Location and history
Located on the bank of Song Huong- Perfume River; Hue, the capital of
Thua Thien Hue province in Central Vietnam, is 700 km southern Hanoi,
1100km northern Ho Chi Minh City, and only a few miles from the sea. Not
until 1945 was Hue the national capital, the political, cultural and
religious center of Vietnam under the control of Nguyen Dynasty. Most
well-known for its historic values; Hue had been recognized as one of
the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Entrance of Citadel, Hue
What to see in Hue
If you are a history buff, or simply love discovering exotic cultures,
Hue- Vietnam’s former Royal Capital is definitely on the top list of
your travel plan. The city represents the outstanding demonstration of
the power of the vanished Vietnamese feudal empire, including a complex
of monuments, tombs and pagodas that attract tourists coming from all
over the world.
Ancient Forbidden City
• Hue Citadel:
Occupying a large, bounded area on the north side of Perfume River;
four citadels were comprised to create the Capital City: Hoang Thanh (Imperial City)
for royal palaces and shrines, Tu Cam Thanh (Forbidden Purple City) for
royal residences, Dai Noi (Inner city) and Tran Binh Dai, which
exclusively ancient architecture. Tourists are expected to spend at
least one day to visit the whole complex. They can also catch a taxi,
hire a bicycle, rent a “xich lo”- Vietnamese cycle if do not feel like
walking around the site.
• Emperors Tombs:
There are several tombs of ancient emperors scattering along the
Perfume River: such as Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, Tu Duc, Dong Khanh, etc. On
Cam Khe Hill, Minh Mang Tomb
was built in 1843, with the area of 18 hectare, 3-meter-high defended
wall, and nearly 20 architectural constructions. Lying in the middle of a
pine forest, Tu Duc Tomb belongs to Duong Xuan Moutain, 8km far from Hue.
Featured in various songs and poems, Thien Mu Pagoda
has become an essential part of Hue City. With the symbol of the
octagonal 21-meter-high tower, the pagoda is the perfect combination of
artificial architectural work and picturesque nature. Tourists can also
visit other pagodas such as Tu Dam, Tu Hieu, Huyen Khong.
Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue
What to do in Hue
Besides visiting ancient monuments and tombs, coming to Hue, you can
also have a chance to bath and lying under the sun on the most wildly
beautiful beaches in Vietnam. Thuan An and Lang Co beach are among the
most wonderful ones, twinkling in sunshine with limpidly blue ocean and
white silky sand. Moreover, there are some mineral hot springs available
like Thanh Tan in Phong An, Phong Dien; where tourists can totally be
relaxed after a long walking day.
At the height of 1450 meter; Bach Ma Mountain, 60km southern the city,
represents the four-season type of weather of the temperate zone.
Many tour agencies also arrange a boat trip along Perfume River; in
which tourists can witness the splendid sceneries while enjoy Hue
specialties and watching royal art performance.
More: Hue Festival
Trang Tien Bridge on Perfume river
What to eat in Hue
Hue is the place where dining is not to satisfy human basic needs, but a
form of art. Hue’s gastronomy is elegant, light and noble, different
from other regions’ of Vietnam. Spices, especially chili, play an
important role in Hue’s cooking and cuisine decorating art. Nowadays,
consuming Hue dishes, it will be extremely interesting for everyone to
know that they are trying what mostly were served to the Emperor in the
One of the dishes that you cannot miss in Hue is “com hen”-
rice with baby clams- a very simple and low-priced specialty. A bowl of
“com hen” will bring you the sweet-smelling flavor of rice and herbs,
mixed with the buttery, sour, bitter taste of spices, grease, baby
Other flour-based dishes are worth trying: banh bot loc (rice pastry
with meat and shrimp), banh la cha tom (soft pastry wrapped in leaves
with meat, shrimp, and egg), banh hot thit quay (roast pork pastry),
banh la (sweet sticky rice wrapped in leaves)… Bun thit nuong (rice
vermicelli with grilled meat), Bun bo gio heo (rice vermicelli with beef
and pork) are loved by many tourists.
Hue is also famous for its extraordinary special “che”- sweet soups.
There are nearly 50 kinds of “che”, from the simple, common to elaborate
ones. Four typical kinds of “che” that Hue citizens most proud of are:
che khoai tia (purple sweet potatoes sweet soup), che long nhan boc hat
sen (longan wrapped in lotus seed sweet soup), che troi nuoc nhan tom
thit (floating sticky rice cake with shrimp sweet soup) and che dau van
bot loc (bean and rice pastry sweet soup).