It took nearly three years to build some 50 structures that make up the Tomb of Tu Duc, located 8 kilometers outside of Hue amid an expansive pine forest. The grounds are divided into two main parts—tomb and temple areas. Near the entrance visitors can wander the pavilion where the emperor once perched to compose poems and admire the flowers. This leads to his work station, and ultimately to his resting place. The impressive tomb, located just beyond the Honor Courtyard, houses a massive stone engraved with a narrative written by the Emperor himself.
Visit after the rainy season, when the tomb’s foliage is in full bloom. Tomb of Tu Duc is accessible by bike from Hue. The ride along the Perfume River is flat and scenic. Open daily from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 pm.