Tomb of Minh Mang

Cross beautiful bridges in enchanting gardens, admire ornate buildings and stroll through peaceful courtyards and pavilions at this revered final resting place. 

Explore the beautiful gardens and architectural symmetry of the revered Tomb of Minh Mang. See an army of Vietnamese statues and take in the calming views of ornate bridges across placid lakes.

Walk deep into an area of secluded forest on the west bank of the Perfume River to find the Tomb of Minh Mang, a spectacular and fitting tribute to one of Vietnam’s most revered emperors. Although he favored isolationism for the country of Vietnam, he was sensitive to the plight of the peasants in his empire. Planning for his tomb began during his reign, but he died in 1841, shortly after construction started, and the tomb was completed by his successor, Thieu Tri.

Even the approach to the Tomb of Minh Mang is a delight. Ascend three patterned terraces, representing earth, water and heaven. Arrive at the three lavishly decorated metal gates where you will see a small army of stone statues. These show a number of figures in traditional Vietnamese dress next to battle-ready elephants and horses. Admire the gates, which are decorated with exquisite dragon-shaped banisters. Note that the gates to the tomb are opened only once a year, on the anniversary of the emperor’s death.

Nearby, find the Lake of Impeccable Clarity. Three engraved stone bridges cross the water of the lake, now dark and cloudy. Be aware that the central bridge is reserved for the use of only the emperor himself, and has been used only once, at his death.

From here, make your way to the Sung An Temple. Step inside and admire the floral carvings that coat the interior and roof. Outside the temple, relax in a fragrant garden of indigenous trees and plants.

The Tomb of Minh Mang is set in An Bang Village about 7 miles (12 kilometers) from Hue. Take a taxi from the city, the easiest way to get there.