Everything's Travel Guide to Hue, Vietnam

Hue is one of the most charming towns in Vietnam and is located on the banks of the beautifully named Perfume River. This part of Vietnam has a long and illustrious history as it used to be one of the main royal capitals of the country. As such, history lovers will find a huge amount to enjoy here, from the rambling ancient architecture to the engaging museums that will fill you in on all the details. Many people come here in particular to check out the ancient tombs of former emperors which are dotted all over the city and provide you with a fascinating insight into Hue in the days of old

  Tuesday, 18/02/2020, 12:42

Hue is an ancient city, located in central Vietnam, known as the seat of the famous Nguyen Dynasty. Hue city was the national capital and existed until 1945. Being an ancient city, Hue has many palaces and shrines that every tourist can visit which offers graceful memories of their stay in the city. Many of these palaces were subject to foreign invasion during the war in the previous generations, yet, it still looks majestic and beautiful. Tour operators like, Holiday to Indochina will provide a Hue travel guide, who can let the travelers learn about this ancient city and its historical significances.

Square: 5.048,2km²
Population: 1.128.620 people (2019)
City:  Hue
Province: Thua Thien Hue


Hue is one of the most charming towns in Vietnam and is located on the banks of the beautifully named Perfume River. This part of Vietnam has a long and illustrious history as it used to be one of the main royal capitals of the country. As such, history lovers will find a huge amount to enjoy here, from the rambling ancient architecture to the engaging museums that will fill you in on all the details. Many people come here in particular to check out the ancient tombs of former emperors which are dotted all over the city and provide you with a fascinating insight into Hue in the days of old.

As this is a riverfront town, you will also be able to spend time enjoying the cool breezes and the pretty vistas as you stroll along the riverside walkway, and if you want to get out of the town center than you will also be spoiled for choice. There are a number of fascinating day trip locations close to the city, which means that can happily spend a week in Hue and still not see and do everything that this pretty part of Vietnam has to offer.

How to get there

You will have many options to reach to Hue. You can have your preferred means of transport like, airplanes, trains, and buses. People who have selected the Hue travel packages of Holiday to Indochina can check out the mode of transportation that can go easy with their budget to visit and roam around Hue.

Holiday To Indochina is a professionally managed tour operator, offering various types of Hue tour packages, and transport facilities meeting the requirements of each client. Visiting their site will let you have a plethora of information, different travel schemes, discounts, etc.  To augment your holiday trip an enjoyable experience the tour operator offering services of English speaking guides and tailor made packages giving priority for your personal preferences.  

By air: The Hue Phu Bai airport is 15 kilometers away from the Hue city center, and it does serve domestic flights that operate between Hanoi and HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City). After reaching the airport, you can make use of the taxi or bus services to reach your desired location in Hue.

By train: The train station in Hue is on the eastern side of Le Loi Road. The express speed train that runs between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi is an easy means of transport for tourists to reach Hue with their friends and family members. People who have opted for Hue tour packages from Holiday to Indochina can book their onward train travel services while booking the tour packages. You can speak to the customer care executives to fix the tour programs and onward train bookings which will make things easy for you and no worries of running for train tickets after arrival.

By Bus: The bus terminal in Hue is in Phia Bac, and it is about 5 kilometers away from the city. The bus fares are very much affordable; one can easily catch a bus, as there are frequent bus services available to Hue anytime. If you are in your tours in Hue, then you should travel in a bus to reach Hue, as you can get to see various landscapes and mountains on the way to this ancient city.

Best time to visit Hue

Hue does get good drizzle every year-end and many tourists who visit this ancient city prefer to visit here during rainy months. October to March is famous for the drizzling season, so never miss a chance to make your plan to experience the drizzling during this month. The gloomy sky with tiny raindrops flowing around can make Hue look stunningly beautiful. The Hue sceneries like the Old Citadel and Perfume River will look more majestic and soulful during such months.

Holiday to Indochina offers the best Hue travel packages to all their customers who choose to visit the city during these rainy seasons. If you are looking out to get sun tanned during your visit, then July and August are the best months.

Things to do in Hue

There are many activities one can do while staying in this ancient city. There are many monuments, tombs scattered around the city, and it will be an unusual experience watching the reminiscent and architectural brilliance. The following are some of the famous locations you should not miss visiting while you are in Hue. The Hue tour packages offer a fascinating opportunity to visit all famous sites that have tested time, political disturbances and natural calamities.  

 Visit the Tombs of the Ancient Emperors

Tombs Of The Ancient Emperors

One of the big draws in Hue is the tombs of the Ancient Emperors and this is the main reason why so many visitors travel here every year.

Anyone with an interest in ancient architecture and history needs to visit the tombs which were built in honor of famous emperors of Hue.

The tombs mostly date from the 19th and 20th centuries and are carved to tell the stories of Buddhist legends.

Some of the main tombs not to miss include the Tomb of Tu Duc, the Tomb of Minh Mang and the Tomb of Khai Dinh.

If you are not sure which tombs to visit on a trip here then you can take a dedicated guided tour.

Visit the Tu Hieu Pagoda

Tu Hieu Pagoda

Tu Hieu Pagoda is one of the most famous in all of Hue and dates from 1843. This pagoda was also the home of eunuchs during the times of the Ancient Citadel in Hue and nowadays some 70 monks live here.

When you visit you can enjoy two towering temples and also listen to the monks chanting throughout the day as part of their religious rituals.

Walk along the Perfume River

Perfume River

The Perfume River is one of the most famous waterways in Vietnam and Hue is the perfect place to take it all in.

