The imperial city of Hue in central Vietnam was the home of the Nguyen Emperors and the nation’s capital from 1802 to 1945. When it comes to history and cultural heritage, palaces, tombs and temples, Hue has it all. Sitting astride the Perfume River, Hue is a picturesque and peaceful city which pervades a sense of harmony.
The northern shore of the river is dominated by the ancient Citadel, with its giant flag tower, mossy green walls and moat. Most of the city’s key historic sites lie in and around the Citadel including temples, various formal state palaces, the Imperial Enclosure and the Forbidden Purple City within it. Hue came under heavy attack during the American War and many of the imperial building were tragically destroyed or badly damaged. This was followed by a period of wilful neglect under the new Communist regime, until the 1990’s when the site became UNESCO World Heritage Listed and restoration began. Whilst only a few original buildings are intact the city still holds much appeal.
A scenic boat trip along the Perfume River is a popular excursion, stopping en route at Thien Mu Pagoda (an iconic tiered pagoda) and various imposing Royal Tombs along the river. Nightlife in Hue is low key, although the city has a good variety of restaurants and cuisine. The city’s sprawling Dong Ba Market is the place to shop and also to sample some local delicacies, including the tasty royal rice cakes.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Hue, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Southeast Asia