I was glad to have taken a bit of a break before going to see the imperial tombs as quite a lot of the architecture was unsurprisingly similar to that of the imperial palace. I went first to the Tu Duc tombs where lots of stuff was under restoration. It was a huge complex with plenty of atmospheric, crumbling buildings.
This place was huge, with pavilions leading into pavilions. Here, there was a stele pavilion that housed a stele listing Tu Duc’s reflections on his life and its meaning.
Some side pavilions were in serious disrepair and waiting for the restoration crew to arrive.
They were appropriately marked “dangerous area” so we were warned. The building could come down any moment!
Leading up to the tomb was a gauntlet of officials, both military and administrative, attesting to the rank of the emperor.
Before getting to the tomb proper, you have to get past the gate. It’s designed so that the tomb can’t be seen from the outside – a stone screen protects it from prying eyes.
And the tomb itself, a little bit of an anti-climax but still impressive with its slightly austere air. Too bad about the graffiti marring it though.
I was too palace and tombed out to explore further and went only to the outside of the Khai Dinh tomb to have a look round. The entry gate was absolutely impressive, with its ornate carvings in the grey stone and the long staircase forcing one to stare upwards.