Tombs and Temples

We spent the day in Hue going to the tourist attractions, namely visiting the tombs and temples of the emperors of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty. Yes, I’m a descendant of royalty. HA. Me and half of Vietnam. There were seven in Hue; we went to two of them. The last one we tried to go to was closed so we went and bought tea and treats in bulk instead.

The first place we went to was Chi Kiem temple. It was the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (1829-1883), his predecessors, and his minor wives. Tu Duc was the fourth out of thirteen emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty, and was the last emperor of independent Vietnam. He ascended the throne in 1847 after the death of his father, Thieu Tri.

He had 104 wives (playaaa), but had no children because he was rendered sterile after a bout of small pox as a child. During his reign, he signed away many of Vietnam’s provinces and it was the year after his death that Vietnam lost its independence and became a French colony, or protectorate.

The tomb grounds are amazing. Picturesque, calm, rustic, and beautiful.

Where the Emperor was buried.

Architectural detail

As with a lot of older civilizations, they like to be buried with their army, or icons of their army, so that they may protect them in the afterlife.

Our next place was the Khai Dinh tomb, which took 11 consecutive years to build (1920-1931). This place was beautiful in its own unique right. A blend of both eastern and western art and materials. Many of the intricate mosaics were made mostly of glass and ceramics. Absolutely fantastic, amazing stuff.

Emperor Khai Dinh was the 12th emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, and only ruled for 9 years. During his reign, he was bent on restoring the empire to its former glory and prestige, but instead of achieving this, all he did was approve and push forward the French’s colonial powers and decisions. Many regard him as merely a puppet for the French colonial institution. While letting them take control of the country, he lounged back in his palace of grandiose splendor. He died in 1925 in poor health and suffering from drug addiction.

There were three ish flights of stairs to get to the final big tomb area, all the way up a hill, but the view from the top was amazing. Stretching far out, you can see all the hills and valleys, and the break between the hills. So green.