Pagodas and Imperial Tombs, Hue

Ho Chi Minh City Hue Demilitarised Zone HoiAn
Thien Mu Pagoda Tomb of Tu Duc Tomb of Minh Mang
Dragon boat boy

Boat trips to the Imperial tombs

One of the best day trips from Hue is to take a boat upstream to visit the imperial tombs and pagodas. You can go on an organised trip with other tourists, or just rent a boat yourself.

Most boats are moored near the Trang Tien Bridge. Any tourist walking along the bank will be asked if they want to hire a boat.

The photograph on the left shows a young boy on the prow of one of these boats. Often the whole family will work and sleep on the boat. The father will drive, the mother will cook the lunch and sell souvenirs and drinks, and the kids will clean and generally help out when they are not in school.

Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda was a site of anti-government protest in the 1960s. The government then was very pro-Catholic and anti-Buddhist. It was from here that the first monk travelled to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and publicly burnt himself to death to draw the world's attention to the actions of the government.

More self-immolations followed, and if this was not shocking enough, the reaction of the then president's sister-in-law was. She is reported to have called the self-immolations barbecue parties, and said "Let them burn and we shall clap our hands."

In the 1980s there were anti-Communist demonstrations here, but thankfully today things are quiet and peaceful, as the photograph below shows. This is a hut where monks and others can retire to read the sutras, or just meditate.

Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda
As we left this pagoda we caught sight of this monk making what is probably the daily offereing of food and drink to the gods. food for the gods

Tomb of Tu Duc

Tu Duc Tomb

Left and below shows the tomb of To Duc, the monarch who died in 1883.

Work on the tomb started about 20 years before he died, and the tomb was used by him as a place of entertainment before he died.

He had 104 wives, numberless concubines, but no children.

The photograph on the left and below shows his honour guard of horses, elephants and mandarins.

Tu Duc was very short; less than 153 cm tall, and all the statues of mandarins are shorter than this. Also in order to keep the secrets of the where the treasure was buried in the tomb compound all the 200 servants involved in the burial were beheded. 

Tu Duc Tomb
Du Duc Tomb
ParisPages ApartRental Paris