Vietnam in Brief – A Quick Guide to Hue
A Quick Guide to Hue
Hue is a little city with a big history. For almost 150 years it served as Vietnam’s capital bringing with it royal extravagance and an elegant, delicate cuisine. At the heart of the city is the large and beautiful Imperial Citadel. Once home to the Nguyen Lords it’s now a well decked museum complete with a selection of captured American bombers and tanks. Surrounding the city are the elaborately adorned temples of former kings and royal built pagodas full of monks. During the American war Hue was a strategic point for the Americans and Vietnamese troops. Bullet holes in temples and citadels show off the fierce fighting that took place here. If you are a history buff, Hue is your paradise. It is also regarded as the cultural and spiritual capital of Vietnam. The city has an abundance of pagodas, stunningly adorned temples and Catholic churches.
What to do and see in Hue
Visit the imperial citadel
Hue’s imperial citadel is at the heart of the city. It’s a huge complex of buildings and temples encircled with a high ancient wall. Once the home to Vietnam’s royal family it’s now a museum with a wide range of exhibits including captured war machines. You can stroll around yourself but for a deeper experience ask us to arrange a tour guide for you.
Do a motorbike tour of the city
There’s no better way to see the city than on the back of a motorbike. Our experienced English speaking drivers will carefully carry you around town showing you the sights. This is by far the best way to experience the little back lanes of this city where the true soul of Hue is to be found. It’s exciting, adventurous, informative and perfectly safe. All of our drivers have been safety checked and they’ll cruise you around at a leisurely 20-30kmph.
Visit the tombs of the Kings
The tombs of the kings are epic shrines dedicated to Vietnam’s emperors. The shrines are elaborately adorned with paintings, sculptures and statues and are heavily influenced by French architecture and design. They are amazing sites at once peaceful and breath-taking.
City of Ghosts
This little known destination is home to sprawling scenes of splendidly ornate tombs, which cover an area of 100 acres. Get off the main tourist trail and travel 20 km to see how the Vietnamese honour their dead with enormous respect. The cost to build these tombs varies from USD$20,000 to USD$150,000.
Chill out at Thuan An Beach
If you travel 14 km east of Hue you will find the stunning beach of Thuan An, which is fabulously underdeveloped. No doubt this will change in the coming years, so take advantage of the isolation whilst you can.
How’s the food?
In one word, Regal. Hue’s food was created for royalty and it’s a feast of colours, flavours, textures and styles. From the deliciously delicate Banh Beo to the fiery Bun Bo Hue. More speciality dishes originate from this little town than anywhere else in Vietnam. For western fare there is a range of budget options and gourmet fine dining along Pham Ngu Lao Street. The nightlife here is unexpectedly lively with fun to be had at the DMZ Bar and then at Brown Eyes later in the evening.
Do a food tour. If there is one town in Vietnam to get out and try the street food this is it.
Is Hue for you?
If you want to see a town that truly reflects the history and culture of Vietnam, then this is the place for you. To see the soul of this town, you need to get out and explore the tiny alleyways that seem to weave through people’s front and back yards, giving you a glimpse of their lives up close. Splendidly decorated temples, where families pay homage to their dead ancestors, are scattered throughout the city. Foodies and history buffs will love it here and it’s perfect for family or school visits too. If a beach resort town is more your style, you may prefer Nha Trang.
The best time to go to Hue
Hue has two seasons, rainy and dry. Unlike other parts of Vietnam the rainy season does really mean rain. If you are unlucky you can catch several days of continuous heavy downpours. Rainy season typically lasts from August to December. The rest of the year is hot and dry with temperatures ranging from 26-39 c.
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