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The first tomb we visited in Hue was for Emperor Minh Mang, who ruled from 1820 to 1840. The luxuriant gardens and man-made lakes with the imperial temple, seen here in this image, would have been easily passed as a massive park. One can't help but feel completely peaceful and serene walking around the grounds.

Each mausoleum has a specific character and design. Even so, they each contain five essential elements. Usually there is an honour courtyard filled with stone figures of mandarins, horses and elephants. Next is a stele pavilion that houses a huge marble tablet describing the emperor's accomplishments and virtues, written in Chinese characters. The third element is a temple for the worship of the emperor and the empress. It is usually built higher from the ground. As for the sepulcher, it is normally enclosed in some manner, where the emperor's remains were buried. The final feature consists of beautiful lakes surrounded by frangipani and pine trees, which gives the tombs the peaceful ambience.

This is the mausoleum's throne room of Emperor Khai Dinh. The intricacies of the interior gives unreserved evidence of the emperor's high taste for grandiose designs. The ceilings were painted with murals of dragons frolicking in churning clouds. Above the throne is a golden square canopy. It hung down from the ceiling as if you are looking up a huge, thick, golden table-cloth from underneath. Except that it has more dragons cavorting within golden elaborate designs carved into its breadth. The square canopy has a panel on each side with tassels dropping down at its edge. The tassels in green, purple, orange and even brown colour formed wavy lines as they go up and down underneath the panels.

At the back part of the throne platform, there were golden brown panels rising up and down. They form a semi-circle, giving the appearance of sun rays bursting from the bottom. Directly in front of it are multi-coloured mosaic clouds also in a semi-circle.

Underneath the center of the canopy, sits the gilded bronze life-size statue of Emperor Khai Dinh on the golden throne. The emperor holds his royal scepter in glorious splendour of his imperial clothing. It is said that the emperor's remains were buried 18 meters below the statue, which was french-made in 1922.

Mosaic covers most of the other surfaces in the mausoleum. The pillars, the altars, the walls, the throne platform are all covered in a riot of colours and design in mosaic. This mausoleum stands out from the other emperors' in that it departs from the usual traditional chinese designs. Instead it fuses eastern and western influences in its design and architecture.

Hello... I Am Josh

A Travel Writer & Photographer from South East Asia

A little about me

Josh For some, it's shopping therapy. Others, movie therapy. Yet more, reading therapy. For me, it's writing therapy.
Why writing? When I travel, I enjoy first-hand the experience like in shopping therapy. But when I write about my travels, I live vicariously the experience again, as if like a movie sequel (or more like GroundHog Day, except that this is fun!). Yes, writing evokes the memories, the fun and the not-so-fun but all-in-all it gives the satisfaction of reliving the sense of place once more.
With images, it enhances the experience down one's travel memory lane. With this in mind, I hope to share my travel stories in words and images with you. For your escape therapy! More...

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