Khai Dinh Tomb is one of Hue’s most visited attractions. With its mesmerizing architecture and historical value, this extraordinary site lures thousands of visitors with its ancient beauty and nostalgic vibe. Hop on a journey to explore the Nguyen Dynasty’s most impressive imperial tomb now!
1. Where is Khai Dinh Tomb Hue, Vietnam? How to get there?
- Location: Chau Chau Hamlet, Thua Thien Hue Province
Khai Dinh Tomb, situated approximately 10 kilometers away from the heart of Hue, was the final architectural work of the Nguyen Dynasty. It is widely regarded as one of Vietnam's most exemplary structures due to its innovative use of Western materials and designs.
The tomb’s location was exactly determined by feng shui experts at that time. Natural surroundings such as hills and streams are near the tomb, which was also according to geographical feng shui principles. It resulted in an awe-inspiring and spectacular landscape that we can see nowadays.
So, how to get to Khai Dinh Tomb?
To get to the tomb from the city center, take National Road 49. You can go by car or motorbike, or even take a taxi. You can also catch a bus heading to Dong Ba - Cho Tuan and get off at Khai Dinh bus station.
In addition, you can also get to the tomb by boat, although it will take you around 45 minutes, which is 20 minutes longer compared to taking the road.
2. The long-standing history of Khai Dinh Tomb in Hue
From 1916 to 1925, Khai Dinh ruled as Vietnam's last imperial king. However, his strong ties to the French made him one of Vietnamese most hated kings.
On September 4, 1920, the construction of Khai Dinh started and was completed a decade later. Many well-known artisans and craftspeople worked on the project, using many exotic materials. Thus, despite having the smallest total area, Khai Dinh Tomb was the most labor-intensive and costly tomb of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Khai Dinh, like previous Vietnamese kings, took great care in building a tomb after his passing. The country-wide tax rate was raised to 30 percent to fund the tomb's construction, earning the king the wrath of historians. In 1931, his heir Bao Dai finished this monument after 11 years of construction.
3. Explore the general architecture of Khai Dinh Tomb
Having traveled to Paris shortly before his demise, Khai Dinh was heavily influenced by European architecture, which is evident in his tomb.
Indeed, the tomb of Khai Dinh shows the king's extravagant taste, which was a blend of Eastern and Western cultural elements. In every nook and cranny of this burial site, you will find a unique architectural feature from India, Buddhism, Rome, and even the Middle Ages.
The tomb is a rectangular structure resting upon Chau Chu Mountain on the outskirts of Hue. This burial site was constructed using Western materials like slates, cement, and wrought iron.
The tomb's impressive facade is made almost entirely of worn black concrete, bringing a Gothic feel. The facade is also adorned with the largest dragon carvings in the history of Vietnam. Inside, there are more intricate carvings of guards, workers, and animals than in any other tomb from the Nguyen Dynasty in Hue. There is also an inscribed biography of Khai Dinh.
4. Top 5 attractions of Khai Dinh Tomb that will surely amaze you
4.1. Tam Quan Gate
Khai Dinh Tomb has a total of 127 stair steps, 37 of which lead to the Tam Quan Gate. This gate is typical of a traditional entrance in ancient Vietnamese architecture. Notably, the gate's Hindu-style pillars are an evident example of the wonderful mix of Vietnamese and Indian cultures in terms of architecture.
4.2. Thien Dinh Palace
The centerpiece of Khai Dinh Tomb is Thien Dinh Palace. It serves as the final resting place for the king and is notable for its innovative architecture and high artistic quality. This structure is on the tomb's highest level, the 5th floor.
Here, there is a giant golden statue of King Khai Dinh standing beneath a gold-flecked cement dome. Approximately 18 meters underneath the statue is the royal crypt where the king rested, which is also the most exquisite feature of Thien Dinh Palace. The entire crypt was lavishly ornamented, with a life-size bronze sculpture of the king resting atop a coffin.
4.3. Khai Thanh Hall
Khai Thanh Hall, another highlight of Khai Dinh Tomb, is a part of Thien Dinh Palace. The hall will leave you awestruck with its stunning splendor and elaborate interior. When you step foot inside the Khai Thanh palace, you will be awestruck by its stunning splendor and elaborate interiors. On four sides of the hall are murals depicting the four seasons. There is also a painted ceiling that is truly one-of-a-kind. This is the only remaining ceiling painting in Vietnam.
4.4. Nghi Mon and Bai Dinh Yard
After passing through Tam Quan Gate, you will need to walk another 29 steps to see Nghi Mon Area and Bai Dinh Yard. Here, you will find many life-size statues of royals, warriors, horses, and elephants. These statues were made with the belief that they will serve the king in the afterworld. Hence, they were sculpted with great care and meticulous details, featuring a range of facial expressions.
In addition, there is an octagonal gazebo housing a 10-ton stele honoring Khai Dinh's life and achievements at the center of Nghi Mon Area.
4.5. The bronze statue of King Khai Dinh
Khai Dinh Tomb Vietnam is home to two famous life-size statues of the king: one seated on the throne in Thien Dinh Palace and the other standing nearby.
The seated statue was made in Paris and delivered to Vietnam. Two French artisans sculpted the statue and the throne in 1920, and Hue craftsmen later added the gold inlay. The standing statue was made by a Quang Nam artisan. In 1975, this statue was relocated from its original home in An Dinh Temple to Thien Dinh Palace.
5. The up-to-date entrance fee of Khai Dinh Tomb Hue
Khai Dinh tomb entrance fee is 100,000 VND/adult and 20,000 VND/child. Tourists can visit the tomb anytime between 7 AM and 5 PM. It will take you approximately one or two hours to fully explore the tomb. Thus, there will be ample time for you to visit other attractions in Hue on the same day, such as Minh Mang Tomb, Hue Imperial City, and Thien Mu Pagoda.
In Hue, there is a wide range of accommodations near Khai Dinh Tomb, which makes it convenient for tourists to get to the attraction. However, if you also want to visit Hoi An and Da Nang in your itinerary, it is advisable that you choose Vinpearl Hoi An or Vinpearl Da Nang for the best experience. Vinpearl offers high-end amenities, such as spa, shopping center, entertainment complex, beachfront view, and more.
>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Hoi An, Vinpearl Da Nang for a flawless stay in Vietnam!
After exploring Khai Dinh Tomb and other famous attractions in Hue, tourists often come to many other spots in Hoi An or Da Nang, especially VinWonders Nam Hoi An. This is a top-rated amusement park that brings a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western cultural features. Here, visitors can experience various thrilling games and activities from all five continents. Get an adrenaline rush with Vietnam's highest free-fall tower, escape the heat with the refreshing water park, and watch the animals in their natural habitat in Vietnam's first River Safari, and much much more.
>>> Book tickets for VinWonders Nam Hoi An for a quality time near the Ancient Town!
Khai Dinh Tomb is one of Hue's most stunning tourist hotspots that no one should miss out on when they come to this imperial land. If you are about to visit Hue, make sure to add this attraction into your itinerary. You will definitely be impressed by its unique aesthetics, nostalgic vibe, and cultural values.
>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Hoi An, Vinpearl Da Nang for many state-of-the-art experiences!
>>> Book voucher, combo, tour to Hoi An, Nam Hoi An today for the best deals!