AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Hue: Day Two

The capital city of Vietnam was moved to Hue in 1802 from Hanoi by the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. A small version of the forbidden city was built here to house the emperor, his family and the government. Dotted around Hue are the tombs of the Nguyen emperors. This is what we are going to see today.

The day started at 7am with an early breakfast, ready for the 7:45 pickup for the tour of the Citadel and a number of tombs around the city.

Our hotel had told is that the tour was $12 each and then we had to pay for the entrance fee to the sites. That is 80,000 Dong per site (105,000 for citadel) or 240,000 for a combined ticket. 355,000 individual or 240,000 combined. The tour guide announced that it would take ages for everyone to queue and buy tickets individually and they should give him money and he sorts tickets to all sites so we have more time to view the sites. How kind. Which price do you reckon he told everyone? We had this written on some paper, when Annemarie showed him it and told him we wanted to pay 240,000 for the combined ticket he quickly folded the paper so no-one else could see it and accepted the money without quibbling (no fuss means no attention I guess). Lucky us, unlucky everyone else. Which makes me wonder how many times we have (and will be) scammed in other places.

The tombs are to the west of Hue as the sunsets in that direction. The tombs are more than just tombs as we know them, the emperors worked, relaxed and took holidays to the tombs. Until the death of an emperor he would get to know the location very well. Quite a good idea actually, knowing where your body will spend the rest of eternity; a thought which had never really entered my head but makes sense. Also, these tombs are enormous, some taking up many hectares and containing large lakes and many buildings.

Our first tomb was that of the emperor Minh Mang. It was quite large, taking around 5 minutes to walk the full length of it.




The second was the tomb of Khai Dinh. His tomb was far smaller but still very impressive. Almost every surface covered in lacquered ceramics made this a very colorful and vibrant tomb. The king was not liked by his people because the French were running the region and he was their puppet (a figurehead). He also asked the French to raise a tax to pay for his tomb, something his fellow countrymen probably weren’t too happy about.






The third tomb was in a pretty bad condition but is enormous. This was the tomb of Tu Duc and it send he was a very unlucky king. He had smallpox when he was young so he couldn’t have children. He was also king when the French came and took over the country. In addition the people didn’t really like him either. But his legacy is pretty good (or will be when they restore it). The whole tomb area is falling to pieces, rubble, loose stones, dilapidated buildings and rubbish everywhere. The tomb also needs serious investment.



Lunch was a buffet and the worst food we had eaten since arriving in Vietnam almost 2 weeks ago.

After eating we visited the citadel. Home of the emperor and center of the Vietnamese government.







We then were taken you a pagoda on the edge of town. Its main claim to fame is a monk in 1963 who drove into Saigon and set fire to himself in protest at the treatment Buddhist monks were receiving. He came from this monastery and they have his car on show.




We then had a boat ride back along the Perfume River to central Hue.


We both really enjoyed the day.


  1. Avatar

    Are you just making these emperors up ? Min Mang ? Kai Din ? Two Ducks ? Please don’t tell me there is a Wing Wong or Ching Chong on the list …..

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    • Andrew

      I was up all night faking those wiki articles. I hope you appreciate the effort!

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