Hue, located in central Vietnam, was previously one of the country’s imperial capital cities. It was the capital up until the War in Vietnam. The centre of the city is easy to navigate and fairly compact. A popular place for tourists today, here are some of the main sights and attractions in Hue:
Dai Noi is the old imperial palace complex, an expansive area with moat-surrounded temples and pavilions, high walls, statues, and several museums and gift stores. Whilst some parts of the citadel have been restored, there are large parts that are in a sorrowful state of ruin, despite the citadel only having been constructed in the early 1800s. It’s a nice place to wander around and enjoy the peaceful air as you lose yourself in the site’s history and imagine how splendid it must have been in its heyday, before being damaged in various attacks. The admission fee is 150,000 VND (approximately 6.60 USD) for non-Vietnamese visitors.
The Perfume River winds its way through the city, and a boat trip along the river is a great way to get a different view of local life and relax as you drift past the world. Prices vary according to the number of people, season, size of boat, and your negotiating skills. Alternatively, you can easily cycle alongside the river to enjoy the views. There are several old war bunkers close to river’s edge. Whilst there’s nothing really to see today, they serve as a reminder of the country’s tumultuous past.
There are several grand and ornate tombs just outside of Hue city. You can cycle to the tombs, though many visitors hop on a motorbike taxi for convenience; the round-trip ride costs around 455,000 VND (approximately 20 USD), including waiting time. The final resting place of the emperors of the Nguyen dynasty, some of the tombs are in an atmospheric state of decay, whilst others have been well preserved and restored. The main tombs are the Tu Doc, Khai Dinh, and Minh Mang Tombs. Admission to each of these three main tombs is 100,000 VND (approximately 4.40 USD).
Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda is one of Hue’s most recognisable sites. Indeed, it is the city’s official symbol. Situated on elevated ground, the religious site affords great views of the river. Located around five kilometres (3.1 mi) from the heart of the city, you will need to agree a price for a motorbike taxi or rent a bicycle to visit (unless you like long walks!). The statuesque multi-tiered pagoda is very photogenic and ornate, and you can see a selection of Buddha statues in various positions within the main hall. Surrounded by lovely gardens, take a stroll and enjoy the spiritual aura and fragrant flowers.
I Love Hue!
Hue boasts several other attractions of note, including the old Phu Bai Airport and the free-to-enter Ho Chi Minh Museum, but one of the city’s newest attractions is perhaps one of the most charming: a large sign next to the river that translates into English as I Love Hue. Head along and snap some selfies!
Experience modern life in a former imperial capital and add Hue to your Vietnamese travel itinerary.