10 things to do in Hue
- on Dec 11, 2018       By: LucyH
The last ancient capital of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see for travelers staying in Vietnam. Inescapable for its great historical heritage as for its divine gastronomy and all the tourist interests that offers the gracious city of Hue. To enjoy your trip in Hue at its fullest, here are the 10 activities not to be missed.
1. Discover the ancient royal citadel
The emblem of Hue par excellence which sheltered many emperors of the Nguyen dynasty. Although suffering from the Vietnam War, the citadel offers travelers a very beautiful historical and cultural heritage. Being built according to the principles of geomancy, geography, astrology, the whole exudes an incredible natural harmony. You will notice the military defense techniques following the ramparts of Vauban.
2. Take a cruise on the Huong River (Perfume River)
To appreciate all the poetic beauty of Hue nothing better than a cruise on the Huong River. The river gets its name from the scent released in spring by the flowers and fruit along the banks. On a small boat, let yourself be slow-moving by its current to discover majestic imperial tombs, peaceful villages and the hypnotic countryside of Hue.
3. Visit the tombs of emperors
The seven imperial tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty are erected along the Huong River in the beautiful Hue countryside. But there are four tombs which are outstanding comparing to the rest including Gia Long tomb, Minh Mang tomb, Tu Duc tomb and Khai Dinh tomb. Each has a different configuration, aesthetics, architecture and natural setting. Some are quite far away from the city center, therefore, it requires some time to visit. You can go to the emperor's tombs by car, by bike or on a cruise on the Huong River.
4. Discover Thien Mu Pagoda
Thien Mu Pagoda or Heavenly Lady Pagoda is located on the hill of Ha Khe, on the left bank of the Huong River, just 5 kilometers from the city of Hue. It was built in 1601 by Lord Nguyen Hoang. Vietnam's highest pagoda with its six upper floors of its tower, it is also one of the most beautiful and ancient architectural structures of Hue. During your visit, you will discover the legends that surround the construction of Thien Mu Pagoda.
5. Go to a vibrant and colorful market
Located on the north bank of the Perfume River, Dong Ba Market is the largest market in the city of Hue. It is here that beats the heart of the commercial activity of the city. You will stroll along the colorful stalls with lots of boats that dump the goods produced in the neighboring villages. At the market, you can see some of the most beautiful conical hats of Vietnam.
6. Discover the craft villages in Hue
Craft villages are an important part of Hue's cultural heritage. There are many villages around Hue handing down the craft traditions inherited from the glory days of the emperors: sewing, embroidery, stationery, engraving, jewelry, pottery, conical hat, making incense, basketry etc ... explore this ancestral craft is to understand a little more about the complex history of Hue and its inhabitants.
7. Cycling in the countryside
The beautiful countryside of Hue is particularly ideal for riding. It is a real pleasure to walk among the vast expanses of rice paddies to discover hamlets and small villages sheltered from the modern world where hidden in a luxuriant nature they are the guardians of the Vietnamese traditions. Each hamlet or small village has its specialty that can be culinary or craft, and each has its pagoda and family temples that bloom majestically the countryside.
8. Go to the beaches in Hue
Hue is well known better for its cultural heritage than for its beaches, and yet Hue has a magnificent, almost unspoiled coastline. Located 15 kilometers from the city, Thuan An Beach offers a long strip of golden sand along the East Sea. This is the ideal spot in the summer, from April to September, to come to enjoy the seaside pleasures in peace.
9. Try the culinary specialties of Hue
Either royal or popular, the cuisines of Hue can satisfy even the fussiest eater. The cuisines here are elevated to the rank of art and is reputed to be one of the best in Vietnam. The discovery of Hue would not be complete without tasting some of its many culinary specialties that reflect both the flood-based farming culture and its imperial heritage. Besides you can experience a royal dinner where you will have the opportunity to eat like an actual king!
10. Explore the Tam Giang Lagoon
The Tam Giang Lagoon, 70 km long, is the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia and is an almost perfect natural habitat for fishing and aquafarming. Discovering by boat this fascinating aquatic universe exploited by fishing families. A great opportunity to think outside the box and experience what you have never tried before.