Thieu Tri Tomb: The Peaceful Royal Tomb of Hue

Thieu Tri emperor tomb is an unpopular place to visit in Hue. From the city centre, it’s closer than Khai Dinh tomb, Minh Mang tomb and Gia Long tomb, and further than Tu Duc king’s, Dong Khanh king’s and Duc Duc king’s tombs. Due to damages during the wars, it’s not recommended by locals, and they say that other tombs are nicer to sightsee. For that reason, this burial place hasn’t so much visitors although it’s pretty, peaceful and inexpensive to enter. Its importance was still high and that was confirmed when it’s incribed by Unesco as a world heritage site (within the Complex of Hue monuments). For that reason, history lovers shouldn’t miss it out if one day, they’re in Hue.

This article will inform travelers about Thieu Tri tomb in Hue city. It’s accessible by road vehicles and boat via the Perfume river, and in guided tours to avoid the crowds.                   

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About Thieu Tri King

Thieu Tri was the 3rd king of Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). He was borned in 1807 at Hue and was the oldest son of Minh Mang king – the 2nd emperor. His mother was Ho Thi Hoa, the first wife of his father, and was the daughter of a high-class family in the southern Vietnam at that time. This woman passed away just 13 days after the birth of Thieu Tri when she was at age of 17. To honour her, the official name of many public places in the country must be changed if it has ‘Hoa’ word (such as Dong Ba market in Hue or Thanh Hoa province). When Thieu Tri was still a prince, he’s known as Nguyen Phuc Mien Tong.

In 1841, Nguyen Phuc Mien Tong prince was crownd at age of 34 and became ‘Thieu Tri king’, litterally meaning ‘inheritance of prosperity’. Previously, his father died suddenly. He was in charge of completing his father’s mausoleum – Minh Mang tomb and continuing to govern the country. In general, he followed successes of the predessor, making a reign full of advantages. The country was peaceful, stable, and one of the most powerful kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Thieu Tri king organized the first national examiniation for martial arts, besides the literature.

Thieu Tri king passed away in 1847 when he was 40 years old. He had 31 wifes and 64 children (29 sons, 35 daugters). Nguyen Phuc Hong Nham – the second oldest son succeeded him, and then Tu Duc king. He shared that this prince was well-behaved, hard working, fully responsible and talented like himself, therefore was able to be an emperor. The oldest son was traditionally chosen but lazy. This decision led to conflicts between the successor and his brother.

About Tomb of Thieu Tri King

The mausoleum of Thieu Tri king (titled ‘Xuong Lang’) was constructed within a short time in 1848, particularly 3 months. Its location is selected by Tu Duc king (the son) according to his father/predessor’s desires. In details, it should be placed in a peaceful piece of land by low hills, gentle streams, rice fields, gardens and the Perfume river. This emperor also wished to be buried not far away from the villages. He wanted to be close to the nature and the subjects.

Generally, Thieu Tri king tomb has 2 separate zones (the temple and the burial place) that are parallel. Its planning is mixed between the tombs of his father and his grand father. Like Gia Long tomb, there is no walls to protect. Like Minh Mang tomb, its buildings are arranged along a long central axis. Different from any other imperial mausoleums in Hue, it faces northwest.

Near the ticket office, Buu Duc temple sits on the highest terrace from a lotus pond. It’s used to worship Thieu Tri king. Two biggest ceremonies here are held to commemorate his day of birth and day of death, by the descendents. In the Temple for emperors inside the Forbidden purple, these commemorations are also seen. Poems of Buu Duc temple are very informative for historians. By them, it’s possible to know Vietnamese history, culture, state issues, and more in the reign of Thieu Tri king. In 2016, Unesco added the collection of royal literature of Hue’s monuments in the list of world documentary heritage of the Asia Pacific.  

Behind the Temple, there is the way to the tomb of Tu Du queen, the wife of Thieu Tri king. She is the beloved mother of Tu Duc king also (visitors will definitely know about this if go to Tu Duc tomb). Her burial place leans against a low hill, surrounded by pine trees.  

To the left of the Temple, visitors will see the Burial zone. It’s easy to realize a similarity between Thieu Tri tomb and Minh Mang tomb. Along an axis, in turn, there are the Courtyard with two rows of statues (elephants, horses, officials), the Pavillion housing a large stone stele, a bridge, and the sepulchre behind metal gates. The Stele is known as ‘Thanh Duc Than Cong’ written by Tu Duc king in Chinese mandarin language to honour his father. Currently, visiting it is quite dangerous because of damages from the Vietnam war. Again, the Sepulchre is inside a round-shaped hill (representing the sun), enclosed by a wall and embraced by a crescent moon-like lake (representing the moon). Just a few persons keep the key to open its door.

Many contructions now of Thieu Tri king have been restored, so sometimes, visitors can’t sightsee.

Thieu Tri Tomb Entrance Fee and Ticket

The entrance fee of Thieu Tri tomb is 50,000 VND for adults (no difference between local and foreigner). It’s free for visitors whose age is smaller than 12. Tickets are sold in the mausoleum or online at the website of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center. Cash is prefered because there’re not so many tourists coming to visit at the present.

How to Get to Thieu Tri King’s Tomb

Where is Thieu Tri Tomb?

