Hue City is the provincial city of Thua Thien – Hue province. The city is located in central Vietnam on the bank of the Huong River.
Hue is about 700 km to the south of Hanoi and about 1100 km to the north of Ho Chi Minh City. Hue is cultural, political, educational, tourism center of the Central Vietnam.
Hue features a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons: dry season from March to August and rainy season from August to January, with a flood season from October, onwards.Hue was the capital city of Vietnam for approximately 150 years from 1802 to 1945 under the reign of Nguyen Dynasty – the last feudal dynasty of Vietnamese history.
Overview of Hue City
Hue still retains culture heritage and intangible heritage which contains values of wisdom and spirit of Vietnam. On December 11th, 1993, the Complex of Hue Monuments was recognized as the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Complex of Hue Monuments
Hue is also regarded as the Festival City of Vietnam. It has successfully hosted seven nationally and internationally renowned festivals, attracting millions of tourists, first organized in 2000 and held every two years.
How to get to Hue
Hue is well connected with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by all forms of transport. Depending on your budget and duration of the trip, you can choose to go to Hue by bus, train or plane.
By bus: Travelling by sleeper bus from Hanoi to Hue can take 16 hours. Price is VND 280,000.
By train: You can buy your two-way tickets at the Hanoi train station or using the ticket booking service of travel agencies. There are 5 departures from Hanoi to Hue every day. The train station in Hue is located at the eastern end of Le Loi Street, on the south bank of the Ben Ngu River. From the train station, travellers can walk or take a motorbike driver to the hotels.
By plane: Phu Bai International Airport in Hue has daily flights to and from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Sometimes, flights can be disrupted by poor weather during the rainy season (mid–October to mid–December). From the airport to the city center, it takes approximately 30 minutes to go by bus or taxi.
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.
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 past.
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 clams.
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).
Source: Collected from the Internet
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