One of the watch towers at Tomb of Khai Dinh
Taking off from Tomb of Tú Ðúc in Hue, we drove of for a few minutes up to a hill top where another Tomb is nestled among its lush greenery. The impressive Tomb of Khai Dinh, with intricately dragon-adorned tier of stairs, gates and structures, is one of the well preserved tombs in the area. Constructed for over 11 years since 1920 (though Emperor Khai Dinh ruled only for 9 years in Vietnam during), the tomb has some Western influence since the emperor himself was able to visit France.
The Honor Courtyard
As usual, there’s the 55000 Dong entrance fee by the gate. There were a number of crowds already there since it’s almost mid-day, and the sun was already glaring high and from its direction it was quite tricky to take a good shot. The first flight of stairs (said to be 36 steps within 4 banister dragons) leads to a courtyard. Then another flight of stairs leads to the stele pavilion at the center of the Honor Courtyard.
It is here where you can find rows of elephants and military official’s statues on each side of the level, serving as guardians. The watch towers in this area utilized lightning rods during construction.
Thien Dinh building
Another flight of stairs lead to the Thien Dinh building, the main structure in the tomb complex. I must admit the walls are quite intricate in its designs here and wait till you get inside.
statue of Emperor Khai Dinh
Found inside the building is the statue of Emperor Khai Dinh sitting beneath a concrete canopy. The interior is just a ceramic wonder. Making use of bits of broken glass and porcelain embedded in cement placed in an amazing detailed pattern adorn the walls.
View from the tomb complex
Going down is also a treat. Since the Tomb of Khai Dinh is atop a hill, the view was quite spectacular going down.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.