Hue on the Central Coast of Vietnam is a city with an astonishing history. From its early days during the Nguyen Dynasty right through to today, it has lived in interesting times. Originally called Phu Xuan it was named as the nation’s capital by Emperor Gia Long in 1802. It remained the national capital until 1945. Following Emperor Bao Dai’s abdication the communist government was established in Hanoi, whilst the French colonists established a state capital for the South in Saigon.
During the war the city suffered terrible damage especially in the 1968 Tet Offensive, due to its proximity with the border between North and South Vietnam. Sadly some of the City’s greatest treasures were terribly damaged; and what treasures it has.
The Citadel of Ancient Monuments is one of Vietnam’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Imperial City was the seat of the Nguyen emperors. It covers a large, walled area to the north of the delightful Perfume River, so called because in the Autumn blossoms from fruit trees drop into the water upstream and float down. This creates an aroma that pervades the city. Sadly most of the Forbidden City was destroyed by American bombs, though efforts are now being made to restore it.
The attractions don’t end there; along the Perfume River other famous and important monuments are found. The tombs of the Emperors Minh Mang, Kai Dinh and Tu Duc are popular tourist attractions. Also the Thien Mu Pagoda is here, the largest in the city and its official symbol.
Hue now receives in excess of two and a half million visitors per year, providing a useful economic boost to the town. This is of course a difficult balancing act, to maintain the level of tourism without having a negative impact on the environment. The authorities are, thus far, managing it.
The grand old dame of Vietnam, Hue city is a fabulous collage of culture, history, natural beauty and modern luxury. Many visitors make the mistake of overlooking it or viewing it as a transit city that can be explored in a day or two.
Hue’s ancient imperial city harbours awe-inspiring structures that cannot be appreciated in a short time frame, starting at The Citadel and fanning out th...
Hello again. I assumed you have already read my First Impressions of Hue and today I'm going to share with you two historical sites that I visited fifteen mornings ago.
You see, Hue is rich in history and a few days wouldn't be enough to over all the beautiful and significant sites of the this ancient city. Indeed, this is one of Vietnam's most touristy spots given it has been recognized...
After the 15-hour train ride from Hanoi, I arrived in Hue hovered by gray skies on the 12th of November. I stepped outside and there were people from the travel agencies or hotel bringing papers with them bearing names of tourists they had been waiting for. I knew my name wouldn’t be there; I didn’t ask to be picked up.
The misty air would tell the rain has just stopped-...
Housed in the An Dinh residence, a decorate building of French architectural influence, the Hue Royal Antiquities Museum has more than 300 relics in its showroom – the royal family tea sets are particularly beautiful. The residence was built in 1908 by King Khai Dinh and presented to his son the last reigning emperor, King Bao Dai.
Near the tomb of Tu Duc, make sure you stop by this roadside village and observe how locals make sandalwood and cinnamon incense as well as traditional Hue conical hats. Colourful stalks of incense are bunched together, and sample pieces are lit so that there is a pleasant aroma in the air.
The Citadel is Hue’s main attraction, having served as the primary residential estate of the royal family and hosting the main buildings of state. Built by Emperor Gia Long in 1804 on auspicious ground (determined by royalappointed geomancers), the Citadel is a colossal structure that sprawls out over the vast majority of the city centre. The squareshaped foundation is surrounded by 10km ...
A celebration of Vietnamese grandeur and French-opulence, this elevated tomb site is simply spectacular. The stone steles, bodyguard statues and stairs leading up to the altar create an ethereal ambiance when combined with the mountainous view. Inside the main chamber, mosaic tiles and gold decor produce a breathtaking effect.
Built into the natural slope of Chau Chau Mountain, this tomb is no...
Down the opposite slope of Hai Van Pass lies the sleepy beach town of Lang Co, a picturesque outpost consisting of a long strip with resorts and street vendors. Fishing is the main industry in Lang Co and the nearby lagoon supplies plenty of catches. Dine at one of the many beachfront restaurants and sample their livelihood. You may be in a hurry to get up to Hue, but remember that some of the ...
