Hue Vietnam Travel Guide

Hue Vietnam Travel Guide
A Vagabond Life

Hue Vietnam Travel Guide A Vagabond Life

Hue, nestled along the banks of the Perfume River in central Vietnam, is a city steeped in history and royal grandeur. Serving as the imperial capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945, Hue is a treasure trove of ancient palaces, temples, and citadels, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the country.

The Imperial City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as the crowning jewel of Hue, with its sprawling complex of citadels, gates, and palaces evoking the grandeur of Vietnam’s imperial past. Visitors can wander through the Forbidden Purple City, once reserved for the emperor and his concubines, and marvel at the intricate architecture and ornate decorations.

Beyond its imperial legacy, Hue enchants travelers with its tranquil landscapes, scenic countryside, and vibrant culinary scene. From boat rides along the Perfume River to exploring ancient pagodas nestled amidst verdant hills, Hue offers a wealth of experiences that immerse visitors in the rich tapestry of Vietnamese history and culture.

Hue Vietnam Table of Contents

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Hue Vietnam

Things To See & Do In Hue Vietnam

The Complex of Hue Monuments

The Complex of Hue Monuments
Imperial Citadel 

The former imperial seat of government is a stunning sprawling complex of temples, pavilions, moats, walls, gates, shops, museums and galleries, featuring art and costumes from various periods of Vietnamese history.  The citadel was badly damaged during fighting between the French and the Viet Minh in 1947, and again in 1968 during the Tet Offensive, when it was shelled by the Viet Cong and then bombed by the Americans.

  • Ngọ Môn. The main southern entrance to the city, built in 1833 by Minh Mang. The central door, and the bridge connecting to it, were reserved exclusively for the emperor.
  • Thái Hòa Palace. The emperor’s coronation hall. Trường Sanh Residence. Translated as the “Palace of Longevity”, the Truong Sanh Palace was the residence of King Tu Duc’s mother, Empress Tu Du, under the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century.
  • Forbidden Purple City. Directly behind Thai Hoa Palace, but it was almost entirely destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive and only the Mandarin Palaces on both sides remain.
  • Hue Jungle Crevice. When the Viet Cong briefly over ran Hue they rounded up 3000 of Hue’s citizens and officials. Fearing the prisoners would slow them down in hot retreat, they tied them up and pushed the people over the cliff into the crevice.
Hue Vietnam

Tombs of the Emperors

Tombs of the Emperors

Southeast of the Citadel, on both banks of the Perfume River, are  royal tombs. Monuments to the rulers of the Nguyen dynasty, including Minh Mang, Khai Dinh, and Tu Doc, the tombs are all definitely worth a visit.  At the tombs, you’ll see courtyards filled with stone elephants, horses, and mandarins. You’ll find pavilions, temples for worshiping the emperor’s soul, and eulogies. Most of the tombs were planned by the emperor himself, so each royal tomb reflects the personality of the deceased rule.

  • Tomb of Minh Mang  – Possibly the best of the lot, situated inside a wall and covering several hectares.
  • Tomb of Thieu Tri – built in 1848. This Emperor and his wife were the most revered and loved throughout the country.
  • Tomb of Tu Duc – Constructed from 1864 to 1867, the complex served as a second Imperial City where the Emperor went for “working vacations”.  Tomb of Dong Khanh – built in 1917. Only the entrance gate and a temple facade is ready.
  • Tomb of Khai Dinh – dating from 1925, this is the best preserved of the lot and, while comparatively compact, quite grand at first sight.

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