 30,000 (roughly USD 1.30). Children from 1 year to 5 years old are free of charge. 

In 2020 an entrance ticket for adults cots VND 200,000 ( around USD 9). The tickets for children cost about VND 50,000/ person (roughly USD 2). Children from 1 to 5 years old are free.

HUE entrance fee monuments in 2019 – 2020

4. Minh Mang Tomb opening hours

The tomb is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day even on Tet holiday in Vietnam.

5. How to get to Minh Mang tomb?

To access the royal mausoleum, you can book a grab bike; catch a cyclo; take a boat trip upstream Perfume River or go for a walk. Besides, you can also book a Hue City Tour, 1 day via Culture Pham Travel for an unforgettable experience.

More importantly, remember to wear sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen and bring bottles of water in the dry season, and wear raincoats or bring umbrellas in the wet season for great enjoyment.

There are still many mausoleums and beautiful places that you should visit in Hue, take a closer look at the article HUE TOURS AND THINGS TO DO IN HUE

Culture Pham Travel

Reference Website: hueworldheritage.org.vn

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