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Gothic Opulence

Gothic Opulence

Here we are, almost halfway through our biggest group excursion. Over a course of 10 days, the 22 Vietnam students will be traveling through the central and northern regions of Vietnam. As of today, we have visited the ancient capital of Vietnam, Hue, as well as the historic Hoi An.

During our one-day stay in Hue, we managed to visit a number of historical sites, including the tomb of the penultimate emperor, Khai Dinh. I think it is fair to say that we’re quite the tomb-and-temple experts by now, but Emperor Khai Dinh’s tomb was still something special. Perhaps it was the surprise that awaited us inside the tomb.

The exterior of his tomb is made of black concrete. The dark color, made more prominent by the rain and the gloomy skies, created an ominous air. Its dark carvings and intricate towers were beautiful, but foreboding. The interior seemed like another world entirely. No more were the dark colors, instead we were surrounded by light and colors and a gleam that covered the entirety of the interior. This contrast of gothic and lavishness was not lost on me, or on anyone else. No photos could do it justice and capture the full extent of opulence. Truly, from floor to ceiling, every nook and cranny was filled with glistening jewels or perfectly painted stonework. While none of us were fans of the historical figure himself, his tomb left a very different impression on us.





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