For any considerations to take Hue or not, the answer always a definite “Yes”. Hue, Vietnam a chock-full of potential charming and magnificent places to discover. This destination will be specially favored by historical, cultural and cuisine buffs.
Hue is well-known as the ancient capital of Vietnam from 1802 – 1945 when the Gia Long King from Nguyen Dynasty moved Vietnam’s capital from Hanoi to Hue for land extension purpose. This contributed a significance piece into the nation’s history. Hue City is leafy with Imperial historical relics; and becomes more charming when pampered by the Perfume River.
Hue is located in the North and Middle-North of Central region; bordering Laos in the West and the ocean in the East. This serene place is entirely endowed with an ecosystem range transversally spanned with mountain, plain area, fresh-water lagoons and marine.
With a coastline stretched up to 128km (79 miles), Hue is endowed with isolated and stunning beaches of soft white sand shores; and the captivated coastal lagoons homing variable aquatic creatures. The indigenous culture and nature render Hue’s an unmissable mosaic of Vietnam Travel.
Distanced 1100km (684 miles) and 700km (434 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi respectively, travelers could reach Hue from these two big cities via flights, train and local sleeping bus.
Best time to visit Hue
November to March could be the period when the temperature is most moderate. April to July is a bit hotter but still acceptable and with some sudden short bursts in the day; but this time offer blue sky and stunning sunset over the lagoons.
August is scorching hot; then September and October is monsoon season. This might affect some experiences of yours but Hue landscape is always attractive.
Things to do in Hue
These days, only a fraction is remained but the citadel – an enormous complex of around 520 ha is still very atmospheric and symbolic. This relic represents once prosperous dynasty with thousands of principles, policies and the significant developments. This should not be missed in your Hue City Tour.
The citadel is bounded with 10 km walled fortress and could be entered by 10 majestic gates which armed with cannons and military units. It takes around 2 hours or more to discover this Purple Imperial Citadel where only royal family and servants habituated. To tour around, let’s enter through the Ngo Mon Gate and you will get a grip on easily.
Tombs and creepy stories
Before passing away, the Emperor planned a fine architecture of their own tombs. Each of them bears the temperament, philosophies and interests of the King.
Highly recommended tombs:
Minh Mang Tomb is located on the tranquil greenish Cam Khe Mount area 12 km (8 miles) from City center; and face to the joining of two tributaries originating the serene Perfume River. Then it’s could be reached by land transfer or leisure boat cruising.
Designed in a unique structure depicting the best harmony between nature and architecture, Minh Mang Tomb is a complex of 40 components like palaces, pavilions, lakes, etc. distributed well along the axis.
Tu Duc Tomb is said to be the largest and the most luxurious complex of Nguyen Dynasty. It’s why the place was renamed in to Khiem Tomb (Modest). The tomb designs represent King’s philosophical intelligence and romantic characteristics. It’s not only the resting place of him after his death, Tu Duc King also take this place as a retreat escape.
Be the king had longest ranging period up to 35 years, Tu Duc sadly confronted draconic difficulties like the outer Colonial invading and inner dissension conflict. Additionally, he has over a hundred wives but no son to succeed which was assumed that he got infectious to the smallpox. This gave him more time inventing new poems and follow the freedom spirit. In the end of his life, when the tomb is constructed it consumed a significant treasure and labor works that there was a rebellion against him. Over all, Tu Duc himself was a kind-hearted, romantic and philosophy excellent.
This tomb of tranquil atmosphere is just around 6 km (4 miles) from Hue City; and it has been one of the most attractive places of Hue.
Khai Dinh King enthroned in 1916 when the French Colonial already flooded in Vietnam and played role as the Indochina protector at the time. In the last period of his rule, Khai Dinh did not showcase much his emperor power but mainly worked for the Colonial range.
Like previous generation, he designed his own tomb as well. Khai Dinh was the last King able to order tomb construction; then Khai Dinh Tomb could be said as the last emperor tomb of Nguyen Dynasty.
His tomb, took 11 years to complete, is more modest than previous King ‘s. However it is contracted with most elaborated architecture is the combination between Oriental and Western nuances. This is definitely worth a visit.
Thien Mu Pagoda
Not an official symbol of Hue, Thien Mu Pagoda yet has been well-known via depictions and admirations in Vietnamese poems and songs which probably thank to its ideal location being on a hill and overlooking to tranquil Perfume River or the legends of Lady Manushi-buddha.
Sited only around 4 km from Hue City center, it’s suggested to take a bicycle ride to see landscape and admire the river and landscape which would be solemn, quiet and charming in the morning.
It doesn’t take much time to visit this small complex included with Phuoc Duyen Tower – a seven-story octagonal one. Thieu Tri King had this tower built to memorize his grandmother’s 80th birthday. Coming up are the pagoda sanctuary with Buddha impressive statue and giant bell. Apart from this, there is a house preserving relics relating to a religious resounding event which is the car of Thich Quang Duc monk to burnt himself till death to object Saigon Government ’s harsh regime on religion.
Visit a Garden house
Hue is featured with typical garden houses with precise rules of Feng Shui of which were once processed by princes, royal mandarin and the rich. These elegant houses discreetly shelter in the greenish garden; located at good land bringing auspiciousness and prosperity to the owners. Their door directions also decided base on the host’s fortuned direction.
The garden houses could be found at the villages nearby Hue City. Our suggestion is taking leisure bike through pristine rural area and entering the serene houses for a short visit and break.
Which village to visit?
An Hien Garden House: A garden house built in 1885 covering 5,000 sqm just around 4 km (2.5 miles) from Hue City. It lies among ancient trees, alluring natures and confronts the tranquil Perfume River. Originally, the An Hien Garden House was the residence of a Nguyen Princess. Though it has been transferred a few times, there are remained some royal relics displayed.
Xuan Vien Tieu Cung Garden House: This was resided by a royal Minister of ceremony whose name means Spring Garden like miniatured palace. Sited in Phu Mong Village, less than 4 km (2.5 miles) from city center, this is the most intact house in the village. Its last owner probably was the grandchild of the Minister who passed away recently at the age of 91. She was the house’s spirit, in small shape and always hospital with smiley face.
Apart from Imperial gastronomy that you could try at a nice restaurant, there are great local dishes to try in Hue including. All the city
Banh Beo, Banh Nam, Banh Ram which are steamed cake made from rice or tapioca combined with variable toppings, crispy crackers and sauces.
Suggested restaurant to eat these cakes: Quan Banh Chi in Hue City
Banh Khoai: The pancake of Hue with prawn, bean sprout, pork, wrapped up in the folded hot and crispy fried rice layer.
Suggested restaurant: Banh Khoai Hoang Mai
Bun Bo Hue: a Hue’s signature dish of rounded noodle with beef and some add on. The taste is fresh healthy. This dish should be eaten with some thinly sliced banana flower, lettuce and herbs.
Suggested restaurant: Bun Bo Ong Vong
Bun Thit Nuong: Rounded rice noodle with BBQ Pork served with peanut and special Nem sauce (anchory fermented paste mixed with minced pineapple, sugar, chilies and seasoning for a just right taste)
Suggested place: Bun Thit Nuong in Dao Duy Tu Street
If you wish to know more about the stories and best way to savor these dishes, don’t hesitate to contact us here for a special customized experience.
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