Hue Monuments cannot be perfect without the royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. They are considered as important parts of the complex of Hue. Although the Nguyen Dynasty has 13 Kings, there are currently only 7 tombs which are kept intact: Tomb of Emperor Gia Long (built in 1814-182), Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang (built in 1840-1843), Tomb of Emperor Thieu Tri (built in 1847), Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (built in 1864-1867), Tomb of Emperor Dong Khanh (built in 1888), Tomb of Emperor Duc Duc (built in 1889) and Tomb of Emperor Khai Dinh (built in 1920-1931).
Each royal tomb has its own unique features; however, the most architecturally sophisticated of which are those of Emperor Minh Mang, Emperor Tu Duc and Emperor Khai Dinh – three must-visit places in Hue city tours. Especially, the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc contains beautiful gardens and landscaping which convey a sense of tranquility to any visitor. There is the oldest theater of Vietnam, called Minh Khiem Duong within Tu Duc Tomb. The theater was used to be the place where Emperor Tu Duc had entertained in his leisure time. In addition, Minh Khiem Duong is the only theater constructed inside a royal tomb, contributing to its distinctive cultural interest.
It takes about 2 days to visit all 7 royal tombs, 1 day for the far away tombs including Gia Long, Minh Mang and Khai Dinh tombs and one for the others. If your time is limited, you can choose Hue mausoleum tour to visit the 3 largest tombs: Minh Mang Tomb, Tu Duc Tomb, and Khai Dinh Tomb. Tombs close at 5:00pm.
Tombs are located in the southwestern part of Hue city. The best starting point is Dan Nam Giao at the end of Dien Bien Phu Street.