While many aspects of this market seem typically Vietnamese, it remains a cultural symbol in Hue, particularly as it showcases traditional delicacies and crafts. Purchase sweet sesame Hue cakes or seek out bronze, pottery and ceramics. Not for the fainthearted, you’ll see jars of tom chua – shrimp preserved in chilli and ginger – everywhere.
With seven treatment rooms, three private rooms, and an indoor pool and jacuzzi, Royal Spa is an ideal place to wash away the day’s stress. Located at the famed Imperial Hotel Hue, this salon and treatment facility has everything you need to get back to top form. Let luxury revive your health and restore your beauty.
Encapsulating the Feng Shui principles and Imperial design befitting an Emperor, Tu Duc’s tomb is set in a narrow woodland valley, with a lake, pond and the usual temples, pavilions, stele house and sepulchre. It is a favourite among visitors, and it’s easy to become romantic about the “Emperor Poet” amidst such beauty.
Set in the lush Pilgrimage Village Resort 4km from Hue, the Vedana Spa invites you to recline in the lap of luxury with a series of treatments and massages designed to bring inner peace to the forefront. Traditional rubdowns, ranging from Swedish to Thai, are accompanied by detoxifying cleanses, modern fusion rubs and deluxe beauty revitalisations, every inch of your body will be taken care of.
Translating to “Heavenly Lady”, this pagoda is named after an old woman who prophesized that a Lord would come and build a Buddhist temple. Lord Nguyen Hoang thus ordered its construction in 1601. One of the oldest of Hue’s pagodas, this is an iconic must-visit sight, especially during sunset.
Ana Mandara Hue is conveniently located in the popular Thuan An Beach area. Offering a variety of facilities and services, the hotel provides all you need for a good night's sleep. Poolside bar, room service, family room, tours, bar/pub are just some of the facilities on offer. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. Access to the hotel's spa, jacuzzi, outdoor pool, steamroom, garden will further enhance your satisfying stay. Discover all Hue has to offer by making Ana Mandara Hue your base.
Imperial Hotel Hue is conveniently located in the popular Hue City area. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. Take advantage of the hotel's poolside bar, elevator, laundry service/dry cleaning, bar/pub, executive floor. The well-appointed guestrooms feature internet access – LAN (complimentary), satellite/cable TV, shower, non smoking rooms, bathrobes. Access to the hotel's outdoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi, spa, massage will further enhance your satisfying stay. Imperial Hotel Hue is an excellent choice from which to explore Hue or to simply relax and rejuvenate.
Stylish and chic, Confetti serves warm ambience to match its colourful selection of Hue specialities. Pair your fresh hot pot or barbequed seafood with a bottle from their extensive international wine list. Be sure to try their grilled duck with lemongrass and chili, a savoury and spicy dish updating tradition with a healthy dash of culinary innovation.
A genuinely styled Japanese house, Yoshihara makes authentic sushi, sashimi and other favourites from Japan. Slide up to the bar and watch the talented sushi chefs prepare your meal. One of the premier restaurants in the Imperial Hotel Hue, after your meal, head over to the in house Prince Club and try your luck at one of the many gaming options.
Located in lush garden houses near the Citadel, Ancient Hue is a high ranking restaurant where visitors can experience fine food and Hue’s cultural heritage in a beautiful ambience. Offering refined takes on local specialities, the scrumptious dishes are presented with traditional royal decorations passed through generations of Hue culinary artists. Royal Package A typical entertainment under the Nguyen Dynasty will be re-created vividly in Ancient Hue restaurant. With this service, guests will have the chance to experience authentic cuisines of Hue’s royalty. Guests will come into an ancient environment with ancient costumes, Royal music and performances while enjoying the Royal ...
This quaint, cheerful bakery has excellent pastries, breads, pizzas and drinks on offer. More than simply providing divine baked goods, La Boulangerie trains underprivileged youngsters to become qualified bakers and pastry chefs. Socially conscious and unequivocally delicious, the comfortable lounge seating is a good spot to spend the afternoon.
For a sweeping vista of Hue’s constantly expanding skyline and the famed Perfume River, head to King’s Panorama Bar at the Imperial Hotel. Lounge back on comfortable couches and listen to traditional folksongs every night from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. This welcoming venue is perfect for starting the night or relaxing with a cocktail.