Hue Travel Guides
Situated in the Centre of Vietnam, Hue used to be the former capital of the emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. Thus, Hue has been one of Vietnam’s main cultural, religious and educational centers. With diversified and beautiful landscapes, Hue possesses a unique and harmoniously beauty. Today, its main attractions are the royal tombs, notable pagodas and the remains of the Citadel. In 1993, Hue Citadel was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO and followed is Hue Royal Musical declared as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003.
The Perfume River runs between the city of Hue and the remains of the Citadel, dragon boat trips as well as dinner cruises on the river are an enchanting way to see the city. Also, royal emperor Hue-style food is can not be missed experience.
Hue – Ancient Capital
Situated on the Huong (Perfume) River in central Vietnam, Hue was the imperial capital of the country during the Nguyen dynasty from 1802-1945. The complex of Hue monuments earned UNESCO recognition as a World Heritage site in 1993 and has been undergoing extensive renovations since then.
In the heart of the city is the formidable Citadel including the royal Forbidden City, an elegant complex of residential buildings, temples that was the home of the Nguyen dynasty rulers in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Within the outer walls of the Citadel are residential areas where some citizens of Hue live today. Visitors can get a taste of local Vietnamese life by strolling through the labyrinth of streets and observing the lives of the local people.
No trip to Hue would be complete without a boat trip down the Perfume River to see the royal tombs of emperors To Duc, Khai Dinh and Ming Mang as well as the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda. The landscaping at the Ming Mang tomb is particularly interesting, resembling the grounds of English stately homes designed by Capability Brown.
In addition to its historical attractions, Hue is known for its unique cuisine, combining dishes created for the former imperial court with a wide variety of street food, which is often fairly spicy.
Hue is also famous for its high quality embroidery and silks, and a tailor made ao dai, the traditional long dress of Vietnam, is a popular souvenir for many tourists.
What to do?
Highlights of Hue City are the ancient Citadel, nearby royal tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda and Dong Ba Market. All can be seen in one or two full days. Around Hue, there are the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Vinh Moc underground tunnels and Bach Ma National Park, promising destinations for day tours starting from Hue.
When to go?
The best time to visit Hue is from March to August, particularly in March and April when it is normally dry and the temperatures are cooler although light rain is still likely. Rainy season started from September to January, heavily and frequently.
Most of the city’s major sites, beside the Forbidden City, are not within walking distance from the city center. It is recommended to arrange a tour either by boat, private car or motorbike. Bicycling is also an option.
For the DMZ tour, in fact, there are few remnants of the war and not much left to see. If you are interested in the war history, bring along a good tour guide who can color in the sites with stories. Don’t forget to bring along an umbrella and a torch to explore the Vinh Moc Tunnels.