Thieu Tri tomb is located in Cu Chanh village, Thuy Bang commune, Hue city. From the city centre or the Imperial city/Forbidden city or Dong Ba market, the average distance is 8 km. It’s 9,5 km if go from Thien Mu pagoda and is 3 km from Tu Duc tomb. Thieu Tri tomb is on Minh Mang Rd.

By Car and Taxi

Travelers definitely can go to Thieu Tri king’s tomb by car from everywhere in Hue. The drive is around 15 mins long, and to visit, 45 mins is enough. Usually, nobody just sees and have a transfer to this historic site. Instead, they’ll include other places in the itinerary (such as other imperial tombs or Abandoned waterpark) to optize time and money. Contact us by whatsapp number +84968009827 or to book a private car (or taxi) with a good price. 

If go from Da Nang or Hoi An cities, local drivers/guides may recommend visiting Thieu Tri king’s tomb first or last in the Hue tour (for traffic convenience).

By Motorbike and Bicycle

Riding around Hue city by a scooter is cheaper than car and tour. One day rental cost ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 VND, and gasoline isn’t in the price. Travelers should ask the hotel first because usually it has the service.

Getting to Thieu Tri tomb by motorcycle is easy. From Hue city centre, the distance is more and less than 8 km, so on average, it takes travelers 20 mins. The quickest way is by Minh Mang road. From everywhere in the city, it’s needed to find the shortest way to reach the Nam Giao esplanade. After that, turn to Le Ngo Cat Rd and then Minh Mang Rd (all with its street name sign). At the crossroad near the Pilgrimage Village resort (on Google maps: 16°25’28.5″N 107°34’47.1″E), don’t go straight! The Minh Mang Rd is to the right, and when you see rice fields, the tomb is to the left hand side. On the way, the riders will go downhill several times, but not they’re not steep.

Parking at Thieu Tri tomb is free of charge. Visitors should leave the bike in designated lots, near the ticket office.

By Boat

Thieu Tri tomb is 500 meters away from Ben Than boat station on the Perfume river. It means that travelers absolutely can travel by a boat (dragon boat) from the city to this mausoleum. Popular boat tours include sightseeing at Thien Mu pagoda, Hon Chen temple and Minh Mang tomb, and exclude Thieu Tri tomb. For that reason, a private expedition should be booked. Contact us in whatsapp number +84968009827 or to ask for more details of the Perfume river boat tour.

Guided Tours

There are so many private and group guided tours in Hue city. However, most of them don’t cover Thieu Tri tomb (instead, famous trio – Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, Tu Duc tombs is the choice). For that reason, travelers need to discuss with local organizers to customize the itinerary to sightsee it.

Our Hue day trip from Da Nang or Hoi An can include Thieu Tri tomb if requested. Please consider before deciding to skip another sight to replace by this tomb (should read the detailed information above to know that you want to see it or not). Traditionally we recommend Minh Minh tomb or Khai Dinh tomb or Tu Duc tomb for tourists.  

Places to Visit near Thieu Tri Tomb

Hon Chen Temple

500 meters away from Thieu Tri tomb, travelers can go to Ben Than station on the Perfume river. Here, it’s possible to get a boat ride transfer to Hon Chen temple and back. This temple is dedicated to worship of Thien Y Ana goddess, the most powerful goddess in the region. Annually, a traditional festival takes place to honour her, and it’s started first by Dong Khanh king. The entrance fee is 50,000 VND for adults and children above 12 years old.

The Abandoned Waterpark

Thuy Tien lake waterpark (aka the Abandoned waterpark of Hue) is 3,5 km from Thieu Tri king tomb. It’s famous for travelers since an international news maganize mentioned it as one of the most scary places on the planet. The highlight is a massive dragon which looks so kool on the pictures. No surprises that it’s one of the instagrammable spots in Hue.

Minh Mang Tomb

Minh Mang tomb is amongst the best known imperial mausoleums in Hue. It’s used to bury the second emperor – the father of Thieu Tri king. Sightseers love a wonderful harmonization between majestic buildings and their lovely surroundings (lakes, pine hills, gardens, flowers). From Thieu Tri tomb, the distance is 6 km. You can see further information in our guide to Minh Mang tomb.

Khai Dinh Tomb

Completed in 1931, Khai Dinh tomb is the final royal mausoleum in history of Vietnam. Interestingly, it’s designed by the king who owns it. He loves European architectural and decorative styles, so they appear in his burial place, next to traditional Vietnamese elements. The worshipping palace boasts amazing mosaics made by thousands of ceramic and glass pieces, and mural paintings. You can see more information in

Other Imperial Tombs in Hue

Besides Thieu Tri tomb, Hue is home to 6 other imperial tombs where different Nguyen emperors are buried. There are Gia Long tomb for the 1st king, Minh Mang tomb for the 2nd king, Tu Duc tomb for 4th king and 7th king, Duc Duc tomb for 5th king, 10th king and 11st king, Dong Khanh tomb for 9th king and Khai Dinh tomb for 12nd king. Each mausoleum tells visitors interesting stories about itself, its owners and the country. Most popular ones are Minh Mang tomb, Tu Duc tomb and Khai Dinh tomb.

See more details in

Thieu Tri Tomb on Google Maps

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