There is a delightful waterfront promenade along the banks of the river and this makes a great place to come for a scenic walk in the evenings.

You can also take to the water yourself if you want to get a closer look at the river and rent a paddleboat or opt for an elegant dinner cruise.

This tour includes a dragon boat trip on the Perfume River: Hue Full-Day City Group Tour Including Lunch

 Explore Huyen Tran Princess Temple

The Huyen Tan Princess Temple consists of a large complex which is covered with lakes of lotus flowers.

The monastery of Emperor Tran Nhan Tong is also located here and you will also be able to stroll in picturesque orchard gardens when you visit.

Other highlights include a library which holds important documents relating to previous kings and historical figures during the Tran Dynasty.

Visit the Imperial Citadel

Imperial Citadel, Hue

The Imperial Citadel in Hue would have been the previous center of the government and is made up of a vast complex.

When you walk around you can admire the moats, carved gates and royal pavilions, and there are also a clutch of engaging museums on the grounds.

If you like Vietnamese costumes, textiles and art then make sure not to skip the main galleries here.

Admire the Thien Mu Pagoda

Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue

Another famous pagoda in Hue is the Thien Mu Pagoda.

This temple sits overlooking the Perfume River and is known for its gold and silver images of the Buddha.

The pagoda is so well known in Vietnam that it is also the official symbol of Hue and you can take in beautiful views over the city from this spot.

Other highlights to look out for inside include a huge bells that was cast in 1710 as well as a stone turtle which dates from the 17th century and holds a marble stele.

 Visit the Royal Theatre

Royal Theatre, Hue

The Royal Theatre was constructed in 1826 and the National Conservatory of Music was then built on these foundations.

You can come here to watch a performance of traditional Vietnamese dance and music, or you can visit to tour the spacious galleries.

The exhibitions are made up of traditional masks as well as local Vietnamese musical instruments.

The performances are held according to a rotating schedule and usually last around 45 minutes.

Cycle around the city

Cycling, Hue

Hue is often said to be one of the nicest cities in Vietnam to cycle around.

You will find far less traffic here than in other parts of the country and you can also cycle along the lush banks of the Huong River and visit all the key attractions for which Hue is famous.

You can either just rent a bike and go it alone, or you can also join a dedicated cycling tour with a guide that will take you around Hue or out into the surrounding countryside.

Journey to Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park

Bach Ma National Park is located at 1,450 meters above sea level and encompasses some of the prettiest scenery in all of Hue.

On a visit here you will find towering waterfalls as well as pretty hiking trails and there are several crumbling French villas to observe along the way.

The park is part of the wider Annamite Range and this part of Vietnam is known for its lush landscapes.

You can also combine a trip here with a stop off at the Cau Hai Village.

There is also the option to stay overnight here at the camp ground of you can just spend the day swimming in limpid pools and taking in the flora and fauna.

 Visit the Ho Quyen Tiger Fighting Area.

Ho Quyen Tiger Fighting Arena

The Tiger Fighting Arena is situated around three kilometers outside of the center of Hue proper and was erected in 1832. As such, it was built during the time of the Minh Mang Dynasty and would have been the venue for dramatic fights between tigers and elephants.

Nowadays you won’t find any more fights here (luckily!) as these were stopped in the 1900s but you can still take in this great monument to history and if you look closely there are even claw marks pocking the crumbling walls.

 Admire Hon Chen Temple

Hon Chen Temple

Hon Chen Temple is dedicated to Po Nagar who is the Goddess of the Cham population who would have been based in Ngoc Ho Village in the days of old.

The shrine sits in on top of a craggy cliff in Ngoc Ho Village and was restored several times, first in 1832 and then again in 1886. The temple now has several antiques of interest such as a number of ancient vases, some Chinese calligraphy and ornate animal carvings.

If you come here on the third and seventh lunar month of the year then you will also find local music and dance performances.

Take a trip to Elephant Springs

Elephant Springs

Located between Hue and neighboring Da Nang, Elephant Springs is a top spot for anyone who wants to visit a famous springs in the area without the crowds.

Elephants Springs is far less visited by tourists than other springs around Hue and this attraction got it name thanks to the boulders that surround the waters and are said to resemble elephants playing.

There is also a carved elephant stone which has water squirting from its trunk and the pools here are cool but also make a great place to come if you want to relax in the middle of the jungle.

Shop at Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market

Dong Ba Market is one of the premium shopping spots in Hue if you are looking for a dose of authenticity in the city.

Here you will find a flea market as well as a number of toothsome local food stalls.

This spot was made famous when celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain came here and filmed an episode of his show ‘No Reservations’. Bourdain sampled the Bun Bo here but you will find a huge number of other dishes including noodle soups and spring rolls.

 Sunbathe on Thuan An Beach

Thuan An Beach

Around 14 kilometers outside of Hue is Thuan An Beach, so if you fancy some sea and sun then this is the spot for you.

Part of the Phu Van Distict, Thuan An Beach consists of a long strip of fluffy sand and many locals claim that this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.

Activities here include swimming and sunbathing and the main season here runs from May to September when temperatures in Hue rise.

 Visit the Royal Antiquities Museum

Royal Antiquities Museum

If you like antiquities then head for the Royal Antiquities Museum where you will find a wide variety of different pieces that date from the Nguyen dynasty from 1802 to 1945. As you walk around the different galleries you will be able to enjoy traditional furniture as well as textiles, jewelry and other antiques that used to belong to the royal family.

There are seven different zones inside the museum and you should make sure to check out the ornate beams which are carved with sculptures of dragons.


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