Welcome to the former Vietnamese imperial capital, at the heart of a dense history and fascinating cultural heritage! Besides the famous foods, Hue has become a major cultural and tourist destination in Vietnam since it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1993. This lovely city offers everything one would expect from a trip that is both cultural and gourmet, aesthetic and relaxing. Let’s check out top 10 places to go in Hue!
Built at the start of the 18th century, in the image of the Forbidden City of Beijing, this remarkable architectural ensemble has passed through the history. The citadel, in the broad sense, is a very lively district where 60,000 people live. At its heart are the Imperial City and Purple Forbidden City surrounded by thick walls that are crossed by the superb Noon Gate. Heavily damaged by American bombardment, and at times the victim of typhoons and fires, the site has undergone numerous restorations still in progress. Some of the remaining buildings are just magnificent. The list is long of the wonders that can be discovered within the citadel: wide esplanades, royal palaces, monumental gates, administrative buildings, admirable pavilions, Flag Tower, temples …
Coming to the ancient capital, the dragon boat trip on the Perfume River in Hue becomes a unique feature. In the past, dragon boats were often reserved for the king for the purpose of navigating the river. Sitting on the boat, visitors will smell the beautiful Perfume River, the one that brings the aroma of the winds and creates the ancient beauty of Hue. The Perfume River is like a band of silk bringing soft features for visitors to enjoy adventure and old space.
Now one may not feel so fragrant due to modernization and increasing number of river boats, but it is still one of the most popular sites in Hue. The edge of the river becomes very lively in the evening. Young locals often flock to the park to admire the magnificent sunset over the Perfume River. The Trang Tien Bridge (Cau Truong Tien) also lights up with colorful LED lights, which put on an awesome sight.
Thien Mu Pagoda
This sacred place, built in the 17th century overlooking the Perfume River, bears the pretty name of the Pagoda of the Celestial Lady following a local legend which inspired its construction. Two centuries later, the 21-meter-high octagonal tower was added, which has become the city’s landmark. It is accessed by boat via a landing stage and a beautiful staircase. Thanks to its tower and its location, the pagoda is one of the most beautiful and revered in Vietnam.
Tu Duc Tomb
Located in the middle of a huge pine forest and on a quiet lake, this tomb is the eternal resting place of Emperor Tu Duc and is recognized as one of the most beautiful tombs of the Nguyen dynasty, the last dynasty from Vietnam. The harmony between buildings of sophisticated architecture and idyllic natural spaces gives this tomb a picturesque beauty that reflects the romantic poet soul of its owner. During a visit to Tu Duc Tomb in Hue, you will have the opportunity to gain insight into the life and history of a talented emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty in Hue, Vietnam.
Khai Dinh Tomb
Being a daring fusion of ancient and modern styles of Eastern and Western architecture, the tomb of Khai Dinh clearly represents the French influence on Vietnamese life and culture towards the end of the Nguyen Dynasty. Its location at the top of a hill offers an exceptional panorama of the river and the surrounding countryside. It is accessed by an imposing staircase, escorted by dozens of statues of soldiers and mandarins. The interior of the tomb is colorful, completely decorated with terracotta mosaics, surrounding the sovereign represented on an imposing throne.
Thuy Tien Water Park
Opened in 2004, the water park built around Lake Thuy Tien only remained in operation for two years before closing its doors for lack of profitability. But the constructions remained as they were, left to the ravages of time and weather, became one of the most scary, interesting place to discover.
The abandoned park is very popular with budding photographers, for its surreal atmosphere specific to all these abandoned sites which the urbex are fond of. Mystic atmosphere with old bleachers that have been invaded by graffiti artists, old disused water slides, bridges and paths around the lake and above all, highlight of the show, the old aquarium housed in a huge dragon-shaped building in the middle of the lake.
Thanh Toan Japanese Covered Bridge
The Japanese covered bridge in Hue (Thanh Toan Bridge), less famous and known than that of Hoi An. It is still one of the places to see during your stay in Hue. It is surrounded by a small, fairly quiet village and rice fields. A good way to take a bike ride in peace.
There is also a small agricultural museum next door. You can even try a few tools and imagine how the vietnamese farmer doing his job in the past.
Bach Ma National Park
If you are a Trekking lover, Bach Ma Park is for you.
Located about 40 km from Hue, Bach Ma National Park was a holiday resort for the French during colonization. Trekking through the forests, You can see old French houses there. There is also a fauna of 15,000 species as well as several waterfalls, including that of Do Quyen (300m of height)
Tam Giang Lagoon
Located 15km from Hue, the Tam Giang lagoon offers a magnificent landscape and magical colors. I advise you to go there around 4 p.m. so as not to miss the sunset. The entire park area is, 52km2, submerged in a bright yellow color.
You should not miss the opportunity to visit Thai Duong Ha fishing village. It is a small oasis on the lagoon. Also not to be missed is the Ru Cha mangrove forest.
If you have time, try to take a boat trip with a local fishing and net fishing with them.
An Bang Village
Want to see something unusual in Hue? I suggest the Village of An Bang which is located 20km from the city center.
An Bang village is a small fishing village in Hue, also known as “City of ghosts” or “The land where the dead live”.
Why is it known in Vietnam as the city of ghosts? Quite simply because the inhabitants have built many magnificent tombs. The ghost town stretches over 40 hectares. After the reunification in 1975, many residents of An Bang village emigrated to Europe and the United States. From there, they sent money back to their family, making it one of the richest villages in Vietnam. The graves cost between 30,000 euros and 50,000 euros or even 70,000 euros for the most prestigious.